Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Stanford University


Photo of Lina Khatib

Lina Khatib, PhD  
Program Manager, Arab Reform and Democracy Program (former)

616 Serra St.
Encina Hall, C151
Stanford, CA 94305-6055
(650) 725-9739 (voice)

Research Interests
Middle East politics and media

Lina Khatib is the co-founding Head of the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. She joined Stanford University in 2010 from the University of London where she was an Associate Professor. Her research is firmly interdisciplinary and focuses on the intersections of politics, media, and social factors in relation to the politics of the Middle East. She is also a consultant on Middle East politics and media and has published widely on topics such as new media and Islamism, US public diplomacy towards the Middle East, and political media and conflict in the Arab world, as well as on the political dynamics in Lebanon and Iran. She has an active interest in the link between track two dialogue and democratization policy. She is also a Research Associate at SOAS, University of London, and, from 2010-2012, was a Research Fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School.

Lina is a founding co-editor of the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, a multidisciplinary journal concerned with politics, culture and communication in the region, and in 2009 co-edited (with Klaus Dodds) a special issue of the journal on geopolitics, public diplomacy and soft power in the Middle East. She edited the Journal of Media Practice from 2007-2010.

She has written three books: Filming the Modern Middle East: Politics in the Cinemas of Hollywood and the Arab World (IB Tauris 2006) is a study of the link between international relations and film, focusing on 25 years of cinematic representation of politics in the region (1980-2005), from the Arab-Israeli conflict to the Gulf War to Islamic fundamentalism. Lebanese Cinema: Imagining the Civil War and Beyond (IB Tauris 2008) takes a socio-political approach to the study of Lebanese cinema over the last thirty years, focusing on the issues of Lebanese national identity, history, sectarian conflict, and memory of the Civil War.

Her latest book is Image Politics in the Middle East: The Role of the Visual in Political Struggle (IB Tauris, 2013). The book examines the power struggles among states, non-state political actors, and citizens in the region that are expressed through visuals, with case studies from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Libya, and Iran, and a focus on the role of the image as a political tool in the Arab Spring. She has also recently led a multidisciplinary research project on US public diplomacy in the digital age, in collaboration with the University of Oxford and the University of Wolverhampton, the outcome of which appeared in the Middle East Journal in 2012.

Her forthcoming co-edited book, Taking to the Streets: The Transformation of Arab Activism (with Ellen Lust), will be published by The Johns Hopkins University Press. She has additionally edited two books for Columbia University Press, Storytelling in World Cinemas: Forms (2012), and Storytelling in World Cinemas: Contexts (2013)--complementary volumes that locate cinematic storytelling in all five continents within a wider cultural, political, social, and artistic framework. 

Before joining the academic field, Lina worked in broadcast journalism in Lebanon. She is a frequent commentator on the Middle East in the media with appearances on Al-Jazeera (Arabic and English), CNN, BBC, Sky News and other media outlets across the globe. In addition to her academic work, she is a visual artist with internationally exhibited work using the mediums of video and photography to comment on politics in the Middle East.


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Events & Presentations

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Research Programs & Projects

News around the web

Faculty weigh in on Colonel Qaddafi's death
“Even if some people see the death of Qaddafi as the end of an era, which it is…the more crucial question is that it signals the beginning of an even more challenging period in Libyan history,” said Lina Khatib, manager of the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL).
October 27, 2011 in The Stanford Daily

Qaddafi Turns to Syria Media to Keep Propaganda Machine Going
"By allying himself with Qaddafi like this, Assad is risking alienating himself further from the international community and the Arab community," said Lina Khatib, who manages a program on Arab reform and democracy at Stanford University ...
August 26, 2011 in BusinessWeek

Egypt conference highlights democratic transition
Panelists included Hoover Institution senior fellow Larry Diamond, history professor Joel Beinin, political science assistant professor Lisa Blaydes, CDDRL visiting scholar Ben Rowswell and CDDRL Program Manager Lina Khatib.
May 2, 2011 in The Stanford Daily

Tunisian Analyst: Crisis Opportunity for Fresh Start to Democracy
Lina Khatib, manager of the Program on Good Governance and Political Reform in the Arab World said protesters want a government that will be equally ...
January 19, 2011 in Voice of America

Daunting: The Many Challenges Facing Arab Youth
Lina Khatib, who runs the Good Governance and Political Reform in the Arab World at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law in Stanford ...
January 12, 2011 in MidEastPosts

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