Message from the President

Founded in April 2010, AALIMS reached a milestone at its third anniversary. As a sign of becoming an established organization, we have experienced our first “change of the guard.”

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AALIMS-MIT Conference on the Political Economy of the Muslim World

Date: April 9-10, 2021

Program: View PDF

Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Laura Dorson

All sessions are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.

2021 Annual Conference Organizing Committee

Fotini Christia (MIT), Co-Chair

Timur Kuran (Duke University)

Richard Nielsen (MIT), Co-Chair


Day 1: Friday, April 9, 2021

All times Eastern Daylight Time


12:00pm           Lunch (with virtual gatherings)

1:00 pm            Conference Opening Remarks:

Timur Kuran (Duke University)

1:05pm             Collective Action

Chair: Timur Kuran (Duke University)

Saumitra Jha (Stanford University) and Rikhil Bhavnani (University of Wisconsin)
Walking Together and Alone: Why Nonviolent Protests Fail and How To Make Them Work.”

Sarah Mansour (Cairo University), Stefan Voigt (University of Hamburg), Engi Amin (Cairo University), and Mazen Hassan (Cairo University)
Using Discourse to Incentivize Cooperation in Arab-Muslim Culture: Experimental Evidence from Egypt.”

2:15pm             Break

2:25pm             Cronyism and Corruption

Chair: Tom Pepinsky (Cornell University)

Cihan Artunç (Middlebury College) and Mohamed Saleh (Toulouse School of Economics)
Political Connections and Corporate Performance: Evidence from Interwar Egypt.

Faisal Ahmed (Princeton University) and Adeel Malik
Crony Globalization: The Politics of Partial Liberalization in Muslim Societies.”

3:35pm             End of Day 1

Day 2: Saturday, April 10, 2021

9:30am             Political Conflict and Violence (with 5 min breaks between each paper)

Chair: Amaney Jamal

Rafat Mahmood (University of Western Australia) and Michael Jetter (University of Western Australia)
Gone With The Wind: The Consequences of US Drone Strikes in Pakistan.”

Erin Walk (MIT), Kiran Garimella (MIT), Elizabeth Parker-Magyar (MIT), Ahmet Akbiyik (Harvard University), and Fotini Christia (MIT)
Social Media Narratives on Conflict from Northern Syria.”

Allison Hartnett (University of Southern California) and Mohamed Saleh (Toulouse School of Economics)
The Intra-Elite Conflict and the Demand for Democratization: Evidence from Khedival Egypt.”

11:25 am          Break

11:30 am          Human Capital

Chair: Tahir Andrabi (Pomona College)

Asim Khwaja (Harvard University)
“Online Education Decisions during COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia”

Lisa Blaydes (Stanford University), Justin Gengler (Qatar University), and Noora Ahmed Lari (Qatar University)
Cultural Constraints to Female Labor Force Participation: Gender, Family, and Employment in Qatar

12:40pm           Lunch

1:40pm             Islamist Politics

Chair: Rich Nielsen (MIT)

Sharan Grewal (College of William and Mary)
The Islamist Advantage: The Religious Infrastructure of Electoral Victory.”

Steven Brooke (University of Wisconsin) and Neil Ketchley (University of Oslo)
Islamist Rhetoric and Political Mobilization

2:50pm             Closing Remarks

Rich Nielsen (MIT)

2:55pm             End of conference