Sheila Carapico, professor of political science and coordinator of the University of Richmond’s International Studies program, has published a book examining the controversial and contradictory effects political aid has had in the Middle East. Carapico, who was living in Cairo, Egypt, in 2011, when revolution broke out there, brings personal experience and scholarly exploration to the book “Political Aid and Arab Activism: Democracy Promotion, Justice and Representation.”

In the book Carapico discusses the impact Western democracy brokers have had in promoting “transitions from authoritarianism” in the Middle East in recent decades, and the obstacles and disputes Arab activists face as they seek justice, representation and political aid. She focuses on transnational programs in Egypt. Jordan, Morocco, Yemen, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Palestine and Iraq. She looks at the effects those actions have had in four major subfields: the rule of law, electoral design and monitoring, women’s political empowerment, and civil society. Among her examinations of routine and extraordinary events, Carapico considers the trial of Saddam Hussein and elections in Palestine.

The book was published by Cambridge University Press as part of its Cambridge Middle East Studies series, which offers “new and original interpretations of aspects of Middle Eastern societies and their histories.”

Carapico earned a Ph.D. in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton and has taught at the University of Richmond since 1985. She is the author of “Civil Society in Yemen: the Political Economy of Activism in Modern Arabia.” She has written about political activism and American foreign policy in the Middle East, and the politics of international political aid.

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Professor of Political Science and Global Studies
Global Studies Concentration Advisor: Politics and Diplomacy, the Middle East
Senior Coordinator of Interdisciplinary Programs
Middle East Studies
Comparative and International Politics
International Development Policy