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Dr Marc Jones

Lecturer in History of the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula

BA (Hons), MSc (Durham); PhD (Durham)

I received my BA in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting from Cardiff University in 2006, and a CASAW-funded MSc in Arab World Studies from the University of Durham in 2010.  I recently completed my PhD (funded by the AHRC/ESRC) in 2016 at Durham, where I wrote an interdisciplinary thesis on the history of political repression in Bahrain. I am pleased to say that my thesis then won the 2016 dissertation prize from the Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies.

I have spent much of my childhood in Bahrain, and have also lived elsewhere in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Syria. Driven by issues of social justice and a specific area interest in the Gulf, my research spans a number of topics, from historical revisions, postcolonialism, de-democratization and revolutionary cultural production, to policing, digital authoritarianism and human rights.  I am particularly interested in strategies of control that affect people’s life chances in the service of elite power maintenance.  Prior to joining Exeter I won a Teach at Tuebingen award, and wrote and delivered an MA module in Gulf Politics at Tuebingen University’s Institute for Political Science.

At the moment, I am working a number of topics, including propaganda and Twitter bots, mapping sectarian hate speech, and archival work related to Bahrain and land appropriation. 

Research interests

As an interdisciplinarian, I have a number of facets to my research.  I am currently using medium data techniques to examine strategies of sectarian hate speech and propaganda on social media in the Gulf region. Some of this work also looks at the role of Twitter Bots and strategies of informational control used by state and non-state actors. 

My current historical research is mainly focused on Bahraini court records from the first half of the 20th century, which I will be using to analyse the impact the cadastral survey had on land rights in the country.  In addition to this, I am revisiting the British-led reforms of the 1920s, and looking at power dynamics in Bahrain post-Independence, with particular attention paid to the changing nature of foreign influence on repression and control of opposition groups. 

Research supervision

I am interested in supervising students who are looking at both contemporary and historical aspects of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula. In particular, I am interested in critical or radical approaches to politcs in the region, and issues that address social justice. I have experience in research and writing about historical repression, politics, celebrity, and communication.  As someone who values inter or multidisciplinary endeavours, I am happy to consider any student with exciting research on the Gulf. I would recommend students look at my publications to get an idea of topics I have explored. 

Biography

I received my BA in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting from Cardiff University in 2006, and a CASAW-funded MSc in Arab World Studies from the University of Durham in 2010.  I recently completed my PhD (funded by the AHRC/ESRC) in 2016 at Durham, where I wrote an interdisciplinary thesis on the history of political repression in Bahrain.  Driven by issues of social justice and a specific area interest in the Gulf, my research spans a number of topics, from de-democratization and revolutionary cultural production, to policing, digital authoritarianism and human rights.  I am particularly interested in strategies of control that affect people’s life chances in the service of elite power maintenance.  Prior to joining Exeter I won a Teach at Tuebingen award, and wrote and delivered an MA module in Gulf Politics at Tuebingen University’s Institute for Political Science. I spent much of my childhood in Bahrain, and have also lived elsewhere in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Syria.