American Univesity of Beirut

​Nikolas Kosmatopoulos

Assistant Professor of International Affairs and Anthropology 

Department of Political Studies and Public Administration & Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies 

I joined AUB in Fall 2015 as an Assistant Professor of International Affairs and Anthropology and core faculty member of the Graduate Program of Public Policy and International Affairs at the Department of Political Studies and Public Administration. Before joining AUB, I taught at Freie Universität Berlin, Universität Zürich (UZH), Columbia University in New York, Sciences Po in Paris, and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. In 2014-15 I was Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology in the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 

Research Interests 
My research links global politics, critical development studies and political anthropology. I focus on questions of expert power, policy expertise and global institutions. I am particularly interested in critical ethnographies of peacemaking, development and crisis resolution, the study of infrastructures of international solidarity and resistance, and as of lately, the politics and ontologies of the sea as a way to move beyond area studies, methodological nationalism and anthropocentrism in research, teaching and policy. 
In my dissertation research I explored how, after the end of the Lebanese civil war, a collective ideal of peace gave way to a well-guarded space occupied by diverse groups of experts. Based on archival research, participant observation, and ethnographic inquiry with diplomats, journalists, academics and activists, UN, NGO and think tanks members, mediators, conflict resolution specialists and state officials in Beirut, Geneva and New York City, I show the far-reaching effects of what I suggest calling the post-politics of peace, according to which political violence, an issue of global import, has come to be governed – along with the conventional warmongers - by de-politicized forms of liberal peacemaking, focused on technical, moralist and culturalist readings of peace and war. I am currently preparing my manuscript - provisionally titled Master Peace: Governing Violence in post-Civil War Lebanon - for submission to the series Anthropology of Expertise at Cornell University Press. 
My second book project is a maritime ethnography of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla tentatively entitled Seeing Like the Sea: Solidarity Infrastructures aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. In this monograph I argue that the humanitarian efforts of the International Palestine Solidarity movement to challenge the Israeli embargo on Gaza exemplify the emergence of a new way of thinking about and engaging the (Mediterranean) sea, which includes the politicization of diverse innate and non-innate flows of seawater, solidarity and security and which altogether opens up novel avenues of thought and action that might go beyond territoriality and sovereignty. 

2012 Ph.D., Anthropology, Universität Zürich 
2006 BA & M.A., Anthropology and Economics, Freie Universität Berlin 
2000 BA, Economics and Political Economy, Piraeus Economic University 

PPIA 307 The Politics of Policy Making 
PPIA 304 Development 
PPIA 308 Research Methods (Gateway Course) 
PPIA 404 The Global (from the) South 
SOAN 323 Development and its Aftermath 


Peer Reviewed Articles

2015. Anthropology and Peacebuilding: An Introduction In: Peacebuilding, pp. 1-5, Special Issue, September, vol. 3, no.3, co-authored with Tobias Denskus 
2014. Crisis Works, Social Anthropology / Anthropologie Sociale, vol. 22, no.4, pp. 479- 486 
2014. Sequestration, Scholarship, Sentinel: The Post-Politics of Peace (and War), International Journal of Middle East Studies, Invited Roundtable: “Technopolitics of War”, vol. 46, no.3. pp. 787-790.
2014. The Birth of the Workshop: Techno-Morals, Peace Experts and the Care of the Self in the Middle East, Public Culture, vol. 26, no.3. pp. 529-558
2014. Sentinel Matters: The Technopolitics of International Crisis in Lebanon (and Beyond), Third World Quarterly, vol. 35, no.3. pp. 598-615
2012. Towards an Anthropology of State ‘Failure’: Lebanon’s Leviathan and the Peace Expertise. Social Analysis, vol. 55, no.3, pp. 115-142 
2010. The Gaza Freedom Flotilla: Ethnographic Notes on Othering Violence, Anthropology Today, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 26-29 Republished in: 2012. Robben, C.G. M. Antonius/Sluka, A. Jeffrey (eds.) Ethnographic Fieldwork: An Anthropological Reader (Blackwell Anthologies in Social and Cultural Anthropology), 605-611. 

Edited Journal Special Issues 
2015. Special Issue in Anthropology and Peacebuilding In: Peacebuilding, Vol. 3, no. 3, co-edited with Tobias Denskus. 

Book Chapters 
2011. ‘An oblique look at the Indignation: Ten small myths about the Protests in Athens’. In: From the streets to the squares – Experience, analysis, documents, Edited by Christos Giovanopoulos and Dimitris Mitropoulos. A/synechia Publishing, December, Athens, 352 pages. (Language: Greek). Pp. 127- 133. 
2011. ‘Constructing the Wild Rest: Conflict Theory and Practice in Anthropology and Beyond,’ Transl. by Sibel Özbudun in: Birkalan-Gedik, Hande (ed.).: Sınırlar, İmajlar, Kültürler: Antropolojik Açıdan Avrupalılığı Yeniden Düşünmek (Borders, Images, Cultures: Thinking European-ness from an Anthropological Perspective). Istanbul: n.p. (Language: Turkish) 
2008. ‘In ...Mall we trust? Young employees, space and power in metropolitan Cairo’ in: Youth, Gender and the City: social-anthropological studies in Cairo. Edited by Thomas Huesken. Cairo: Goethe Institute (Language: English and Arabic), pp. 119-141. 
2007. ‘Nobody Stays at Home: A Berlin Case of Symbolic Struggle for the Production of Common Sense in: Days of Polyphonic Anthropology. Warsaw: Warsaw Institute for Social Anthropology. Pp. 35-47. 

Book Reviews 
2008. Nuvar Hovsebian (ed.). “The War on Lebanon: A Reader". Olive Branch Press 
2008”, in: Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 8 (2), 2008: 373–376. 
2007. Gil Eyal, “The Disenchantment of the Orient: Expertise in Arab Affairs and the Israeli State, Stanford University Press, 2006”, in: Journal of the Society of Anthropology in Europe, 7 (1), 2007: 12– 13. 

Professional Activities 
Reviewer: Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
Peer Reviewer: Social Anthropology, Social Analysis, Environment and Planning D, Economy and Society, American Ethnologist 
Member: American Anthropological Association, European Association of Social Anthropologists, Middle East Studies Association, American Association of Geographers. 

Contact Information 
Office: Issam Fares Institute Building, room 406 
Office Extension: 3256​

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