Professor Philip Robins

University Reader in Middle East Politics

Dr Philip Robins has been a member of the academic staff at the University of Oxford for almost 20 years.  During that time he has been responsible for the overall provision of all of the teaching under the umbrella of Middle East Politics.  He currently holds the position of Reader in Middle East Politics and the title of professor.  Dr Robins is also a Fellow of St Antony’s College, where, until recently, he was the Sub-Warden and member of the College’s executive body.   He is also a member of the Middle East Centre.  During 2009/10 he held the prestigious position of being a proctor of the University. 

Before Oxford, Dr Robins was the founder of the Middle East Programme at the prestigious British foreign policy think tank, Chatham House (aka Royal Institute of International Affairs), which he joined as a research fellow in 1987.  He took his doctorate from the University of Exeter, where he worked under Prof Tim Niblock; his external examiner was Roger Owen, now at Harvard.

Dr Robins’ academic work ranges widely across the Middle East region.  He is the author of The Middle East: A Beginners Guide (Oneworld, 2010), which is scheduled to be updated this coming summer.  He also specialises in a number of countries of the region.  For example, Dr Robins has been a prolific writer on Turkey.  His book, Suits & Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War (Univ of Washington Press, 2003) was translated into Turkish and Greek.  His earlier work, Turkey and the Middle East (Pinter, 1989) was the first ever to be published on the subject in any language.  Dr Robins’ doctoral research focused on Jordan.  This work resulted in the publication, A History of Jordan (Cambridge Univ Press, 2004). 

Dr Robins’ current work has centred on the study of illicit drugs across the region.  A book publication is expected to be brought out in 2015 by OUP New York, entitled ‘The Middle East Drugs Bazaar: Production, Prevention, Consumption’.  This will comprise a 10 country study of illegal drugs, viewed from a number of different thematic perspectives.

Dr Robins is also involved in a range of extra-curricula activities commensurate with his academic profile and position.  He has been an advisor to the Japanese government on the Middle East for the last 18 years.  He is a member of the Anglo-Turkish ‘Tatli Dil’, a discussion group embracing opinion formers in Ankara and London.  He is also an adviser to the British Foreign Office on Turkish foreign policy.  Dr Robins will spend a one month research break in X’ian, China, during this coming summer.

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