Eric Lob is an associate professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University. His research focuses on the intersection of development and politics in the Middle East. It specifically explores how state and non-state actors in the region instrumentalize development as a soft power mechanism to further their political interests both domestically and internationally. He is the author of the book Iran’s Reconstruction Jihad: Rural Development and Regime Consolidation after 1979 (Cambridge University Press, 2020). Based on interviews and archival research in Iran, the book examines how the Islamic Republic mobilized activists and promoted development in the countryside to consolidate power against its internal and external opponents. The project is based on Lob’s 2013 dissertation at Princeton University that won the Foundation for Iranian Studies annual award for best dissertation and honorable mention for the Association for Iranian Studies biannual Mashayekhi Dissertation Award. His articles have appeared in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Iranian Studies, Middle East Critique, The Middle East Journal, Third World Quarterly, and others. He has provided commentary on Iran and the Middle East to some of the leading domestic and international media outlets, including The Washington Post, The National Interest, Jadaliyya, Al Jazeera, CBS, NBC, NPR, and PBS. Lob is a Board of Trustees member of the American Institute of Iranian Studies (AIIrS) and a member of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). Before joining the faculty at Florida International University, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Brandeis University’s Crown Center for Middle East Studies. Between 2009 and 2011, Lob conducted fieldwork and studied Persian in Iran. He also studied Arabic at Georgetown and Damascus Universities between 2005 and 2007. In 2005, he earned an MA in Middle East and Strategic Studies from Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Languages:
English, Persian/Farsi, Arabic, French 

Regions of Expertise:
Iran, Middle East, Africa

Issues of Expertise:
Iran-Middle East, Iran-Africa, Development, Political Economy, Conflict & Security, State-Society Relations, Foreign Policy

Selected Publications:

Contact Information

Please contact MEI’s media relations manager, Rachel Dooley, at rdooley@mei.edu or 202-785-1141 ext. 241 for assistance contacting this expert.