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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)


Roxane Farmanfarmaian obtained her BSc from Princeton University in Near East Studies, and her MPhil and DPhil from the Centre of International Studies (now part of POLIS) at the University of Cambridge. In 2013, she was awarded a £150K 1-year research grant from Al-Jazeera Media Corp. to investigate media in political transition in Tunisia. In 2014, the grant was extended by a further £480K, to broaden research into Turkey and Morocco. In 2015 she received an ESRC Impact Acceleration grant on Media, Faith and Security, which culminated in the Home Office Minister for Counter-Extremism, Lord Ahmad, formally acknowledging the applicability of the project findings to government strategy; the project also received significant media coverage (see Dr. Farmanfarmaian teaches international politics of the Middle East and North Africa on the Master of Studies (MSt) programme; she is also an Academic Director for the MSt, and heads up the Global Politics and International Studies division of the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE). 

She is a founding member of the POLIS- affiliated Centre for the International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa (CIRMENA),  From 2002-2005 she was editor of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs (CRIA). Her most recent scholarly publications include 'Media and the politics of the sacral: Freedom of expression in Tunisia after the Arab Uprisings' (Media, Culture and Society, 2017); and 'Iran's Rhetoric Aggression: Instrumentalising foreign policy through the media' (Iran Media Program, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, 2017,



Roxane Farmanfarmaian’s research focuses on the inter-relationship between local Middle East interests and global (Western) power, using a range of theoretical and multi-disciplinary approaches. Drawing from her years as a professional journalist, she is particularly interested in the use of language and communication as they relate to narrative, political identity, security, and conflict. As a constructivist, her work employs a variety of theoretical and methodological elements, including discourse analysis, media theory, securitization and political psychology to investigate, among other subjects, affect and interstate relations, perceptions and power particularly in the Middle East, the Iran nuclear standoff, and configurations of state interest through religion, resources, and trauma.

A list of publications is available on the CIRMENA website.

Affiliated Lecturer, Project PI
Dr Roxane  Farmanfarmaian

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