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Centre for the Study of the International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa



Dr. Roxane Farmanfarmaian is an Affiliated Lecturer in International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa, University of Cambridge. She is the Principal Investigator on the University of Cambridge – Al Jazeera Centre of Studies Media Project, a four-year, £680,000 research project begun in 2013 and looking at media in political transition across the Southern Mediterranean, from Turkey to Morocco.

Roxane Farmanfarmaian obtained her PhD in international studies from Cambridge University, where she was a Donner Scholar of Atlantic Relations and a member of New Hall College.

She is the author of Blood and Oil: A Prince's Memoir of Iran, From the Shah to the Ayatollah (Random House 2005, now in its fourth edition), and editor of War and Peace in Qajar Persia: Implications Past and Present (Routledge 2008). She was editor-in-chief of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs from 2002-2005, and a founding member of the Centre of International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa (CIRMENA) affiliated with the Department of Political and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge.

Roxane was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. and grew up in Holland, and obtained her BA in Middle East Studies from Princeton University. She lived in Iran during the revolution and hostage crisis, where she became a journalist and published a weekly news magazine, The Iranian. Subsequently, she moved to Moscow, working as a reporter and witnessing the cracks that eventually led to the fall of Soviet communism. Returning to New York, she worked for several years in commercial magazines, including Working Woman and McCall's, and as a freelancer, published in The New York Times, The Times of London and Businessweek. In 1997 she published Blood and Oil in conjunction with her father; at the time, she was also West Coast editor of Publishers Weekly. Among her publications was a piece comparing her Utah and Iranian background, published in Half and Half: Writers on being Bi-Racial and Bi-National. In 2001 Roxane obtained her Masters of Philosophy in International Studies, at Cambridge University and as a member of Queens College. Her PhD received an Honourable Mention from the International Society of Iranian Studies (ISIS). She was the inaugural Visiting Fellow at the Al-Jazeera Centre of Studies in 2012, and a Visiting Scholar at the Hinckley Institute and Centre of Middle East Studies at the University of Utah from 2010-1013.



Key publications: 


War and Peace in Qajar Persia: Implications past and present (2008), editor (Routledge)

Blood and Oil: Inside the Shah’s Iran(1997, 2005) co-author (Random House; Prion Publishing [London]; Modern Library 1998); reissued by Random House, 2005 with new introduction (4th printing).


Book Chapters

Policing the Arab Spring: Discordant discourses of protest and intervention, in Pritchard et al. (2014) Riot: Unrest and Protest on the Global Stage (London: Palgrave Macmillan UK); Chapter 15, pp. 277-300

Reluctant Radicals: Hearts and minds between securitisation and radicalisation (2012),Terrorism in Europe and the Middle East: Causes and Effects, E.G.H. Joffe, ed., I.B. Tauris, (based on paper for  ‘Radicalisation’ Conference, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies, CIRMENA and POLIS, University of Cambridge, 11 June 2009)

Iran and the EU: Re-assessing the European role between the US and Iran (2011), L. Marchi, ed., An EU Innovative External Action? (Cambridge Scholars Publishing), based on paper for ‘EU Facing External Challenges’, Workshop funded by Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, Pembroke College, Cambridge, October 2009  

From Spectacle to Spectacular: How physical space, social media and mainstream broadcast amplified the public sphere in Egypt’s ‘Revolution with Mohamed Nanabhay, E.G.H. Joffe, ed., North Africa’s Arab Spring,Routledge, 2013.

Arab Revolutions Transcend  Iran’s  (2011), in Current Controversies, The Iranian Green Movement,  Cengage Learning Books  ‘Out of the Revolution’ (2011) in P. Rowland, ed., Paris Was Ours, Algonquin

The Politics of Concession: Reassessing the interlinkage of Persia’s finances, British intrigue and Qajar negotiation (2008), in R. Farmanfarmaian, ed., War and Peace in Qajar Persia: Implications past and present(Routledge)



Media and the politics of the sacral: freedom of expression in Tunisia after the Arab Uprisings (2017), Media, Culture & Society, pp. 1–20

Iran's Rhetoric Aggression:  Instrumentalizing Foreign Policy Power through Media (2017), Iran Media Program Annenberg School for Communication.

What is private, what is public, and who exercises media power in Tunisia? A hybrid-functional perspective on Tunisia's media sector (2014), The Journal of North African Studies, Vol. 19 (5) December, pp.656–678.

Regime Resilience: How Iran strategizes internal and external challenges to create resources for state immunity (2013) in Iran's Centers of Power, Al Jazeera Paper, Al Jazeera Centre of Studies, Winter.

Iran’s Strategy in response to Sanctions (2012), Al Jazeera Centre for Studies , Policy Briefs. 

From Spectacle to Spectacular: How physical space, social media and mainstream broadcast amplified the public sphere in Egypt’s ‘Revolution (2011) with Mohamed Nanabhay, Journal of North African Studies, Special Issue: the Arab Spring, Vol. 16 (4) December; pp. 573-603.

Soldier-Artist: Louis Emile Dehoussets visual chronicle of Qajar Iran (2005), Journal of International Qajar Studies, Vol. 6, July.

The Media and the War on Terrorism: Where Does the Truth Lie?, Cambridge Review of International Studies, April 2002, 159-164.

Dr Roxane  Farmanfarmaian
Not available for consultancy



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