Paul Amar

Amar Photo
Professor and Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies

Office Location

SSMS 2119


Paul Amar, Department Chair and Professor in the Global Studies Department at the University of California Santa Barbara and Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, is a political scientist and  anthropologist with affiliate appointments in Feminist Studies, Sociology, Comparative Literature, Middle East Studies, and Latin  American & Iberian Studies. Before he began his academic career, he worked as a journalist in Cairo, a police reformer and sexuality rights activist in Rio de  Janeiro, and as a conflict-resolution and economic development  specialist at the United Nations. His books include: Cairo Cosmopolitan (2006); New Racial Missions of Policing (2010); Global South to the Rescue (2011); Dispatches from the Arab Spring (2013);  and The Middle East and Brazil (2014).

His book, "The Security Archipelago" was awarded the Charles Taylor  Award for "Best Book of the Year" in 2014 by the Interpretive Methods  Section of the American Political Science Association.



2016-present: Professor and Director of MA & PhD Programs, Global Studies Department, with appointments in Sociology, Feminist Studies, Comparative Literature, Middle East Studies and Latin American Studies. University of California, Santa Barbara

2010-2016: Associate Professor, Global & International Studies, UCSB

2004-2010: Assistant Professor, Law & Society Program, UCSB.

2003-2004: Visiting Professor of International Relations, and Lecturer in Security Studies, Federal University Fluminense (UFF), Rio de Janeiro

2003-2005: Co-Director, Center for Middle East Studies, Federal University Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

2003: Fulbright Post-Doctoral Scholar, Brazil.

2000-2002: Lecturer in Political Science, City University of New York, Hunter College

1997-1999: Fulbright Doctoral Fellow at School of Economics and Political Science, Center for Developing Country Studies, Cairo University, Egypt.

Areas of Academic Interest

  • Comparative Politics
  • Middle East Politics
  • Social Movements and Revolution
  • Critical Security Studies
  • Police and Military Studies
  • Human Rights / Socio-Legal Studies
  • Latin American Studies (especially Brazil, liberalization, human rights, sexuality/race/religion, urban inequality, state theory, regionalism)
  • Middle East Studies (esp. Egypt, Persian Gulf, Lebanon, regionalism, public security, state theory, globalization, urban development, morality, masculinity, gender/sexuality)
  • Theories of state, governance, institutional and legal change
  • Queer Theory
  • Post-Colonial Studies


Fluent in French, Spanish, English, Portuguese, and Arabic.



The Security Archipelago: Human-Security States, Sexuality Politics, and the End of Neoliberalism  (Duke University Press. 2013)

Dispatches from the Arab Spring: Understanding the New Middle East. Co-Editor with Vijay Prashad. (Minnesota University Press / LeftWord Press, 2013)

Middle East and Brazil: Perspectives on the New Global South. Editor. (Indiana University Press, 2014).

Cairo Cosmopolitan: Politics, Culture and Urban Space in the New, Globalized Middle East, Co-Editor with Diane Singerman (American University in Cairo Press, 2006)

Racial Missions of Contemporary Policing: International Perspectives on Evolving Law-Enforcement Politics. Editor. (Routledge Press, 2010)

Global South to the Rescue: Emergent Humanitarian Superpowers and Globalizing Rescue Industries. Editor. (Routledge Press, 2012)


Book Chapters

“Egypt,” in Paul Amar and Vijay Prashad, eds. Dispatches from the Arab Spring (Minnesota University Press / LeftWord Press, 2012) 

“Introduction,” with Vijay Prashad, in Paul Amar and Vijay Prashad, eds. Dispatches from the Arab Spring (Minnesota University Press / LeftWord Press, 2012).

“Moments of Masculinity: Critiquing the Crisis Approach, Revisibilizing History and Power,” in Thomas Buro, Changing Masculinities, Changing Communities: Between Europe and the Middle East. (Copenhagen: Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute, 2011)

"Saving Rio’s ‘Cradle of Samba’: Outlaw Uprisings, Racial Tourism and the Progressive State in Brazil." in Lisa Knauer and Daniel Walkowitz, eds.Contested Histories in Public Space: Memory, Race and Nation (Duke University Press, 2009)

“Contesting Myths, Critiquing Cosmopolitanism, and Creating the New Cairo School of Urban Studies,” in Paul Amar and Diane Sigerman, eds.Cairo Cosmopolitan (American University in Cairo Press, 2006).

