Steven D. Schaaf
Hi, and welcome to my website!
I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Mississippi. My academic interests focus on topics of political accountability, comparative judicial politics, Middle East politics, authoritarianism, and the rule of law. Previously, I received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Law, Politics & Society from Drake University in 2013, a Master of Arts in Political Science from George Washington University in 2017, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from George Washington University in 2021.
My research integrates survey experiments in the Middle East, statistical models of judicial decision making, and detailed interviews with Arab citizens and legal/political elites. My doctoral dissertation, Litigating the Authoritarian State: Legal Mobilization and Judicial Politics in the Middle East, investigates when and how people living under authoritarian rule can use litigation to protect their rights from state abuse and hold state actors accountable to legal norms.
I am grateful to have been awarded a Fulbright fellowship, a Boren fellowship, a doctoral fellowship from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), a research grant from the Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES), a Travel Research Engagement Grant from the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS), a Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship, and a Critical Language Enhancement Award (CLEA).