Maren Milligan


Ph.D. University of Maryland
B.A. Oberlin College

Research Interests and Background

My teaching, research, and policy work focus on institutional design and identity, especially religious and ethnic identity in the Greater Middle East/Islamic World.

The recipient of a Fulbright Islamic Civilizations grant, I've worked for several nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C. and overseas, including the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the National Democratic Institute, and the Middle East Research Information Project. Most recently, I have consulted for the U.N. on managing the conflict in Tripoli, Lebanon.

Before coming to Davidson, I taught at Oberlin College in Ohio. I started on a joint appointment with Queens University in 2012 through a program to strengthen Middle Eastern offerings at both institutions. I have been delighted to continue my work at Davidson through a position in Comparative Politics.

My work on institutions, identity, and conflict appears in Comparative Politics, Middle East Report, ISIM, and Sada, a journal of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. My manuscript, "Power-sharing or Power-hoarding? Conflict and Democratic Breakdown in Nigeria and Lebanon," argues that rather than mitigating conflict, power-sharing actually causes conflict and prevents democratization.

I have spent several years living and working in the Middle East and West Africa. My language training includes Persian, Arabic and Hausa.