Yasmina Abouzzohour

TRI Associate Research Scholar/lecturer
Office Phone
Green Hall 0-N-18

Yasmina Abouzzohour is an associate research scholar and lecturer at Princeton University’s Institute for Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East. A comparative political scientist specializing in regime persistence and transition, Abouzzohour is especially interested in employing qualitative and mixed methods to understand the impact of state-society relations on regime behavior and endurance. Much of her teaching and research lies at the juncture of politics and political economy, with particular emphasis on the Arab monarchies and Maghreb states.

Her current book project, Why Does God Save the King? How Arab Monarchs Endure and Evolve, investigates long-term durability in modern Arab monarchies. Delving into dozens of upheavals, ranging from mass protests and uprisings to coup d’états and strikes, this study uses a range of methods to shed light on the role of monarchical regimes’ interactions with opposition actors and citizens in shaping their economic and political strategies during upheavals. It advances empirical and theoretical contributions about the impact of threat perception, adaptive learning, and the interrelationship between regimes, opposition actors, and citizens on authoritarian endurance and autocratization. In other projects, Abouzzohour employs survey data to explore the determinants and implications of heightened public trust in the military in authoritarian and transitioning states and Twitter data to examine the impact of newly imposed taxes on state-society relations in rentier states. She is also interested in the shifts in regime behavior in the context of the global energy transition in the Middle East.

Her research received awards from the American Political Science Association, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Andrew Mellon Fund, the University of Oxford,  the American Institute for Maghrib Studies, the Project on Middle East Political Science, among others. She has presented her work at academic events at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, the American Political Science Association, the Middle East Studies Association, the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, and the American University of Beirut.

Prior to beginning her role at Princeton, Abouzzohour served as a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University’s Middle East Initiative. She received her Ph.D. at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford and her B.A. at the Department of Political Science and the Department of French and Romance Philology at Columbia University.

Selected Publications
  • “The Amplification of Authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa,” in Project on Middle East Political Science Studies. 47, pp. 12-18, 2022.
  • “Why do liberalized autocracies repress dissent?” in Middle East Journal. 75 (2) pp. 264-284, 2021.
  • “Moroccan Foreign Policy After the Arab Spring: A Turn for The Islamists or Persistence of Royal Leadership?” with Beatriz Tome-Alonso.  Journal of North African Studies. 24 (3) pp. 444-467, 2019.
  • “A New Chapter for Intraregional Relations? Cohesion, Crises, and Clashes In The Gulf Cooperation Council.” In The Gulf Cooperation Council In Transition: Geopolitics, Geoeconomics And State-Society Relation, 1st ed. Washington: Brookings Institution Press.
  • “Moroccan Foreign Policy After the Arab Spring.” with Beatriz Tome-Alonso.  In Foreign Policy in North Africa: Navigating Global, Regional and Domestic Transformations. Routledge, 2020.

Select Manuscripts in Progress

  • Why Does God Save the King? How monarchs endure and evolve. (Book manuscript).
  • “The Geopolitics of Renewable Energy: The Monarchs’ Game.”
  • “After Breakdown: Explaining Public Support for the Military in Libya.” Journal of North African Studies. 2023, with Tarik M. Yousef
  • “Renegotiating the Social Contract: Taxation in Saudi Arabia,” with Safa Al-Saeedi

Select Refereed Policy Papers

  • “Heavy Lies the Crown: The survival of Arab monarchies, Ten Years after the Arab Spring,” Order from Chaos. 2021.
  • “Libya’s peace process: What’s at stake for the Maghreb, 10 years after Gadhafi’s overthrow,” Order from Chaos. 2021.
  • “Oman, Ten Years After the Arab Spring: State-Society Relations,” Chatham House and the Arab Reform Initiative. 2021.
  • “Breaking the impasse on Algeria’s political and economic crises,” World Politics Review. 2021.
  • “Caught in transition: Tunisia’s protests and the threat of repression,” European Council on Foreign Relations. 2021.