Mahmoud Mohamedou

Mohamed Mahmoud MOHAMEDOU

Deputy Director, Graduate Institute
Professor, International History and Politics
Director of Executive Education
Head of the Conflict, Peace and Security specialisation of the Interdisciplinary Programme
Spoken languages
Arabic, English, French, Spanish
Areas of expertise
  • Political violence
  • State-building
  • Transitions to democracy
  • Racism
  • Nationalism
  • Foreign policy
  • Diplomacy
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Middle East
  • North Africa
  • North America
  • Europe
  • Sub-Saharan Africa



PhD, Political Science, City University of New York

Mohamed Mahmoud Mohamedou is Deputy Director of the Graduate Institute, Professor of International History and Politics, Director of Executive Education and Head of the Conflict, Peace and Security specialisation of the Interdisciplinary Programme. He has been Visiting Professor at Sciences Po Paris and at the University of Saint-Gallen. He is the author, notably, of a trilogy on the post-11 September era; Contre-Croisade – Le 11 Septembre et le Retournement du Monde (2004), Understanding Al Qaeda – Changing War and Global Politics (2011) and A Theory of ISIS – Political Violence and the Transformation of the Global Order (2018). Professor Mohamedou holds a PhD in Political Science from the City University of New York. He was Scholar-in-Residence at the Harvard University Centre for Middle Eastern Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts before becoming a Research Associate at the Ralph Bunche Institute on the United Nations in New York. He was Director of Research at the International Council on Human Rights Policy, prior to returning to Harvard University as Associate Director of the Programme on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research. He subsequently served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mauritania before returning to Geneva at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) where he was Deputy Director and Academic Dean. His research focuses on political violence and transnational terrorism, the transformation of warfare, state-building, transitions to democracy and the history of racism. Widely published, Professor Mohamedou is regularly quoted in the world’s media for his expertise and is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. He is the recipient of the 2020-2021 International Studies Association (ISA) Global South Distinguished Award and the recognition prize of the Collège de France in November 2017.





Book Chapters

Peer-Reviewed Articles



Courses Taught

  • “State and War”
  • “State-Building and War-Making in the Developing World”
  • “An International History of the Post-9/11 Era”
  • “Understanding Terrorism: History, Contexts and New Challenges”
  • “Comparative Perspectives on Political Liberalisation and Democratisation”
  • “An International History of Racism”
  • “From the Ottoman Empire to the Arab Spring: Change and Continuity in Regional Politics in the Middle East and North Africa”
  • “Power, Conflict and Development: Applied Research Seminar”
  • “Global Issues and Perspectives"


Doctoral Dissertations Supervised

1.    “Rejection and Mimesis: Unrecognised Statehood and International Society since Decolonisation”
Diego Humberto Soto Saldias

2.    “Can A State Die?: Analysing the Interlinkage Between Territory, Climate Displacement and Sovereignty in the Context of Climate Change in the Indo-Pacific”
Ryan Milan Mitra

3.    “Remembering a Fading Past: The Israeli Occupation of the Jordan Valley Re-examined through Oral History”
Atwa R.H. Jaber

4.    “From Civil War to Uncertain Peace: Changing Violence and Political Order in Lebanon, 1975-2015”
Line Barabant

5.    “ ‘You Match the Description’: A History of Systemic Racism in Policing and Immigration in England, 1948-2017”
Madhumita Varma

6.    “The Politics of Aleppo’s Christians and the Formation of the Syrian Nation-State, 1920-1936”
Joel Alfred Veldkamp

7.    “A Slow Reckoning: The USSR, the Afghan Communists and Islam”
Vassily Klimentov

8.    “La France et les États-Unis face aux Crises Politiques et Sécuritaires en Afrique du Nord et au Moyen Orient au XXIème Siècle, 2009-2017 : Un Renversement Stratégique ?”
Salomé Tulane

9.    “Commemoration and the Politics of History: Continuity and Change in the ‘National Days’ of Turkey” 
Egemen Bengisun

10.    “La Génération de la Bulle : le Japon face à la Question Libérale”
Kai Habel

11.    “A History of Modern Islamism: A Comparative Historical Study of the Evolution of the Projects of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ennahda Movement”
Youssef Ahmed

12.    “Humanitarianisms in Asia: Philosophical Grounds and Applications”
Claire Gaëlle Barthélémy Diaz Badial

