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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)


Sabbatical and Research Leave 24-25 (Lent Term)


Professor Abdelrahman worked as an Associate Professor of Sociology at the American University in Cairo before joining the Centre of Development Studies. She has carried out research consultancies for international development organisations such as UNICEF, OXFAM NOVIB and DANIDA. She is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal Development and Change and the Cairo Papers in Social Science monograph series.


Professor Abdelrahman’s research interests cover a wide range of aspects of the sociology and politics of development including state-civil society relations, opposition politics and social movements, and labour relations and NGOs – both at the global level and within the context of the Middle East. Her more recent work focuses on the narrative of crisis in development and the increasing digitization of development interventions.


Key publications: 

Selected Publications

(2023) Trauma apps and the making of the ‘smart’ refugee. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 41(3), 513–528.

(2022) A Crisis Like No Other? COVID-19, Capitalism and the Politics of Crisis Narratives Development and Change 53(6) Special Issue Editor

(2022) The indefatigable worker: From factory floor to Zoom avatar. Critical Sociology, 48(1), 75-90.

(2022) ‘From gallons to gigabytes: China’s Digital Silk Road and the Arab World’. Blog Post: Project: Mapping Connections: China and Contemporary Development in the Middle East

(2015) Egypt’s Long Revolution: Protest Movements and Uprisings London: Routledge

 (2004) Civil Society Exposed: The Politics of NGOs in Egypt, London: I.B. Tauris, New York: St. Martins/Macmillan

Teaching and Supervisions


Coordinator Core Paper CDS-50: Intellectual Traditions in Development Studies

Director of the Centre of Development Studies
Professor of Development Studies and Middle East Politics
University Teaching Officer
Fellow, Darwin College
Sabbatical and Research Leave 24-25 (Lent Term)
Dr Maha  Abdelrahman

Contact Details

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