Syracuse University is pleased to welcome Dr. Joshua A. Stacher, recipient of the inaugural (2007- 2008) Middle East Studies Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Dr. Stacher holds a PhD from the school of international relations at the University of St. Andrews, where he specialized in comparative politics of the Middle East. In particular, his research focuses on how authoritarian regimes adapt and update their institutional frameworks in Egypt and Syria. His dissertation contrasted the intensely centralized yet easily adaptive Egyptian political system with the institutionally competitive but slow to formulate a governing consensus Syrian regime. He is a regular contributor to the Middle East Report and has published several peer- reviewed articles in notable journals.

Dr. Stacher offers SU students and faculty a distinctive perspective on Middle East studies. He spent nine years living and working in Cairo, enthralled by the hum of daily life in the most populous city in Africa. During his sojourn in Egypt he frequently visited neighboring countries, including Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar, and Morocco. These intimate experiences continue to affect his conception of the region, opening the door to a more flexible and empathetic approach. He flashes a wry smile when promising that his methodology is interactively qualitative.

During his fellowship, Dr. Stacher will be contributing to the development of our program in a num- ber of ways. In spring 2008 he is teaching a newly designed course on the International Relations of the Middle East (MES 300.001). He is also helping to expand our curriculum, as well as organize lectures and events, including the upcoming Leaders of Democracy Fellows Alumni Conference in Cairo. In between these various activities, he hopes to prepare an article for peer review and revise his dissertation for future publication.