Expert Profile

Professor Gareth Stansfield
Position(s) Professor of Middle East Politics and the Al-Qasimi Chair of Arab Gulf Studies, University of Exeter
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Professor Gareth Stansfield is an Associate Fellow within the Global Fellowship Initiative of the GCSP. Gareth Stansfield is Professor of Middle East Politics and the Al-Qasimi Chair of Arab Gulf Studies at the University of Exeter, where between 2010-2015 he served as Director of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS), standing down for research leave between 2015 and 2019. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA),  and elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS). He is a Senior Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute and a Global Fellow of the Middle East Program of the Wilson Center in Washington DC. Between 2002 and 2012, he was an Associate Fellow with special reference to Iraq at the Royal Institute for International Affairs, Chatham House.

A regular commentator and adviser on Middle East politics over the last decade, focusing in particular on the politics and political economy of Iraq, the Kurdish regions of the Middle East, dynamics of Gulf/Arabian peninsular security, and questions of post-conflict stabilization and nation/state building, Professor Stansfield is one of a handful of academics to have lived and worked in pre-regime change Iraq for an extensive period of time, between 1996 and 2001, where he was funded by the UK government to advise the Kurdish leadership. He has considerable fieldwork experience in a range of countries in the Middle East and Islamic World, including Iraq, Syria, the Kurdish regions, Morocco, the states of the Gulf, and more recently Afghanistan. I

Professor Stansfield's current research focuses upon the politics of Iraq since the rise of IS and is particularly focused upon the re-invigoration of the ‘Kurdish Question’ in Middle East political life, the sustainability of the Islamic State, and the integrity of the regional state system. He has additional research interests in the broader international relations and security of the Gulf region, addressing in particular the engagement of Western powers in the changing architecture of the Gulf security system.