University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies
School of Public Policy



  David Mednicoff, J.D., Ph.D.   Contact Information
David Mednicoff  

David Mednicoff
Chair, Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies
Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Public Policy
University of Massachusetts-Amherst

744 Herter Hall
161 President’s Drive
Amherst, MA 01003-9274


Ph.D., Political Science, Harvard University
J.D., Harvard University Law School (Honors)
A.M., Political Science, Harvard University
A.B., Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

    Research Interests

Middle Eastern politics, law and public policy; US foreign policy; international and comparative law and politics; human rights; globalization theory

Prof. Mednicoff's research deals broadly with interdisciplinary connections between legal and political ideas and institutions at the national and transnational levels, particularly as these relate to current policy issues in the Middle East. One of these projects, on the meanings and political implications of the rule of law in the Gulf Arab states, was funded by a $1 million grant from the Qatar National Research Fund. He is currently completing a book manuscript on local understandings of the rule of law and their relation to international politics in five Arab societies. He also has published articles and book chapters on Arab constitutional politics and Islam before and after the events of 2011, the legal regulation of migrant workers in the Arab Gulf, human rights in the Middle East, the politics of Arab monarchical stabilization, and humanitarian intervention. He has been invited to present his work at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the US Department of State, the Saudi Arabia Institute of Diplomatic Studies, the American University of Beirut, the National University of Singapore, and Georgetown, Harvard, Stanford and Yale Universities, among other places.

Prof. Mednicoff's teaching honors include a university-wide Lilly Teaching Fellowship for promising junior faculty, the U. Mass. College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award, and a national prize for innovative teaching related to the US after 9/11/01. Prof. Mednicoff was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in law in Qatar in 2006-7, where he taught legal and political philosophy at Qatar University. He was a Research Fellow in 2010-11 in the Middle East Initiative at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He held a Fellowship at the ZIF (Institute for Advanced Study) in Bielefeld, Germany in 2014 and 2015 as a member of a research group on Religion and Human Rights in Constitution-Writing. He writes and comments frequently for the media.