“Tactics and Terms of Struggle against Institutional Racism in the Police and Prison Sectors” (published in Portuguese) in Silvia Ramos and Leonarda Musemeci, eds. Elemento Suspeito: Abordagem policial e discriminação na cidade do Rio de Janeiro (2006).

“Policing Tourism in Serrinha Favela (Rio) and Harlem (New York): Torture, In/visibility and the Marketing of Urban History, Crime Legends and Black Soul” in Sonia Torres, ed. Routes and Roots: American Studies in Brazil (2001)

Peer Reviewed Articles

“Turning the gendered politics of the security state inside out? Charging the police with sexual harassment in Egypt,” International Feminist Journal of Politics 13/3 (2011) [PDF] 

“Middle East Masculinity Studies: Discourses of ‘Men in Crisis,’ Industries of Gender in Revolution.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 7/3 (2011) [PDF]

“Operation Princess in Rio de Janeiro: Policing ‘Sex Trafficking,’ Strengthening Worker Citizenship, and the Urban Geopolitics of Security in Brazil,”Security Dialogue 40/4-5 (2009) [PDF] 

“New Racial Missions of Policing: Comparative Studies of State Authority, Urban Governance, and Security Technology in the 21st Century,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 33/3 (2010) [PDF] 

“Global South to the Rescue: Emerging Humanitarian Superpowers and Globalizing Rescue Industries,” Globalizations 9/1 (Feb. 2012) [PDF]

Engaged Scholarship

“Egypt after Mubarak,” lead story inThe Nation (23 May 2011) [PDF] 

“Why Egypt’s Progressives Win.”  Jadaliyya Magazine ( online) (8 Feb 2011). Translated into six languages (German, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Urdu, Italian), re-published in seven countries. [PDF] 

“Mubarak's Phantom Presidency.” AlJazeera ( (5 Feb 2011) [PDF] 

“Why Mubarak is Out.”  Jadaliyya Magazine ( online) (30 Jan 2011). Translated into seven languages (German, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Urdu, Italian, Chinese), re-published in seven countries. [PDF] 

"Masculinities and Curiosities: New International and Intersectional Perspectives." Crítica da Masculinidade (Aug 2003). [PDF] 

"Reform in Rio: Reconsidering the Myths of Crime and Violence." NACLA Report (Sept 2003) [PDF]

"The Rise of Crime, Disorder and Authoritarian Policing" with C. Schneider, NACLA Report (Sept 2003) [PDF]

Reviews & Entries

Review of Policing and Prisons in the Middle East: Formations of Coercion. For Arab Studies Journal 19/2 (2011)

Review of Islamic Masculinities. For Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 7/3 (2011)

Review of Working Out Egypt: Effendi Masculinity and Subject Formation in Colonial Modernity, 1870-1940. for Social History 36/4 (2011)

Entry for “Policing Systems.” Encyclopedia of Global Studies (2009)

Review of Markets of Dispossession: NGOs, Economic Development, and the State in Cairo. For theInternational Journal of Middle East Studies(2008)

Review of The Struggle for Constitutional Power: Law, Politics and Economic Development in Egypt. For the journal Law & Society Review (2008)


Courses Taught

  • Gender and Human Rights in the Middle East
  • Comparative Ideologies and World Order
  • Comparative Urban Politics
  • Introduction to Global Political and Economic Processes
  • Critical Security and Terrorism Studies
  • Human Rights and Globalization in Latin America & Caribbean
  • Human Rights and Globalization in the Middle East
  • Global Policing of Sex and Drugs
  • Introduction to Socio-Legal Studies
  • Politics of Sexuality
  • Race, Gender and Global Ethnography
  • International Relations: Race, Ethnicity Nationalism