SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Gerasimos Tsourapas

BA (Yale University), MSc (LSE & SOAS)
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Gerasimos Tsourapas
Department of Politics and International Studies

Senior Teaching Fellow in International Relations

Dr Gerasimos Tsourapas
Email address:
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Room 262
Office Hours:
Monday 2pm - 4pm
Thesis title:
Trading People, Consolidating Power: Emigration & Authoritarianism in Modern Egypt
Internal Supervisors


I am currently a Senior Teaching Fellow in International Relations. My research interests include diaspora politics, the interplay between migration and authoritarianism, and Middle East politics, with a specific focus on Egypt and Tunisia. My doctoral dissertation focused on Egypt in the 1970-2011 period as a case-study of the ways in which authoritarian regimes selectively use migration control as a means towards furthering their aims. Thus, I am broadly interested in state involvement in migrants’ affairs, particularly in non-democratic contexts and across the Middle East region.

I have published peer-reviewed research articles in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Mediterranean Studies, and Insight Turkey. I have also written on the politics of Egyptian migration to Libya for the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP). For my research on the politics of Egyptian migration under Gamal Abdel Nasser, I was awarded the 2015 Student Paper Prize and the Wadad Kadi Travel Fellowship of the Middle East Studies Association, as well as the 2015 Khayrallah Prize in Middle East Diaspora Studies.

I have taught, and convened, a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses at SOAS, including Government & Politics of the Middle East (UG), International Relations of the Middle East (UG), Going Global: An Introduction to International Migration (UG), International Migration & Diaspora Politics (PG), and Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences (PG). I am also convening two advanced undergraduate courses for the 2016 SOAS Summer School: Approaches to Global Migration and Contemporary Migration Challenges. Since September 2014, I have also been employed as a SOAS Writing Tutor. In July 2015, I was awarded the Annual Director’s Teaching Prize for excellence in teaching and the promotion of learning within SOAS.

My research has been funded by a three-year SOAS Research Studentship, an American University of Cairo Visiting Graduate Scholar Fellowship, and a number of smaller grants. I have pursued training in qualitative and quantitative methodologies at the Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (2013) and the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis (2015), respectively. I have also undertaken Arabic language training (Modern Standard Arabic & Egyptian Colloquial Arabic) in Cairo, London, as well as at the Middleburg College Arabic School as a Kathryn W. Davis Fellow for Peace.

During the 2013-14 academic year I was a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies of the American University of Cairo, and a Guest Researcher at the Netherlands-Flemish Institute, Leiden University in Cairo. Prior to coming to SOAS, I attended Yale University (B.A., 2006, Political Science and Economics), and the London School of Economics and Political Science (M.Sc., 2007, International Political Economy). My employment history includes working as a researcher for the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2009-11), and as a European Union elections observer, most recently at the Tunisian Constituent Assembly elections. During the latter I was deployed to Tunis and Brussels, where I participated in the European Union’s first attempt at monitoring out-of-country voting.

PhD Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • 'Nasser’s Educators & Agitators across al-Watan al-‘Arabi: Tracing the Foreign Policy Importance of Egyptian Regional Migration, 1952-1967.' British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. DOI:10.1080/13530194.2015.1102708.
  • 'Why Do States Develop Multi-Tier Emigrant Policies? Evidence from Egypt.' Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies, Vol. 41, No. 13, 2015, pp. 2192-2214.
  • ‘The Other Side of a Neoliberal Miracle: Economic Reform and Political De-Liberalization in Ben Ali's Tunisia.’ Mediterranean Politics, Vol. 18, No. 1, Spring 2013, pp. 23-41.
  • ‘The Limits of Norm Promotion: The EU in Egypt and Israel/Palestine’ (with Elena Lazarou and Maria Gianniou). Insight Turkey, Vol. 15, No. 2, Spring 2013, pp. 171-193.

Book Chapters

  • ‘Migration,’ in G. Newby (ed.), The Islamic World: An Encyclopaedia of History, Culture, and Society (New York, M.E. Sharpe) (forthcoming).

Book Reviews

  • ‘Mariz Tadros, The Muslim Brotherhood in Contemporary Egypt: Democracy Redefined or Confined?', (London: Routledge, 2012), pp. 196. 'Polyvocia, SOAS Journal of Graduate Research,' Vol. 5, pp. 49-53.

Other Publications

  • 'The Politics of Egyptian Migration to Libya,' Middle East Report (MERIP) March 2015.
  • ‘Notes from the Field: Researching Emigration in Post-2011 Egypt,’ American Political Science Association Migration & Citizenship Newsletter,' Vol. 2, pp. 58-62.

PhD Conferences

  • American Political Science Association Annual Meetings (2015; 2014: panel organiser)
  • International Studies Association Annual Conventions (2015: panel organiser; 2014)
  • Middle East Studies Association Annual Meetings (2015)
  • British International Studies Association (2015: panel organiser
  • European Consortium for Political Research General Conference (2016: Section Co-Chair on ‘Global Politics of Migration’)
  • International Studies Association Research Workshops (2016: Venture Grant Workshop Co-Convenor, ‘Unpacking the Sending State: Regimes, Institutions & Non-State Actors in Diaspora and Emigration Politics’)
  • British International Studies Association Workshops (2015: Co-Convenor, “Sending States, Emigrants & Diasporas: New Trends & Novel Approaches in Political Science).