Katja Žvan Elliott, PhD, Assistant Professor and NAMES Program Coordinator

Originally from Slovenia, I am an Assistant Professor in Political Science/North African and Middle East Studies at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and coordinator for M.A. in North African and Middle East Studies. I received my B.A in International Relations from the University of Ljubljana, and my MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford. I continued with my DPhil in Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford which I earned in 2012 with a dissertation entitled Women’s Rights and Reform in Provincial Morocco: From Disenfranchisement to Lack of Empowerment. Though trained as a political scientist, I am a proponent of qualitative/ethnographic methods in social sciences. I have conducted extensive fieldwork in different locations in Morocco and wrote several peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and have recently published a book.

Research interests and expertise:

Politics of women’s rights in North African authoritarian regimes, Development and gender, Femininities and masculinities, North African authoritarianism and human development, Education and authoritarian regimes, Legal reforms (Muslim Family law, Penal Code, Nationality Code, etc.), Gender-based violence.


  • Authored books

2015 Žvan Elliott, Katja. Modernizing Patriarchy: The Politics of Women’s Rights in Morocco. Austin: University of Texas Press.

  • Chapters in edited volumes

2016 (forthcoming). Žvan Elliott, Katja. “Morocco’s Women’s Suffrage and Political Participation (working title). In Global Handbook on Women and Political Rights. Netina Tan, Mona Lena Krook, and Susan Francheschet (eds). Palgrave MacMillian.

2012 Zvan Elliott, Katja. “The Moudawana and Rural Marital Relationships: Reformed or Resolute?” In Self-Determination and Women’s Rights in Muslim Countries. Chitra Raghavan and James Levine (eds). Waltham: Brandeis University Press.

  • Peer-reviewed journal articles

2015 Žvan Elliott, Katja. “(Dis)Empowering Education: The Case of Morocco.” Journal of Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems. 44:1, 2 (Spring-Summer 2015): 1- 42.

2014 Žvan Elliott, Katja. “Morocco and Its Women’s Rights Struggle: A Failure to Live Up to Its Progressive Image.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 10:2 (Spring 2014): 1-30.

2009 Zvan Elliott, Katja. "Reforming the Moroccan Personal Status Code: A Revolution for Whom?" Mediterranean Politics 14.2 (2009): 213-27.

  • Book reviews

2015 Fiddiyan Qasmiyeh, Elena. “The Ideal Refugees: Gender, Islam, and the Sahrawi Politics of Survival.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 47:1.

2008 Gray, Doris. "Muslim Women On the Move: Moroccan Women and French Women of Moroccan Origins Speak Out." The Journal of North African Studies 13.4.

Courses taught:

Middle East Politics

North African Government and Politics

Gender and Politics in Modern Middle East

20th Century North Africa and Middle East

Comparative Political Systems

Multidisciplinary Research Design

Graduate Seminar in North African and Middle East Studies

Women in Society and Politics

20th Century International History


Contact information:

School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane
53000 Ifrane
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+212 (0) 535 86 33 89
+212 (0) 535 86 29 77 (fax)


John A. Shoup, PhD, Professor

Dr. Shoup is a Professor of Anthropology. He has his BA and MA in Middle Eastern Studies/Arabic from the University of Utah and his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis.  He has conducted field work in Lesotho, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and most recently in Mauritania on topics related to pastoralism, impact of tourism on local communities, traditional land use systems, and popular culture. He has authored and co-authored several articles and book chapters and published Culture and Customs of Jordan (2007), Culture and Customs of Syria (2008) and co-authored Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arab States Today: An Encyclopedia of Life the Arab States (2009), and Ethnicities in the Middle East and Africa (2012). He currently is under contract for an encyclopedia on the Nile River and has an entry on Arab Nationalism in an encyclopedia of world nationalism by Oxford Scholars Press (2015), He was part of research team for the Baseline Survey conducted in the Middle Atlas region of Ifrane (2000) and on the impact of tourism in Atlantic port city of Essaouira (2001- 2002) published as Assessing Tourism in Essaouira by Al Akhawayn University (2002).  John Shoup taught at the AmericanUniversity in Cairo from 1990 to 1996 and at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco from 1996 to the present.

