Graphic version of this page


BRISMES Council manages the Society. The officers are the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. In addition, Council members are elected or co-opted from among the membership for a period of three years.

President: Professor the Baroness Afshar OBE

afshar baroness

Haleh Afshar is emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of York and has been the Visiting Professor of Islamic Law at the Faculté Internationale de Droit Comparée at Strasbourg till 2016. She serves as a Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords. Afshar was born and raised in Iran where she worked as a journalist and a civil servant. In 2005 she was awarded an OBE for services to equal opportunities. In 2009 she was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She has served in a wide variety of positions in UK civil society in the fields of Middle East Studies, Muslim women, gender and development, bioethics, refugees, and law and justice. She has also served on a number of government advisory groups, taskforces and funding programmes in areas of gender awareness, women’s asylum, women and Prevent, community cohesion, drug policy, democracy, Islam and religion. She has at least two honorary doctorates and is the recipient of a number of awards, including our own BRISMES Annual Award for Services to Middle East Studies. She has written two and co-authored/edited/co-edited 15 books on questions relating to women and development, Islam and Iran.

 Vice-President: Nicola Pratt

nicola resize

 Nicola Pratt is a Reader in the International Politics of the Middle East in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick. Before entering the world of academia, Nicola lived and worked in Egypt for several years on projects concerning human rights and democratisation. She speaks Arabic. Her research and teaching interests are located at the intersections between the politics of the Middle East and feminist international relations theory. Her research is particularly focused on the ways in which ‘ordinary people’ are shaped by and also influence national and international politics—particularly, democratization, peace and security. I have researched and written on democratization, human rights and conflict in a number of Middle Eastern countries. Since 2016, I have lead a research project on 'Politics and Popular Culture in Egypt: Contested Narratives of the 25 January 2011 Uprising and its Aftermath'.

Nicola's research interests link to her activism in the international peace/anti-war movement. She is a regular speaker at various meetings of social movement/voluntary groups. Between 2010 and 2013, she was the co-director of an international research partnership between Warwick and Birzeit University, Palestine, entitled, 'Reconceptualising Gender: Transnational Perspectives'. She is a contributor to the e-zine and was also Associate Editor of the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies for 6 years. In 2015, she was elected to the Committee of the Council for British Research in the Levant.

Secretary: John Chalcraft

john chalcraft

John Chalcraft is Professor of Middle History and Politics in the Department of Government at LSE. He was a Lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern History in the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Edinburgh University during 2000-05, and held a Junior Research Fellowship at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, from 1999-2000. 

His research focuses on histories of popular protest, low-skilled labour migration, survivalist enterprise, and labour, with special reference to Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, and increasingly to the GCC countries and North Africa. He is currently working on Gramscian and transnational approaches to resistance and popular mobilisation. He directs the Social Movements and Popular Mobilisation in the MENA Research Network at LSE and has served on the Council for British Research on the Levant, as Reviews Editor for the Journal of Global History, as Treasurer of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, and as a court expert in a number of international cases.

Treasurer: Tim Jacoby



 Tim Jacoby completed his PhD and an Economic and Social Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of Politics at the University of York. He joined the Institute for Development Policy & Management at the University of Manchester in 2003 where he is now a professor and co-founder of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute. His research has focused on state development in Turkey as well as broader topics related to political violence, civil society, Islam, nationalism and post-conflict reconstruction. He has published more than 25 articles in international journals and acted as guest editor for Disasters, International Studies Review, Middle East Critique, Progress in Development Studies and the Journal of Peasant Studies.


Council Members:

falkabani 1

Feras Alkabani
University of Sussex

marianna charountaki

Marianna Charountaki
University of Lincoln

james dickens 340x200

James Dickins
University of Leeds

hanem elfarahaty

Hanem El-Farahaty
University of Leeds

Neve Gordon

Neve Gordon
Queen Mary Univesity of London

Nicola Perugini

Nicola Perugini
University of Edinburgh


Sharri Plonski 2018

Sharri Plonski
Queen Mary University of London

lloyd reidgeonjpg

Lloyd Ridgeon
University of Glasgow

Paola Rivetti 001

Paola Rivetti
Dublin City University

alam saleh 132x183

Alam Saleh
Australia National University

 Shamshiri Fard Cropped 200x200

Marral Shamshiri-Fard
Graduate Section Co-President

Malaka resize

Malaka Shwaikh
University of St Andrews


Andrea Teti
University of Aberdeen


Zahra Tizro
University of East London


Teodora Todorova

Teodora Todorova
University of Warwick

lewis turner

Lewis Turner
Newcastle University


Rafeef Ziadah
SOAS University of London