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Matthew BuehlerMatt Buehler

Associate Professor

1012 McClung Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996

Phone: 865-974-7051
Personal Website

Dr. Buehler's Vita

Field of Study: Comparative Politics; Middle East


  • Ph.D. University of Texas, 2013


Dr. Matt Buehler is an associate professor of political science at the University of Tennessee and also a global security fellow at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.  Buehler's research area is comparative politics of the Middle East and North Africa.  He has been traveling regularly to the Arab world since 2006, completing over three years of fieldwork and Arabic training in North Africa, Syria, and the Persian Gulf.  In 2017, Buehler served as a research fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Middle East Initiative in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Previously, he was a fellow at Georgetown University in Qatar’s Center for International and Regional Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Buehler is the author of Why Alliances Fail: Islamist and Leftist Coalitions in North Africa (Syracuse University Press, 2018).  In his book, Buehler explores the conditions under which stable, enduring coalitions are built to contest authoritarian regimes, marshaling evidence from pacts between North Africa’s Islamists and leftists.  Why Alliances Fail received the 2019 SERMEISS (Southeast Regional Middle East & Islamic Studies) book prize, which “recognizes outstanding scholarship in Middle Eastern or Islamic studies in any academic discipline in the social sciences or humanities from any time period.”  The book has been reviewed in Perspectives on Politics, Politics and Religion, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Journal of North African Studies, Mediterranean Politics, and Revista de Estudios Internacionales Mediterráneos

Primarily a scholar of North African politics and society, Buehler’s research has focused on the topics of democratization, authoritarianism, Islamist parties, public opinion research, nuclear nonproliferation, and migration.  Buehler's research has appeared in generalist political science journals, like International Studies Quarterly and Political Research Quarterly, and also journals specialized in Middle East politics.  He is one of the three editors of Mediterranean Politics.  Previously, he served as book reviews editor (2016-2019) and research notes editor (2019).  

In 2018, Buehler received an Early Career Excellence in Research and Creative Achievement Award from the University of Tennessee, an award given annually to two junior faculty members across all disciplines in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Selected Publications

    Why Alliances Fail: Islamist and Leftist Coalitions in North Africa (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2018), 304 pp.
    • 2019 SERMEISS Book Award (Southeast Regional Middle East & Islamic Studies Society)
    • Reviewed by Perspectives on Politics, Politics and Religion, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Journal of North African Studies, Mediterranean Politics, and Revista de Estudios Internacionales Mediterráneos.


  • “Racism and Labor Market Threat (Mis)Perceptions: An Original Survey Exploring Moroccan Attitudes about sub-Saharan Migrants (with Kristin Fabbe and Eleni Kyrkopoulou). Revise and resubmit at the Industrial and Labor Relations Review.
  • “Who Would Trust a Nuclear Umbrella? An Original Survey Gauging Public Confidence in Future Nuclear Guarantees in Morocco” (with Arjun Banerjee). Revise and resubmit at The Nonproliferation Review.
  • “Thy Neighbor’s Gendarme? How Citizens of Buffer States in North Africa View European Border Security Externalization” (with Kristin Fabbe and Eleni Kyrkopoulou). Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies. Forthcoming.
  • “The International Sources of Prejudice toward Shi‘a in the Middle East and North Africa: Original Survey Evidence from Morocco.” (with Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl). Mediterranean Politics. Forthcoming.
  • “Divergent Opposition to Sub-Saharan African and Arab Migrants in Morocco’s Casablanca Region: Prejudice from the Pocketbook?” (with Kyung Joon Han). British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 48, No. 3 (2021), pp. 492-514.  
  • “How Does Legalization Alter Islamists’ Electoral Strategies? A Comparative Study of Mauritania’s Tawassoul Party in the 2006 and 2013 Local Elections.” L’Année du Maghreb, Vol. 23 (2020), pp. 303-323. 
  • “Community-level Postmaterialism and Anti-Migrant Attitudes: An Original Survey on Opposition to Sub-Saharan African Migrants in the Middle East.” (with Kristin Fabbe and Kyung Joon Han). International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 3 (2020), pp. 669-683.
  • “Judges, Bribes, and Verdicts: How Court Experience Reshapes Attitudes about Judicial Corruption among Morocco’s Most Marginalized.” Mediterranean Politics, Vol. 25, No. 3 (2020), pp. 650-672. 
  • “Who Endorses Amnesty? An Original Survey from Morocco’s Casablanca Region Assessing Citizen Support for Regularizing Clandestine Migrants.” (with Kyung Joon Han). Review of Middle East Studies (RoMES), Vol. 52, No. 2 (2018), pp. 283-298.   
  • “The Autocrat’s Advisors: Opening the Black-Box of Ruling Coalitions in Tunisia’s Authoritarian Regime.” (with Mehdi Ayari). Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (2018), pp. 330-346. 
  •  “Do You Have ‘Connections’ at the Courthouse? An Original Survey on Informal Influence and Judicial Rulings in Morocco.” Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (2016), pp. 760-772. 
  • “Continuity through Co-optation: Rural Politics and Regime Resilience in Morocco and Mauritania.” Mediterranean Politics, Vol. 20, No. 3 (2015), pp. 364-385. 
  • “Labor Demands, Regime Concessions: Moroccan Unions and the Arab Uprisings.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 42, No. 1 (2015), pp. 88-103. 
  • “The Threat to ‘Un-Moderate’: Moroccan Islamists and the Arab Spring.” Middle East Law and Governance, Vol. 5, No. 3 (2013), pp. 1-27.
  • “Safety-Valve Elections in the Arab Spring: The Weakening (and Resurgence) of Morocco’s Islamist Opposition Party.” Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 25, No. 1 (2013), pp. 137-156. 
  • “Urban Bias, Rural Embeddedness: Using the Rural-Urban Divide to Explain Political Party Organizational and Ideological Development in the MENA” in Francesco Cavatorta, Lise Storm, and Valeria Resta (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Political Parties in the Middle East and North Africa. (with Allison Critcher). Routledge, 2021, pp. 307-318.   
  • “Integrating African Migrants? Gauging Citizen Opposition to Migrant Resettlement in Morocco’s Casablanca region.” in Zahra Babar (ed.), Mobility and Forced Displacement in the Middle East (with Kyung Joon Han).  Oxford University Press, 2020, pp. 165-186. 
  • “Mauritania’s Uprisings and Aftermath,” in Stephen King and Abdeslam Maghraoui (eds.), The Lure of Authoritarianism: The Maghreb after the Arab Spring. (with Mehdi Ayari). Indiana University Press, 2019, pp. 283-307. 
  • “Labor Protest in Morocco,” in Osama Abi-Mershed (ed.), Social Currents in North Africa: Culture and Governance after the Arab Spring. Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 51-72.  
  • “Regime Resilience and the Arab Uprisings,” in Richard Gillespie and Frederic Volpi (eds.), Handbook of Mediterranean Politics. (with Amnah Ibraheem). Routledge, 2017, pp. 207-217. 

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