Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor
Mark Tessler is Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor of Political Science. He specializes in Comparative Politics and Middle East Studies. He has studied and/or conducted field research in Tunisia, Israel, Morocco, Egypt, and Palestine (West Bank and Gaza). He is one of the very few American scholars to have attended university and lived for extended periods in both the Arab world and Israel. He has also spent several years teaching and consulting in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Many of Professor Tessler’s scholarly publications examine the nature, determinants, and political implications of attitudes and values held by ordinary citizens the Middle East. Among his sixteen books are Religious Minorities in Non-Secular Middle Eastern and North African States (2020), Public Opinion in the Middle East: Survey Research and the Political Orientations of Ordinary Citizens (2011); Islam, Democracy and the State in Algeria: Lessons for the Western Mediterranean and Beyond (2005); and Area Studies and Social Science: Strategies for Understanding Middle East Politics (1999).
Professor Tessler's 2015 book, supported by a Carnegie Scholar award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, is Islam and Politics in the Middle East: Explaining the Views of Ordinary Citizens (2015). Based on 42 nationally representative surveys carried out in 15 countries between 1988 and 2013, this work investigates popular perceptions and preferences relating to the role that Islam should play in government and political affairs.
Professor Tessler co-founded and co-directs the Arab Barometer Survey project. The first wave of Arab Barometer surveys, carried out in eight Arab countries and completed in 2009, was named the best new data set in comparative politics by the American Political Science Association in 2010. By 2022, the Arab Barometer had carried out 68 surveys across seven waves in 15 countries, and it had conducted face-to-face interviews with more than 100,000 ordinary citizens. Data from Arab Barometer surveys can be downloaded without charge from the Arab Barometer website.
Another of Professor Tessler's service to the profession and to the public contributions is his 2022 book, Social Science Research in the Arab World and Beyond: A Guide for Students, Instructors, and Researchers. The book discusses the theory and method of social science research and illustrates key concepts and procedures with examples of research projects carried out in the Arab world. The book has been translated into Arabic, and both the English and Arabic editions can be downloaded without charge from from the publishers' websites.
Professor Tessler has also conducted research and written extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His publications on the subject include A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. The first edition of the book, published in 1994, won national honors and was named a “Notable Book of the Year” by The New York Times. An updated and expanded edition was published in 2009.
- Center for Political Studies
Field(s) of Study
- Comparative Government and Politics
- Middle East and North Africa
- Political Development
- Public Opinion