Laurie Brand

Professor Emerita of Political Science and International Relations & Middle East Studies
Laurie Brand
Pronouns She / Her / Hers Email

Research & Practice Areas

Academic Freedom. National narrative construction. Migration, citizenship and diaspora. State-expatriate relations. Voting from abroad. Middle East and North African affairs; Inter-Arab politics.


Laurie A. Brand (Ph.D. Columbia University, 1985) is the Robert Grandford Wright Professor of International Relations and Middle East Studies at the University of Southern California. She served as director of the Center for International Studies from 1997-2000, as Director of the School of International Relations from 2006-09, and Director of its Middle East Studies Program and then Chair of the Department of Middle East Studies (2014-17).  A past president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (2004), and chair of its Committee on Academic Freedom since 2006, she specializes in Middle East international relations and inter-Arab politics. A Rockefeller Bellagio Center resident scholar in fall 2013, a Carnegie Scholar for 2008-10 and a four-time Fulbright scholar to the Middle East and North Africa, she is the author of Palestinians in the Arab World: Institution Building and the Search for State (Columbia University Press, 1988), Jordan’s Inter-Arab Relations: The Political Economy of Alliance Making (Columbia University Press, 1994); Women, the State and Political Liberalization (Columbia University Press, 1998);   Citizens Abroad: States and Migration in the Middle East and North Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2006); and Official Stories: Politics and National Narratives in Egypt and Algeria (Stanford University Press, 2014). Her current research interests include state-expatriate relations, the politics of academic freedom; and national narrative construction. She has carried out fieldwork in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Kuwait. She is fluent in Arabic and French, highly proficient in Spanish, has and an intermediate level of Turkish.   


  • Ph.D. Comparative Politics, Columbia University, 10/1985
  • M.A. International Affairs, Columbia University, 5/1981
  • B.S. French, Georgetown University, 5/1978
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Robert Grandford Wright Professor, University of Southern California, 09/01/2009 –
    • Professor, University of Southern California, 08/1999 –
    • Associate Professor, University of Southern California, 08/1995 – 08/1999
    • Assistant Professor, University of Southern California, 08/1989 – 08/1995
    • Assistant Director, Institute for Palestine Studies, Washington, D.C., 12/1984 – 07/1989
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Professor Brand researches Middle East international relations, Middle East regional and domestic political economy and inter-Arab politics. Her current research focuses on the politics of the construction and violation of academic freedom in the Middle East North Africa region. She also continues to work on the relations between Middle Eastern and North African states and their communities of nationals resident abroad.

    Research Keywords

    academic freedom, national narrative construction, migration and diaspora, out of country voting, citizenship, Middle East affairs, regional studies – Middle East, North Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Palestinian Affairs.

  • Contracts and Grants Awarded

    • National Narratives and the State, (Rockefeller Bellagio Center), Laurie A. Brand, $0, Fall 2012
    • Wrote position paper for EU Member State and EC migration policy brainstorming session on “The Role of the Sending State and Society”
    • Member of research cluster funded by Luce Foundation Grant on Religion, Identity and Global Governance, of the School of International Relations and the Center for International Studies, USC
  • Book

    • Brand, L. A. (2014). Official Stories: Politics and National Narratives in Egypt and Algeria. Palo Alto California: Stanford University Press.
    • Brand, L. (2006). Citizens Abroad: State and Emigration in the Middle East and North Africa. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    • Brand, L. A. (1998). Women, The State and Political Liberalization: Middle Eastern and North African Experiences. Columbia University Press.
    • Brand, L. (1995). Jordan’s Inter-Arab Relations: The Political Economy of Alliance Making. New York: Columbia University Press.
    • Brand, L. (1991). Al-Filastiniyyun f-il-Watan al-‘Arabi: Buna’ al-Mu’as-sassat w-al Bahth ‘an al-Dawlah, Washington, D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1991.
    • Brand, L. (1988). Palestinians in the Arab World: Institution-Building and the Search for State, New York: Columbia University Press, 1988.

    Book Chapters

    • Brand, L. A. (2007). “Emigrant, Mughtarib, ‘Amil f-il-Kharij: The Language and Institutions of State-Expatriate Relations,” in Les Politiques Etatiques envers les Expatriés. Paris: Presses de Sciences Politiques.

    Journal Article

    • Brand, L. A. (2010). Authoritarian States and Voting From Abroad: North African Experiences. Comparative Politics.
    • Brand, L. A. (2010). Emigrants and National Narratives: State Discursive Strategies of Inclusion and Exclusion in Lebanon and Jordan. International Migration Review.
    • Brand, L. (2005). Scholarship in the Shadow of Empire. MESA Bulletin. Vol. n/a
    • Founding Member of the Academic Advisory Board, Arab Center Washington, Washington, D.C., 2016/11
    • Member of the Founding Board of Trustees, Doha Institute for Advanced Studies, Doha, Qatar, 2015/04
    • USC Endowed Professorship, Robert Grandford Wright Professor and Professor of International Relations, 2009/09/01
    • Book Award: Official Stories was named a Choice 2016 Outstanding Academic Title, Spring 2016
    • Rockefeller Fellowship Recipient, Bellagio Center Writing Residency, Fall 2012
    • Carnegie Corporation Scholar, 2008/05-2011/12
    • Winner of the Concours National of the Alliance Francaise of the United States, Spring 2007
    • Council for American Overseas Research Centers, grant for four months of research in Lebanon and Jordan, Spring 2003
    • Fulbright Award, Regional Research Award for Morocco, Tunisia, and Lebanon, 2002/05-2002/12
    • USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, , 2002
    • Fulbright Award, Islamic Civilization Research Grant, 1990
    • Fulbright Award, Regional Research Award for Jordan, Kuwait and Tunisia, 1986/07-1986/10
    • Fulbright Award, Dissertation grant, 1983/09-1984/09
  • Administrative Appointments

    • Director, 08/16/2014 – 08/15/2017
    • Chair, Middle East Studies Program, 2008-2009
    • Director, School of International Relations, 08/16/2006 – 08/15/2009
    • Director, Ph.D. program in Politics and International Relations, 08/16/2003 – 08/15/2006
    • Director, Center for International Studies, 08/16/1997 – 08/15/2000
  • Administative Appointment

    • Director, Middle East Studies Program, Dornsife College, 08/2014 – 08/2017


    • Member, Steering Committee, Program on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS), funded by Carnegie Corp., 2010 – 2016

    Editorships and Editorial Boards

    • Stanford Series in Middle Eastern and Islamic Societies and Cultures, Stanford University Press, 08/16/2004 –

    Professional Offices

    • Chair, Committee on Academic Freedom, Middle East Studies Association, 2006 –
    • President, Middle East Studies Association of North America , 2003-2004

    Professional Memberships

    • American Institute for Maghrebi Studies, 1998 –
    • Middle East Studies Association, 1992 –
    • American Political Science Association, 1989 –
    • Palestine American Research Center, member of the board, 2003 – 2008
    • Pacific Council on International Policy, 1995 – 2008
    • Middle East Studies Association, member of the board, 2003 – 2005
    • President, Middle East Studies Association, 2004
    • American Institute for Maghrebi Studies, member of the board, 1999 – 2001

    Review Panels

    • American Center for Oriental Research, Annual Grant Competition, 2003 –