Dr Simon Mabon

Senior Lecturer

Research Overview

My work falls at the intersection of Middle East Studies, International Relations and (International) Polital Theory. I am particularly interested in sovereignty and its discontents, space, and nomos, along with the empirical manifestations of these issues. I am Director of SEPAD, the Sectarianism, Proxies and De-Sectarianization Project, funded by Carnegie Corporation, which looks at the way in which the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran is shaping sectarianism and politics across the Middle East. It also explores the contestation of sectarian identities in what we have termed de-sectarianization.

Broadly speaking I am interested in the following areas

  • Sovereignty
  • The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran and its impact on regional politics
  • Nomos
  • Sectarianism
  • De-sectarianization
  • The Arab Uprisings
  • Resistance
  • Religion in political structures
  • Regime-society relations
  • International Political Theory and its application to the Middle East, particularly the work of Giorgio Agamben and Hannah Arendt

My research is comprised of two main strands: The first is the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran where I am particularly interested in the nature of the rivalry, its impact on states, identities and communities across the Middle East (and beyond), and the re-ordering of space. The second is the contestation of sovereign power across the region, where I am interested in relations between rulers and ruled, biopolitics, resistance, and the Arab Uprisings.

This current phase of research will produce two single authored monographs. The first, Houses built on sand: Violence, sectarianism and revolution in the Middle East will be published by Manchester University Press in early 2020. The second, The Struggle for Supremacy: Saudi Arabia and Iran will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2021.

The world is a garden: Nomos, sovereignty, and the (contested) ordering of life
Mabon, S. 18/06/2019 In: Review of International Studies. 21 p.
Journal article

Saudi Arabia and Iran: Islam and Foreign Policy in the Middle East
Mabon, S. 5/04/2019 In: Routledge Handbook of the International Relations of the Middle East . London : Routledge
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

The End of the Battle for Bahrain and the Securitization of Bahraini Shi‘a
Mabon, S.P. 1/03/2019 In: The Middle East Journal . 73, 1, p. 29-50. 22 p.
Journal article

Egypt's Unbreakable Curse: Tracing the State of Exception from Mubarak to Al Sisi
Ardovini, L., Mabon, S.P. 26/02/2019 In: Mediterranean Politics. 20 p.
Journal article

Sunni-Shi'a relations and the Iran-Saudi security dynamic
Mabon, S.P., Coombs, N.G. 18/02/2019 In: Routledge Handbook on Middle East Security. London : Routledge p. 316-327. 12 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Da’ish, stasis and bare life in Iraq
Mabon, S.P., Kumarasamy, A.M. 2019 In: Iraq After Isis. Cham : Palgrave p. 9-28. 20 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Introduction—The Copenhagen School Goes Global: Securitisation in the Non-West
Kapur, S., Mabon, S.P. 2019 In: Securitisation in the Non-West. Abingdon : Routledge p. 1-4. 4 p. ISBN: 9781138314955.
Chapter

The Apocalyptic and The Sectarian: Identity, Bare Life and the Rise of Da'ish
Mabon, S.P. 2019 In: Before Military Intervention. Cham : Palgrave p. 165-190. 26 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Struggle to Shape the Middle East
Mabon, S.P. 13/11/2018
Other report

Securitisation in the Non-West
Mabon, S.P., Kapur, S. 09/2018 Routledge. 160 p.
Anthology

Saudi-Iranian Relations after the Rise of Mohammad Bin Salman
Mabon, S.P. 17/07/2018 In: E-International Relations.
Journal article

It’s a Family Affair: Religion, Geopolitics and the Rise of Mohammed bin Salman
Mabon, S.P. 1/04/2018 In: Insight Turkey. 20, 2, p. 51-66. 16 p.
Journal article

Fundamentalism: examining the role of public reason in ‘non-liberal’ approaches to ‘unreasonable’ doctrines
Johnson, M.T., Mabon, S.P. 9/03/2018 In: Australian Journal of Political Science. 53, 2, p. 195-210. 16 p.
Journal article

The Copenhagen School Goes Global: Securitisation in the Non-West
Kapur, S., Mabon, S.P. 23/02/2018 In: Global Discourse. 8, 1, 4 p.
Editorial

Sovereign implications of securitisation work
Mabon, S.P. 16/02/2018 In: Global Discourse. 8, 1, p. 155-156. 2 p.
Journal article

Existential threats and regulating life: securitization in the contemporary Middle East
Mabon, S.P. 15/02/2018 In: Global Discourse. 8, 1, p. 42-58. 17 p.
Journal article

Muting the trumpets of sabotage: Saudi Arabia, the US and the quest to securitize Iran
Mabon, S.P. 2018 In: British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. 45, 5, p. 742-759. 18 p.
Journal article

Nationalist Jahiliyyah and the Flag of the Two Crusaders, or: ISIS, Sovereignty, and the Owl of Minerva
Mabon, S.P. 11/2017 In: Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. 40, 11, p. 966-985. 20 p.
Journal article

