Dr Daniel Neep is Lecturer in International and Middle East Studies at the University of Exeter. From January 2011 to September 2013 he is on secondment to the Council for British Research in the Levant, where he will be working towards establishing a British academic research institute in Syria. The aim of the British Institute in Damascus will be to support UK-based researchers working on Syrian history, culture and society. In his role as Director of Research, Daniel will also encourage collaborative research projects between British and Syrian universities.
After graduating from St John's College, Oxford University with a first class degree in Arabic and French, and studying Arabic at the Institut français du Proche Orient in Damascus, Syria, Daniel received his MA in Middle East Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). His doctoral thesis, also undertaken at SOAS, looked at the French colonial occupation and nationalist insurgency in Syria during the 1920s. His PhD won the annual Leigh Douglas Memorial Award for the best UK thesis in Middle East Studies. A book based on this project is soon to be published by Cambridge University Press.
Daniel has taught Middle East politics, international relations and history at SOAS and the London School of Economics. His teaching at the University of Exeter has focused on the political and historical sociology of the Middle East, with a particular interest in the politics of empire from nineteenth-century Egypt to present-day Iraq. From 2002 to 2004 Daniel was Head of the Middle East & North Africa Programme at RUSI, which provided him with an excellent vantage point from which to observe contemporary foreign policy debates in London. Since then he has been affiliated to RUSI as an Associate Fellow.
A fluent Arabic speaker, Daniel has spent several years living in Syria and has travelled widely in the region. His commentaries on current affairs have appeared in publications including The Observer, The Scotsman, Syria Today and the RUSI Newsbrief. He has also appeared as a guest on BBC World and News 24, BBC Newsnight, Sky TV, Al-Hayat/LBC TV, Abu Dhabi TV and the BBC World Service.
Daniel is writing a history of modern Syria for Penguin Press.
Academic publications include:
Syria Insurgent: Occupation, Space and Violence under the French Mandate (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
'Policing the Desert: Consent, Coercion and Colonial Order in French Mandate Syria' in Laleh Khalili and Jillian Schwedler, eds. Policing and Prisons in the Middle East (Columbia University Press, 2010)
'Dilemmas of Democratization in the Middle East: The "Forward Strategy of Freedom"' in Middle East Policy 11,3 (2004)
'Echoes of War: State, Society and Democracy in the Middle East' in Jonathan Eyal, ed. War in Iraq: Combat & Consequence (RUSI Whitehall Papers, 2003).