Research interests include:

Popular music in the Arab world (published articles and chapters on Algerian Rai, Moroccan Gnaoua, and Mauritanian music)

Bedouin and Development/ Traditional land use systems and Development policies in Jordan and Syria (PhD dissertation research, published book chapter, journal articles)

Tribal Politics among Bedouin (published chapters and journal articles)

Arabic film and TV series (published journal articles)

Courses taught include:

Arab Society

North African Societies

North African Popular Culture

Popular Culture in Africa (south of the Sahara)

Development Policy

Field Methods (in the Social Sciences)

International Field Seminar (Istanbul and Cairo)

Ethnography of Africa

Contemporary Issues in North Africa


Djallil Lounnas, PhD, Assistant Professor

Dr. Lounnas is a Professor of International Studies in Al Akhawayn University. His research is focused on North African/ Sahelian and Djihadist groups. Dr. Lounnas has conducted extensive field research in Mali, Mauretania and Algeria. He holds a PhD degree from Université de Montreal in International Security. The theme of his dissertation dealt with the dilemmas of collective actions/collective security in facing nuclear proliferation with the Iranian nuclear crisis as the case study. Dr. Lounnas joined the School of Governance and Economics (Ecole de Gouvernance et d'Economie) of Rabat in 2011 and taught International Relations there until 2012. He then joined Al Akhawayn University in 2013. Dr. Lounnas is an associate researcher of the Center for Peace and Security Studies (CEPSI) of Université de Montreal.

Research interests:

Radical jihadist groups, jihadism in the Sahel/ North Africa, North African security, Algerian Politics and Government, nuclear proliferation


  • On going research/ paper in progress

With Dr. Yahia Zoubir : " Security cooperation in the context of transnational Terrorism, failed States and regional competition: The case  of Libya"

  • Papers under review 

"The trajectories of Islamist Violence in North Africa and States responses 1992-2012" - paper submitted to Mediterranean Politics   

"Les mutations des Groupes Djihadistes en Afrique du Nord (2013-2015) : d'AQMI à l'Etat Islamique" (The evolution of Djihadist groups in North Africa from 2013-2015: from AQIM to ISIS). Paper submitted to Politique Africaine.      

  • Published/forthcoming  papers 

“Paradox of the Algerian Islamist parties in Post Arab  Spring Algeria.” In Luis Martinez and Rasmus Alenius  Boserup eds.  Algeria Modern (Oxford: Oxford University Press: 2015)

“Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Sharia Law.” Annuaire ‘Droit et Religions’. 2015

“L’évolution de l’environnement Stratégique de l’Algérie Post-Printemps Arabe.” Revue Maghreb-Machrek, no. 221, May 2015.

Confronting Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in the Sahel: Algeria and the Malian  crisis.” Journal of North African Studies, 19 :5 (Fall) 2014, pages 210-227.  

”La Chine et le Moyen-Orient : un nouvel acteur ?. ” Revue Monde Chinois 2014 (July) 2-3  (no. 38-39).

”AQMI et le trafic de drogue .” Revue Maghreb-Machrek, 216:2 (Fall 2013). 

”The Regional Fallouts of the French Intervention in Mali." Mediterranean Politics, 18:2, 2013, p. 325-332.

”La stratégie algérienne  face à Al-Qaida au Maghreb Islamique.” Revue Politique  Étrangère 2013/3 (Septembre), p. 53-63, publications IFRI (Institut  Français des Relations  Internationales).  

”L’Islam dans la Libye post Kadhafi. ” Revue Confluences Méditerranée,  (Summer) 2013/3 (no.  86), p. 211-231. 

”Al-Qaida au Maghreb Islamique et la crise malienne.” Revue Sécurité Globale, no. 20(Summer 2012),  p. 41-56.      

”L’islamisme au Maghreb à l’aube des Révolutions Arabes », [Islamism in North Africa the Dawn of the Arab Revolutions).” Foro Internacional April - Junel 2012                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

”China and The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: Between Ambiguities and Interests.” European Journal of East Asian Studies, 10:2, p. 227-253. 2011

 ”L’AQMI : une filière d’Al Qaida ou une organisation algérienne?.” Revue Maghreb Machrek,  2011/2 (no. 208).

 ”Al-Qaida au Maghreb Islamique : résilience,t changements.” In Pierre Phalavi, Eds, Military Wargaming for  Irregular Warfare?, for Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC). April 2011


Introduction to Models and Theories of International Relations

Comparative Politics

Politics and Government of Modern Algeria 

North African Politics and Government 

Middle East Politics

Theories of War and Peace (Advanced Seminar) 

Security and Foreign Policy of Middle-Eastern States 

Contact information:

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Zaynab El Bernoussi, PhD Candidate, Lecturer

Z teaches globalization, politics and political economy of North Africa and the Middle East, international political economy, and development politics at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Al Akhawayn University. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Al Akhawayn University, a Master in Finance from IE Business School, and a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University.

She started her doctoral studies in international relations at the University of Hong Kong and is now continuing her program at the Catholic University of Louvain under the supervision of Professor Vincent Legrand and Professor Baudouin Dupret.