British Foreign Policy Since 1945
Garnett, M.A., Mabon, S.P., Smith, R. 7/08/2017 London : Routledge. 358 p. ISBN: 9781138821293.
Book

Sovereignty, bare life and the Arab Uprisings
Mabon, S.P. 08/2017 In: Third World Quarterly. 38, 8, p. 1782-1799. 18 p.
Journal article

The Circle of Bare Life: Hizballah, Muqawamah and Rejecting ? Being Thus?
Mabon, S.P. 05/2017 In: Politics, Religion and Ideology. 18, 1, p. 1-22. 22 p.
Journal article

Contested spaces and sectarian narratives in post: uprising Bahrain
Kasbarian, S., Mabon, S.P. 19/01/2017 In: Global Discourse. 6, 4, p. 677-696. 20 p.
Journal article

People, sects and states: interrogating sectarianism in the contemporary Middle East
Mabon, S.P., Ardovini, L. 9/01/2017 In: Global Discourse. 6, 4, p. 551-560. 10 p.
Journal article

The origins of ISIS: the collapse of nations and revolutions in the Middle East
Mabon, S.P., Royle, S. 30/11/2016 London : I. B. Tauris. 256 p. ISBN: 9781784536961.
Book

Think Tanks and Foreign Policy in the United Kingdom
Garnett, M.A., Mabon, S.P. 9/09/2016 In: Think Tanks, Foreign Policy and Geopolitics. London : Routledge
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

An Introduction to the Global Discourse Annual Book Review Competition 2015
Garnett, M.A., Macleod, C., Mabon, S.P., Johnson, M.T., Kapur, S. 12/02/2016 In: Global Discourse. 6, 1-2, 4 p.
Editorial

Hezbollah: from Islamic resistance to government
Worrall, J., Mabon, S.P., Clubb, G. 30/11/2015 London : Praeger. 224 p. ISBN: 9781440831348.
Book

Preventing violence against women: the case of Iraq
Mabon, S.P., Di Giorgi, L. 10/2015 Foreign Policy Centre. 5 p.
Commissioned report

The moral and the strategic: the UK’s response to the Syrian crisis
Mabon, S.P. 09/2015 Foreign Policy Centre. 5 p.
Commissioned report

ISIS: sectarianism, geopolitics and strong/weak horses
Mabon, S.P. 10/04/2015 In: E-International Relations.
Journal article

Daesh, geopolitics and the resurgence of Pan Arabism?
Mabon, S.P., Ardovini, L. 03/2015 Foreign Policy Centre. 5 p.
Commissioned report

L'Arabie saoudite, l'Iran et la géopolitique changeante du Moyen-Orient
Mabon, S.P. 2015 In: Institut Europeen de la Mediterranee . 46
Journal article

Locating terrorism studies
Mabon, S. 2015 In: Terrorism and political violence. London : Sage
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Saudi Arabia and Iran: power and rivalry in the Middle East
Mabon, S.P. 2015 London : I. B. Tauris. 312 p. ISBN: 9781784534660.
Book

Saudi Arabia, Iran and geopolitical change in the Middle East
Mabon, S.P. 2015 Foreign Policy Centre.
Commissioned report

Terrorism and political violence
Kennedy - Pipe, C., Clubb, G., Mabon, S. 2015 Sage. 328 p.
Scholarly edition

IS, regional security and the end of Sykes-Picot?
Mabon, S.P., Royle, S. 08/2014 Foreign Policy Centre. 6 p.
Commissioned report

Constructing sectarianisms and conflict in the Middle East
Mabon, S. 2014 Foreign Policy Centre. 4 p.
Commissioned report

The Middle Eastern 'great game'
Mabon, S. 2014 Foreign Policy Centre. 4 p.
Commissioned report

Aiding revolution?: Wikileaks, communication and the 'Arab Spring' in Egypt
Mabon, S. 16/12/2013 In: Third World Quarterly. 34, 10, p. 1843-1857. 15 p.
Journal article

A 'new hope' as the 'empire strikes back': British soft power in 2013
Mabon, S. 2013 Foreign Policy Centre. 3 p.
Commissioned report

Bahrain: between geopolitical and humanitarian concerns
Mabon, S. 2013 Foreign Policy Centre. 4 p.
Commissioned report

Saudi Arabia and Iran: soft power rivalry in the Middle East
Mabon, S. 2013 London : I. B. Tauris. 298 p. ISBN: 9781780763118.
Book

Saudi Arabia, 'new media' and UK relations with the kingdom
Mabon, S. 2013 Foreign Policy Centre. 4 p.
Commissioned report

Kingdom in crisis: Saudi Arabia, instability and the Arab Spring
Mabon, S. 2012 In: Contemporary Security Policy. 33, 3, p. 530-553. 24 p.
Journal article

The battle for Bahrain: Iranian-Saudi rivalry
Mabon, S. 2012 In: Middle East Policy. 19, 2, p. 84-97. 14 p.
Journal article