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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)



Our visiting scholars are part of our vibrant research community


Current Visiting Scholars


Gad Yishayahu

Visiting until 30/06/2022

Gad is a research Fellow, in the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, at Reichman University and a Visiting lecturer in the Department of International Politics at the University of London (City) where he earned his PhD. His research concentrates on contemporary Foreign Policy Crises and their implications on the discipline of crisis management.

Prior to commencing his PhD studies, he worked in the field of crisis management in the Office of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Deloitte Economic Consulting Services (1986) Ltd, and as a senior associate in a commercial law firm in Tel-Aviv.

While at POLIS he will be researching contemporary Mediterranean foreign policy crises, the implications of the new alliances between Israel and the Arab world, and the subsequent effects these may have on different players and interests in the region.

David Lewis

Visiting until 30/12/2022

David will be collaborating with Prof Jason Sharman in the field of economic crime, corruption, money laundering, terrorist financing and WMD proliferation financing, with research, teaching, applied policy work and support for postgraduate students, also covering the impact of existing policy measures on financial inclusion and human rights, and with a focus on identifying and promoting recommendations to improve the effectiveness of global policy in these areas.

From 2009-2015 David was head of anti-money laundering policy for HM Treasury, after previously leading law enforcement engagement with the private sector at the Serious Organised Crime Agency (now National Crime Agency). From 2015-2022 David was Executive Secretary of the Financial Action Task Force, the intergovernmental body responsible for setting global standards and assessing their implementation.

Marie-Luise Walther

Visiting until 30/06/2022

Marie-Luise is a PhD researcher in International Affairs and Political Economy at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. Her dissertation examines the complexity of European development finance and climate change policies.

Besides her PhD, Marie-Luise is co-leading the diplomacy programme at a Swiss foreign policy think tank. She recently conducted field research at the European Commission in Brussels. Prior to her PhD studies, she was a policy and sustainability expert in the energy sector.

While at POLIS, Marie-Luise explores the causes and consequences of overlapping institutions in climate finance. Specifically, she analyses how states can mitigate competition between multilateral development banks.

Jose Maria Arranz Muñoz

Visiting until 20/07/2022

José María Arranz is Full Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Alcalá (Madrid, Spain). His main activities and responsibilities are teaching degree and master subjects on econometrics and carrying out research activities in the fields of applied econometrics and impact policy evaluation.

His published papers have appeared in international journals (including Transport Policy, Land Use Policy, Transportation Research Part D, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Labour Economics, The Journal of Economic Inequality, European Journal of Industrial Relations, Social Indicators Research, Social Science Research, etc.).

He has also participated or has been responsible in projects for international institutions (European Commission and DG Employment), Spanish public institutions (such as the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, the Public Employment Service, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness or the Ministry of Finance) and other institutions (such as Ramón Areces Foundation, Oxfam Intermón, etc.).

His research at POLIS focuses on quantitatively evaluating the socioeconomic impact of transport and mobility policies for the energy transition in different European countries and UK. He will be collaborating with Dr. Cristina Peñasco.

Adam Wurr 

Visiting until 25/04/2023

Adam has spent his career as a British Diplomat, having previously been posted to Switzerland, Nigeria, Lebanon and Azerbaijan.  In London he has specialised in various aspects of national security and defence policy whilst working for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Ministry of Defence. 

Adam’s previous academic research interests have focussed on the ethics and politics of kidnapping and ransoming by terrorist groups, and between 2015-18 he was a Visiting Fellow at the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. 

During his Visiting Scholarship to POLIS Adam will continue his work designing and running a series of Strategic Simulation exercises for the Centre of Geopolitics (  Linked to this he will also be commencing PhD research with The Open University focussing on the modes, motivations, ethics and behaviours of those engaged in interventionist foreign policy formulation and crisis response. 

Maria Birnbaum

Visiting until 10/07/2022

Maria Birnbaum is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Bern and works in the fields of Global Politics, Religious Studies, and Colonial History. Her work analyzes the relationship between diversity and order with a particular focus on religion and global politics.

Her most recent publications ‘Entangled Empire’ and ‘Recognizing diversity: Establishing religious difference in Pakistan and Israel’ analyze the conditions of epistemological change in the international politics of religion. The latter was published in the volume Culture and Order in World Politics with Cambridge University Press in 2020, the winner of the International Studies Association’s book award for the best-edited book in International Theory.

During her time at POLIS Maria Birnbaum will be finalizing a book manuscript analyzing arguments for the recognition of religion in global politics. Here she studies the ’costs of recognition’ and shows how attempts to conceptualize, institutionalize, and manage social and religious difference in South Asia and the Middle East shaped the state-making processes of Pakistan and Israel and the conflicts following them. She will also continue leading the working group on the ‘Global Epistemological Politics of Religion’ in collaboration with the Centre for Global Knowledge Studies (gloknos) at CRASSH.



Become a Visiting Scholar at the Department of POLIS


The Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) Visitors Programme welcomes a small number of scholars each year. The Programme is aimed at scholars in established posts in other academic institutions.

Find out how to apply>>



Former Visiting Scholars

A list of former visiting scholars is available here>>


Image Credit Abby Chung