She is a Fulbright alumna and was a Carnegie visiting scholar at the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations under the mentorship of Professor Charles Kurzman. 

Research interests:

Her main research interests are politics of dignity and the human rights discourse, the postcolonial state and society, and political development.


El Bernoussi, Z.  Asia Pacific Affairs Council Journal, ‘North African Textiles Shifting to Vietnam?’ Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University (Winter 2011).

El Bernoussi, Z. International Sociology, ‘The postcolonial politics of dignity: From the 1956 Suez nationalization to the 2011 Revolution in Egypt.’ Published on 23 July 2014 by Sage Publications.

El Bernoussi, Z. ‘Spaces of Politics,’ in International Relations Theory: Views Beyond the West. Edited by Nizar Messari, Arlene B. Tickner, L.H.M Ling,Routledge 2015.

El Bernoussi, Z. (in French), “La Négociation Interculturelle’ (intercultural negociation) in the textbook Le Management Interculturel (Intercultural Management), published by Imprimerie Dar El Maarif El Jadida: Rabat.


INS5361 Political Economy of NAME

INS5352 Globalization

SSC2306/SSC5306 Issues of Contemporary North Africa (ARANAS)

INS5315 International Political Economy

PSC3311 Politics of the Global South

SSC3302 Research Methods

SSC5302 Research Methodology

INS3315 International Political Economy

PSC2302 Comparative Political Systems

Contact information:

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Doris H. Gray, PhD, Associate Professor

Research Areas and Expertise: 

Contemporary Gender Discourse in North Africa, Social Changes, Islamic Feminisms, Women and Transitional Justice.

Courses taught:

Sex, Gender and Power. 

Contemporary Issues in Islam: Gender and Women’s Rights.

Women and Economic Development.

Women, Power and Politics


  • Books:

Beyond Islamism and Feminism: Gender and Equality in North Africa.London, I.B. Tauris, 2013. Second Revised Edition, fall 2014.

Muslim Women on the Move: Women in Morocco and France speak out.  Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, Lexington Books, 2008.

  • Select recent articles in refereed journals:

“The many path to gender equality in Morocco.”  Oxford Islamic Studies, February 2014. “In search of righting wrongs: Women and the transitional justice process in Tunisia.”  International Relations. www.e-IR-info , April 2013.

With Coonan, Terry. “Silence kills! Women and the transitional justice process in post-revolutionary Tunisia.” International Journal for Transitional Justice. February 2013.

“Tunisia after the uprising: Islamist and secular quests for women’s rights.”  Mediterranean Politics. Vol. 17, Issue 3, October 2012, pp 285-302.

“The Tunisian Revolution and its implications for the Arab world.”  Expressions maghrébines. Vol. 11, No. 1, summer 2012, pp 217-228.

  • Select Book Chapters:

With Coonan, Terry: “Reframing Gender Narrative through Transitional Justice in Tunisia” in Transitional Justice in the Middle East. Sriram, Chandra, editor. Oxford University Press, Spring 2015.

“Contemporary forms of Islamic leadership in Morocco”  Muslim women: activism, interpretation, and identity.   Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, Fall 2014.  

 “Feminism, Islamism and a Third Way”   Contemporary Morocco State, Politics and Society under Mohammmed VI.  Maddy-Weitzman, Bruce and Daniel Zisenwine, Daniel (eds) New York: Routledge, 2012.

With Gray, Kenneth R. “Women entrepreneurship in Morocco – Vanguards of Change in the Muslim World” (pp 55-68).   Perspectives of Women Entrepreneurship in the Age of Globalization, Radovic, Mirjana (ed.).Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Publishers, 2007.


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Driss Maghraoui, PhD, Associate Professor

Driss Maghraoui is associate professor of history and international relations with the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. He is a graduate of the European History Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His publications are found in international academic journals and edited books.  Driss Maghraoui is the co-editor of Reforms in the Arab World : the Experience of Morocco , Mediterranean Politics and the editor of Revisiting the Colonial Past in Morocco by Routledge. His most recent publication include “Searching for Normalization: The Party of Justice and Development in Morocco”, in  Julie Chernov and  Mecham Quinn Mecham  (Ed.) Strategies and Behavior of Islamist Political Parties: Comparative Lessons from Asia and the Middle East, University of Pensylvenia Press, 2014 and “The Moroccan ‘Effort de Guerre’ in the Second World War” in Judie Byfield (Ed.) Africa and The Second World War, Cambridge University Press,  April 2015, "Obedience, Civil Resistance and Subaltern Politics in Morocco in Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring: Triumphs and Disasters, edited by Adam Roberts, Michael Willis, Rory McCarthy and Timothy Garton Ash, Oxford University Press.