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Courtney Freer is a nonresident fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings and is an assistant professorial research fellow at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She specializes in domestic politics and foreign policies of the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as well as connections between the two, in addition to examining the role of Islamists in that region and in the Middle East more broadly.

Freer is the author of “Rentier Islamism: The Role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf Monarchies” (Oxford University Press, 2018), the first English language book focused on the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf states. Her work has appeared in a variety of academic outlets, including International Journal of Middle East Studies, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, and Middle Eastern Studies as well as in policy publications and newspapers in the U.S. and Middle East. She has briefed U.S. and U.K. governments and U.N. agencies on issues related to the GCC states and Islamism, and gave evidence in U.K. Parliament related to the United Kingdom’s Political Islam Inquiry.

At present, Courtney, who has been based at LSE since 2015, is working on a book manuscript that aims to provide a holistic treatment of contemporary Kuwaiti politics, incorporating the country’s political dynamics into broader debates about the limits of authoritarianism, the political role of ideology, and the practice of democracy in the Arab world. In addition to her work on Kuwait, Courtney is part of a multi-year grant project funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark entitled “TOI: Bringing in the Other Islamists,” which focuses on examining ways in which Shiite Islamist movements in the Middle East differ from their Sunni counterparts as a means of shifting the study of Islamism away from Sunni movements and better understanding Islamism of all types.

Courtney holds a bachelor's in Near Eastern studies from Princeton University, a master's in Middle Eastern studies from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and a doctorate in politics from the University of Oxford. She previously worked as a research assistant at the Brookings Doha Center.

Affiliations:
Gulf International Forum, nonresident senior fellow
Middle Eastern Studies, editorial board member
Middle East Studies Association, member

Courtney Freer is a nonresident fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings and is an assistant professorial research fellow at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She specializes in domestic politics and foreign policies of the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as well as connections between the two, in addition to examining the role of Islamists in that region and in the Middle East more broadly.

Freer is the author of “Rentier Islamism: The Role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf Monarchies” (Oxford University Press, 2018), the first English language book focused on the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf states. Her work has appeared in a variety of academic outlets, including International Journal of Middle East Studies, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, and Middle Eastern Studies as well as in policy publications and newspapers in the U.S. and Middle East. She has briefed U.S. and U.K. governments and U.N. agencies on issues related to the GCC states and Islamism, and gave evidence in U.K. Parliament related to the United Kingdom’s Political Islam Inquiry.

At present, Courtney, who has been based at LSE since 2015, is working on a book manuscript that aims to provide a holistic treatment of contemporary Kuwaiti politics, incorporating the country’s political dynamics into broader debates about the limits of authoritarianism, the political role of ideology, and the practice of democracy in the Arab world. In addition to her work on Kuwait, Courtney is part of a multi-year grant project funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark entitled “TOI: Bringing in the Other Islamists,” which focuses on examining ways in which Shiite Islamist movements in the Middle East differ from their Sunni counterparts as a means of shifting the study of Islamism away from Sunni movements and better understanding Islamism of all types.

Courtney holds a bachelor’s in Near Eastern studies from Princeton University, a master’s in Middle Eastern studies from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and a doctorate in politics from the University of Oxford. She previously worked as a research assistant at the Brookings Doha Center.

Affiliations:
Gulf International Forum, nonresident senior fellow
Middle Eastern Studies, editorial board member
Middle East Studies Association, member

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