PhD Katharina Lenner

Katharina Lenner

Former staff member


Katharina Lenner is a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow ( at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence and an associated researcher at the Institut Français du Proche-Orient (ifpo) in Amman, Jordan, where she currently analyses the politics around the Syrian refugee crisis in the Arab neighbouring states. From 2008 to 2014 she was a research associate at the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics. Her teaching and research interests include the politics of development, social and refugee policy as well as conceptions of state and statehood in the Global South. She also focuses on postcolonial theory and perspectives on the Arab world, and the politics of nationalism and collective identities in the region, especially the Arab Mashreq. Her doctoral dissertation, titled ‘Policy-Shaping and its Limits’ (FU Berlin, 2014) deals with the ambivalent transformations in the government of the social. It analyses the translations and negotiations surrounding poverty reduction and local development policies in Jordan, especially in the country’s rural South. Her dissertation was awarded ‘dissertation of the year 2014’ by the German Middle East Studies Association (DAVO).

Publications (selection)
  • ‘The politics of pledging: reflections on the London donors conference for Syria’. Policy Brief, 2016/03, Feb. 2016. Migration Policy Centre, European University Institute (EUI), Florence. Weblink:

  • ‘Projects of Improvement, Continuities of Neglect: Re-fragmenting the Periphery in Southern Rural Jordan’. In: Middle East - Topics & Arguments, No. 5/2015, 77-88. Weblink:

  • Mit Bashar Al-Khatib / Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Hrsg.): Alternative Voices on the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan – an Interview Collection /Aṣwāt badīlah ḥawla azmat al-lāji'īn al-Sūrīyīn fī-al-Urdun: majmū’at muqābalāt; Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Ramallah, 2015. Weblink:

  • ‘No Prospects for Syrian Refugees in the Arab Neighbouring States’ In: ak, Nr. 609, 20.10.2015, Web: [in German].

  • 'Poverty and Poverty Reduction Policies in Jordan' / 'Al-faqr wa-sīyasāt al-hadd min al-faqr fi-l-Urdun'. In: Ababsa, Myriam (ed.): Atlas of Jordan. History, Territories and Society. Beirut: Presses de l’Ifpo, 2013, 335-340.
  • with Malika Bouziane:  'Beyond "Monarchical Stability" - Jordan in Motion'. In: Anette Jünemann / Anja Zorob (eds.): Arabellions - on the Diversity of Protest and Revolt in the Middle East and North Africa [Arabellions. Zur Vielfalt von Protest und Revolte im Nahen Osten und Nordafrika]. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2013, 107-134. [in German]
  • '(Post-)Colonial Uneasiness: The Arab World under European Domination'. In: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (ed.): Turning of the Times. Uprising and Revolution in the Arab World [Arabische Zeitenwende. Aufstand und Revolution in der arabischen Welt]. Bonn, 2012, 32-42. [in German]
  • With Malika Bouziane: ‘Protests in Jordan: Rumblings in the Kingdom of Dialogue’. In: Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics (ed.): Protests, Revolutions and Transformations – the Arab World in a Period of Upheaval. Working Paper, No. 1, July 2011, 148-165. Web:
  • 'Images of a Revolution'. In: A&K - Analyse und Kritik, Nr. 558, 18.2.2011. Web: [in German]
  • With Ilka Eickhof & Tim Opitz: ‚orient / oriental'. In: Hornscheidt, Antje et al. (eds.): Racism ‘German Style’ – A Critical Dictionary on Racist Acts of Speaking [Rassismus auf gut deutsch. Ein kritisches Nachschlagewerk zu rassistischen Sprachhandlungen]. Frankfurt a.M., 2010, 332-336. [in German]
  • ‘One country – two paths? 20 years of economic and socio-political reform in Jordan'. In: Inamo 59/2009, 9-13. [in German]
  • ‘The local translation of global political paradigms: poverty reduction in Jordan'. In: Peripherie, 114-115/2009, 215-240. [in German]
  • 'Dependent Statehood as Contested Terrain – Political Economy and Forms of Representation in Jordan since 1989'. In: Journal für Entwicklungspolitik, 2/2008, 63-91. [in German]
  • With Ilker Ataç & Wolfram Schaffar: 'Editorial: Critical Analyses of the State in the Global South'. Journal für Entwicklungspolitik, 2/2008, 4-9. [in German]
  • 'Beyond the Republic of Fear – Symbolic Domination in Ba'thist Iraq'. EUI Working Paper RSCAS 2007/32. European University Institute, Florenz, 2007. Web:
  • 'Parliamentary Elections in Jordan – Deadlock in the Facade of Democracy'. In: Inamo, 13(52), 2007,
    46-49. [in German]
  • With Amr Hamzawy / Ferhad Ibrahim (Hrsg.): Religion, State and Politics in the Middle East. Festschrift for Friedemann Buettner. Muenster: LIT. 2003. [in German]
  • With Amr Hamzawy: 'Religion, State and Politics in the Middle East – Introduction'. In: Amr Hamzawy / Ferhad Ibrahim (Hrsg.) in Zusammenarbeit mit Katharina Lenner: Religion, Staat und Politik im Vorderen Orient. Festschrift für Friedemann Buettner. Muenster: LIT. 2003, 10-18. [in German]

Collective Publications

  • Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics: ‘Research Note - Participation and Contentious Politics from Below in Arab Autocracies’. Working Paper, No. 10, web:

  • reflect! AK Kritische Lehre: 'Teaching critically? – Autopoietic feedback loop: when in doubt, embrace the doubt...'. 2011; [Weblink] [in German]

  • reflect! – AK Staat: 'Analysing and Criticising the State. Summary of discussions of the reflect! working group on statehood 2007/8’ ], June 2009; . Web: [in German]
  • Arbeitskreis 'Postkolonialismus und Cultural Studies' (reflect! e.V.): ‘Postcolonial Critique  – Introduction to Postcolonialism'. In: kleine anfrage, Nr. 10 / ZAG, Nr. 47 (Gemeinschaftsausgabe), Herbst 2005, 25-26. [in German)
  • Arbeitskreis 'Postkolonialismus und Cultural Studies' (reflect! e.V.): Glossaries 'Orientalism', 'Subalternity', 'Diaspora', 'Whiteness'. In: kleine anfrage, Nr. 10/ ZAG, Nr. 47, Fall issue 2005, 26-31. [in German]