Steven Heydemann serves as special advisor for Middle East initiatives at USIP. Heydemann is a political scientist who specializes in the comparative politics and the political economy of the Middle East, with a particular focus on Syria. His interests include authoritarian governance, economic development, social policy, political and economic reform and civil society.
From 2003 to 2007, Heydemann directed the Center for Democracy and Civil Society at Georgetown University. From 1997 to 2001, he was an associate professor in the department of political science at Columbia University. Earlier, from 1990-1997, he directed the Social Science Research Council’s Program on International Peace and Security and Program on the Near and Middle East.
- "Embracing the Change, Accepting the Challenge? Western Response to the Arab Spring" in Re-thinking Western Policies in Light of the Arab Uprisings, eds.Riccardo Alcaro and Miguel Haubrich-Seco (IAI Research Paper, April 2012).
- Globalization, Philanthropy, and Civil Society: Projecting Institutional Logics Abroad, co-edited with David C. Hammack, Indiana University Press, 2009.
- "Institutions and Economic Performance: The Use and Abuse of Culture in New Institutional Economics," Studies in Comparative International Development, (March 2008).
- "Social Pacts and the Persistence of Authoritarianism in the Middle East," in Debating Arab Authoritarianism: Dynamics and Durability in Non-Democratic Regimes, ed. Oliver Schlumberger (Stanford University Press, 2007).
- "Upgrading Authoritarianism in the Arab World," Saban Center, Brookings Institution, October 2007.
- The Legitimacy of Philanthropic Foundations: United States And European Perspectives, co-edited, Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2006.
- Networks of Privilege in the Middle East: The Politics of Economic Reform Revisited, editor, Palgrave Press, 2004.
- War, Institutions and Social Change in the Middle East, editor, University of California Press, 2000.
- Authoritarianism in Syria: Institutions and Social Conflict, 1946-1970. Cornell University Press, 1999.
- "In the Shadow of Democracy." Middle East Journal, Vol. 60, No. 1 (Winter 2006).
- "La question de la democratie dans les travaux sur le monde arabe." Critique Internationale, (October 2002).
- "Middle East Studies After 9/11: Defending the Discipline." Journal of Democracy, (July 2002).
- Unlocking the Employment Potential in the Middle East and North Africa: Toward a New Social Contract, (contributing author, World Bank, 2003).
- "Lebanon After Elections: The End of the Beginning." al-Majalla, July 2009 (cover essay in Arabic and English-language editions).
- "The Return of Local Politics in Lebanon?" al-Majalla, June 7, 2009 (cover essay in Arabic and English-language editions).