Matt Buehler Ph.D. Candidate - MA, Government (Middle Eastern Studies Certificate) - The University of Texas at Austin
Middle East Politics, Political Islam, Political Economy, Political Parties, Authoritarianism & Democratization
Ahlan wa Sahlan & Greetings! I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Government at the University of Texas-
Austin, where I research and teach politics of the Middle East and North Africa.
My doctoral dissertation compares the success and failure of opposition alliances between Islamists and leftists in the
Arab Spring, specifically in the countries of Tunisia, Morocco, and Mauritania.
Between November 2010 and March 2012, I conducted 15 months of fieldwork. I completed over 100 interviews in Arabic, including 16 with former or current government ministers. These interviews included current Moroccan
Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, the first Islamist head of state in that country's history.
Also in support of my dissertation, I have constructed an original dataset of previously unreleased candidate-level
statistics that links opposition coordination failure between political parties to regime co-optation.
I served as an election observer with the Carter Center for the 2011 Tunisian elections, which formed an assembly to write the country's post-revolution constitution. I was also a Clinton Scholar at the American University of Dubai, United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf through a program financed by the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Foundation.
My studies in Arabic have extended over six years, including intensive training at the University of Damascus, Syria
in 2006-2007. In 2007, 2009, and 2011, I received an advanced-high rating in Modern Standard Arabic from the
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
I have researched, studied Arabic, and traveled in the following countries of the Middle East: Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.