Photo of Professor Gareth Stansfield

Professor Gareth Stansfield

BA (Hons.), MA, PhD (Durham), FRSA, FAcSS

Al-Qasimi Professor of Gulf Studies


01392 724105


Gareth Stansfield is Professor of Middle East Politics and the Al-Qasimi Chair of Arab Gulf Studies at the University of Exeter, where he was between 2010-2015 the Director of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS), standing down for research leave between 2015 and 2019.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS), and elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS).

He is also a Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services
Institute (RUSI), Global Fellow (2015-17) of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC, Fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, a Visiting Professor of Northwest University, Xi'an, China, a Visiting Professor of Soran University and Sabis University, Erbil (Kurdistan-Iraq), and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania's Program on Ethnic Conflict. Between 2002 and 2012, he was Associate Fellow of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House. From 2012-14, he was the inaugural Honorary Research Fellow attached to the Middle East and North Africa Research Group of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office A regular commentator and adviser on Middle East politics over the last decade, focusing in particular on the politics and political economy of Iraq, the Kurdish regions of the Middle East, dynamics of Gulf/Arabian peninsular security, and questions of postconflict stabilization and nation/state building, Stansfield is one of a handful of academics to have lived and worked in pre-regime change Iraq for an extensive period of time, between 1996 and 2001, where he was funded by the UK government to advise the Kurdish leadership. He has considerable fieldwork experience in a range of countries in the Middle East and Islamic World, including Iraq, Syria, the Kurdish regions, Morocco, the states of the Gulf, and more recently Afghanistan.

He has engaged extensively with the policy-making community. He is currently theDirector of Middle East Studies and Senior Associate Fellow of RUSI, and before that was Associate Fellow with special reference to Iraq, Kurdistan, and the Gulf, of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) between 2002 and 2012. He was part of UK (MoD) horizon-scanning initiatives on Iraq and Libya; and he was invited by ISAF to visit Afghanistan to research the reintegration process. In 2009, he served as a Senior Political Adviser to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), with special reference to the situation in Kirkuk and Iraq's disputed territories, and has advised several private sector companies on their activities in Iraq. He also is a member of the Command Advisory Group (CAG) of the UK Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ). During his career at Exeter, he has held research grants from the ESRC, Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, the British Council, and the United States Institute for Peace.

Prof Stansfield is a member of the middle eastern social science research cluster.

Professor Stansfield is on ESRC-funded research leave: current project website. He can be contacted through his University email address.

Office Hours Mondays during term 2 10am - 12pm. 


PA Contact: Ms Zoe Humble z(dot)

Full CV is available here.