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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

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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: Neve Gordon

Neve Gordon

Neve Gordon is Professor of International Law and Human Rights at Queen Mary University of London. His research focuses on international humanitarian law, human rights, new warfare technologies, the ethics of violence, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His first book, Israel’s Occupation (University of California Press 2008), provided a structural history of Israel’s mechanisms of control in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Most recently, he wrote with Nicola Perugini the first book on the legal and political history of human shielding. Human Shields: A History of People in the Line of Fire (University of California Press 2020) follows the marginal and controversial figure of the human shield over a period of 150 years in order to interrogate the laws of war and how the ethics of humane violence is produced. Gordon has also edited two volumes and has published more than 50 academic articles and book chapters and is currently working on a project that examines how new warfare technologies challenge the underlying framework of the laws of war. Gordon has been a member at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, Brown University, the University of Michigan, and SOAS, and is currently a board member of the International State Crime Initiative.

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:

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Feras Alkabani
University of Sussex

marianna charountaki

Marianna Charountaki
University of Lincoln

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James Dickins
University of Leeds

hanem elfarahaty

Hanem El-Farahaty
University of Leeds


Lucy Garbett
Graduate Section Co-President


Nicola Perugini

Nicola Perugini
University of Edinburgh


Sharri Plonski 2018

Sharri Plonski
Queen Mary University of London

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Lloyd Ridgeon
University of Glasgow

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Paola Rivetti
Dublin City University

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Alam Saleh
Australia National University

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Marral Shamshiri-Fard
Graduate Section Co-President

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Malaka Shwaikh
University of St Andrews


Andrea Teti
University of Aberdeen


Zahra Tizro
University of East London


Teodora Todorova

Teodora Todorova
University of Warwick

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Lewis Turner
Newcastle University


Rafeef Ziadah
SOAS University of London