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Centre of Development Studies



Professor Abdelrahman worked as an Associate Professor of Sociology at the American University in Cairo before joining the Centre of Development Studies in 2007. She has carried out consultancies for international development organisations such as UNICEF, OXFAM NOVIB and DANIDA. She is a member of the editorial board of the Cairo Papers in Social Science.


Professor Abdelrahman's research interests cover a wide range of aspects of the sociology and politics of development including state-civil society relations and social movements both at the global level and within the context of the Middle East. Her recent research focuses on critiquing the increasing role of behavioural psychology and AI in various fields of development including labour and refugees as well as in general debates on happiness and well-being.


Key publications: 

Egypt’s Long Revolution: Protest Movements and Uprisings (2015)

'La montée et le déclin des Frères Musulmans dans l'ère post-Moubarack' in La Diplomatie au défi des religions: Tensions, guerres, médiations edited by Denis Lacorne et al, Paris: Odile Jacob (2014), pp. 109-127

'In Praise of Organisation: Egypt between Activism and Revolution' Development and Change 44(3), (2013)

A Hierarchy of Struggles? The 'Economic' and the 'Political' in Egypt's Revolution Review of African Political Economy 39(13):614-628 (2012)

‘The Transnational and the Local: Egyptian Activists and Transnational Protest Networks’ British Journal of Middle East Studies 38 (3), 407-424, (2011).

‘With the Islamists? Sometimes…With the State? Never!’ The British Journal of Middle East Studies 36(1), 37-54, (2009).

‘NGOs and the Dynamics of the Egyptian Labour Market’ Development in Practice 17(1) 78-84, (2007).

‘The Nationalization of the Human Rights Debate in Egypt’ Nations and Nationalism 13(2) 285-300, (2007).

Abdelrahman, M. et al., Cultural Dynamics in Contemporary Egypt Cairo Papers in Social Science 27(1/2) The American University in Cairo Press (2006)

Civil Society Exposed: The Politics of NGOs in Egypt, London: I.B. Tauris, New York: St. Martins/Macmillan, Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press (2004)

Teaching and Supervisions


Professor Abdelrahman is the coordinator for the core paper on Sociology and Politics of Development (Paper 3) for the MPhil in Development Studies. She also teaches on the paper on the Middle East and North Africa for the MPhil in Politics.

She supervises MPhil and PhD students in the Centre of Development Studies and the Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIS).

Professor in Development Studies and Middle East Politics
BA, MA (The American University in Cairo) PhD (Institute of Social Studies, the Netherlands)
Please send email via temporary PhD administrator Lucy Theobald (
Dr Maha  Abdelrahman