Faculty Biography

Ora Szekely

Ora Szekely, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Phone: 508-793-7360
Email: oszekely@clarku.edu

Curriculum Vitae
Professional website


B.A., Cornell University, 1999
M.A. University of Chicago, 2004
Ph.D., McGill University, 2011


Research and Teaching

Professor Szekely’s research focuses on the political violence and civil war in the Middle East. Her work (including three books and a range of articles) is based on field research conducted across the region. She teaches courses on comparative politics with a focus on the Middle East, including Introduction to Comparative Politics, the Politics of the Middle East, the Arab-Israeli Conflict, the Arab Spring, the Politics of Ethnicity and Identity, and capstone seminars on civil war and forced migration.  She is affiliated with the programs in Peace and Conflict Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her forthcoming book is on the civil war in Syria.



Stories from the Field: A Guide to Navigating Field Research in Political Science. Editor, with Peter Krause. (2020.)

       The Stories from the Field Podcast is available here:

Insurgent Women: Female Combatants in Civil Wars. With Jessica Trisko Darden and Alexis Henshaw. (2019.)

The Politics of Militant Group Survival in the Middle East: Resources, Relationships, and Resistance. (2016.)


Articles and Book Chapters

“COVID-19 and Fieldwork: Challenges and Solutions.” With Peter Krause et al. PS: Political Science and Politics. Volume 54 , Issue 2 (2021) 264-269.

“Exceptional Inclusion: Understanding the PKK’s Gender Policy.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. (2020) 1-18
“Doing Good While Killing: “Why Some Insurgent Groups Provide Community Services.”  With Victor Asal and Shawn Flanigan. Terrorism and Political Violence. (2020), 1-21.

“Fighting About Women: Gendered Propaganda in the Arab World's Struggle against ISIS.” Journal of Global Security Studies Vol. 5, Issue 3 (2020), 408-426.

“A Friend in Need: The Impact of the Syrian Civil War on Syria’s Clients,” Foreign Policy Analysis, Volume 12, Issue 3 (July 2016), pp. 450-468.

“Doing Well by Doing Good: Charity as Political Advertising in the Palestinian Territories,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Vol. 38, No. 4 (2015), pp. 275-292.

“Proto-State Realignment and the Arab Spring,” Middle East Policy, Vol. XXIII, No. 1 (Spring 2016), pp. 75-91.

“Gender Ideology and Forms of Contentious Mobilization in the Middle East” (with Victor Asal, Richard Legault and Jonathan Wilkenfeld), Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 50, No. 4 (July 2013), pp. 305-318.

“Hezbollah’s Survival: Resources and Relationships,” Middle East Policy, Vol. XIX, No. 4 (Winter 2012), pp. 110-126.

“Military Organizations in the Middle East.” Project on Middle East Political Science 10th anniversary volume. (With Holger Albrecht, Kevin Koehler and Devorah Manekin, editor Marc Lynch.) Forthcoming, Oxford University Press.

“Female Combatants in the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” Politics in the MCU. (Nicholas Carnes and Lily Goren, editors.) Forthcoming, University Press of Kansas.

“Comparative analysis” in Key Concepts in Research Methods, with Celine Cocq. J.-F. Morin, C. Olsson and E.O. Atikcan eds. (Oxford University Press, 2021)

“Lessons from Lebanon: The Costs of Avoiding Transitional Justice,” in Transitional Justice and the Arab Spring. Robert Stewart and Kirsten Fisher, eds., (Routledge, 2013), pp. 94-111.