13.    “The  Swan Song of Empire : Security Policy in France and Britain as a Manifestation of the Colonial Boomerang”
Abha Anuradha Rohanna Calindi

14.    “The Normalisation of Military Violence in the Middle East: A Historical and Political Cross-Analysis”
Hafssa Kouskous

15.    “The Politics of Armed Disorder: Armed Organisations, Conflict and State-Building in Mexico and Latin America, c. 1820-1900”
Estebán Ramirez-Gonzalez

16.    “The State of the Islamic State: An Assessment of ISIS’ State-Building Project and Rebel Governance in its Iraqi and Syrian Territory”
Matthew Bamber

17.    “Rebel Groups Consolidation Process in the Syrian Civil War, 2011-2021”
Abdulla Ibrahim

18.    “An Age-Old Challenge or an Emerging Norm? The History of Humanitarian Negotiations Beyond the State”
Zubin Malhotra

19.    “Shaping and Re-shaping of Sectarianism in a Settler-Colonial Context:
The Intersection of Identity and Space Producing in Shefa-A’mr (a Palestinian Town in Israel)”
Khaled Anabtawi

20.    “The Oligopoly of Violence: The Cases of Syria and Libya”
Bilal Salayme

21.    “Défendre le Droit d’Asile : Socio-histoire des Mobilisations à Genève et à Paris depuis les années 1980”
Apolline Wanda Christie Foedit

22.    “Communities, Commemoration and Contestation: Memories of Violent Mass Death in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, 1982-2022”
Stella Peisch

23.    “A Milk-washed History: The Invisibilisation of the Colonial History of Swiss Chocolate and its Impact on Racism in Contemporary Switzerland”
Letizia Gaja Pinoja

24.    “The Historical Development of European Studies on North Africa”
Imad Eddine Soualhi (University of Basel)

25.    “Au-Delà du Paradigme de la Guerre Globale contre la Terreur : Le Cas Sahélien”
Jérome Pigné, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS Paris)

26.    “The Importance of being Macedonian: Origins and Consequences of the ‘Name Issue’ between Greece and Macedonia”
Vera Lalchevska
(Second Reader)

27.    “The Origins of CENTCOM: American Hegemony, Car Culture and European Oil Dependence”
Manuel Dorion-Soulié
(Second Reader)

28.    “The Global North in the South of Lebanon: The Practices of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon”
Susann Kassem
(Second Reader)

29.    “International Security Partnerships in Global Politics: Explaining Outcomes of the African Union’s Partnerships with the European Union, the United Nations, NATO and the United States Africa Command”
Tshepo Gwatiwa
(Second Reader)

30.    “Living on the Edge: How Encounters with Global War Re-Made the Indo-Burma Frontiers into Bordered-Worlds”
Aditya Kiran Kakati
(Second Reader)

31.    “Laws of Change: Rights, Transitions and Violence in Post-colonial Ghana”
Frank Afari
(Second Reader)

32.    “Central Asia and the South Caucasus: Securitisation, State-Building and Nation-Building vs. Regional Security Cooperation”
Marc Quedenbaum
(Second Reader)

33.    “Yekkes and Arabs: Encounters Between German-speaking Jews and Arab Palestinians in British Mandate Palestine, 1920-1948”
Tatjana Eichert
(Second Reader)

34.    “The Idea of Europe on the Way to Maastricht, 1973-1993”
Achim Merlo
(Second Reader)

35.    “The Philanthropy Phenomenon: The Making of Twenty-first Century Institutional Private Philanthropy in the Emirate of Dubai”
Camilla Caroline Mebahel Della Giovampaola
(Second Reader)

36.    “La Diplomatie des Frères Musulmans d’Egypte : Socialisation, Politisation et Nationalisation”
Mahmoud El Ashmamy (Sciences Po Paris IEP)
(Second Reader)

37.    “La Politique Française d’Intervention Extérieure de 2007 à 2017 : Sociologie d’un overachievement
Aurélie Vittot (Sciences Po Paris IEP)
(Second Reader)

Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou

Office hours

Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou

Les temps du Moyen-Orient 2015-2023

Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou
Orientalism Today | A Conversation with Hamid Dabashi (Columbia University)
A Brief History of Democracy in Africa
A Brief History of Decolonization
The Geopolitics of Malcolm X | A Conversation with Moshik Temkin (Harvard University)