• Faculty

  • Benoit Challand

    Professor and Chair of Sociology


    Office Location
    D - 6 East 16th Street

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    Benoit Challand


    Benoit Challand is Professor of Sociology at The New School for Social Research, where he teaches social theory, historical sociology and political sociology. He has previously taught at New York University, the University of Fribourgh (CH), and at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence (Italy). He is the author of the book Violence and Representation in the Arab Uprisings (Cambridge University Press, 2023), a book in the vein of historical sociology that explains why democratic participation have been undermined after the revolutionary wave of 2011 (with a focus on Tunisia and Yemen). Benoît Challand, whose work has been translated into Arabic among other languages, has numerous publications on civil society in the Middle East among which are: Palestinian Civil Society: Foreign Donors and the Power to Promote and Exclude (Routledge 2009); The Arab Uprisings and Foreign Assistance (co-edited with F. Bicchi and S. Heydemann, Routledge 2016), and, with Cambridge University Press, he has co-authored Imagining Europe: Myth, Memory and Identity, 2013, with Chiara Bottici. He is also interested in settler colonial formations, democratic theory, Western European Marxism, and 19th & 20th European history seen from the perspective of the colonies.  

    Degrees Held

    PhD in Social and Political Science from the European University Institute, in Florence (2005).

    MA in Near East Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, London (2000).

    MA in Contemporary History and Greek Philology, University of Fribourg (1999).

    Professional Affiliation

    Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA).

    American Sociological Association.

    Center on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding, Graduate Institute, Geneva.

    SeSaMo, Società per gli Studi sul Medio Oriente.

    Recent Publications

    2023  Violence and Representation in the Arab Uprisings, Cambridge University Press, 2023


    2023 “De-Centralization in Yemen: The Case of the Federalist Draft Constitution of 2015”, in Asli Bali and Omar Dajani (eds), Federalism and Decentralization in the Contemporary Middle East, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 365-383. 


    2022   “Palestine” (with Alaa Tartir), in Ellen Lust (ed.) Middle East, Washington: CQ Press, 16th Edition, pp. 697-725.

    2021   “Toward an Interstitial Global Theory”, co-authored with Chiara Bottici. Special issue on Re-Imagining Civilization, Globalizations pp. 1-24 (early view at: 10.1080/14747731.2021.1989140).

    2021    “Al-Lamarkaziyya fil-Yemen wa Masudat al-Dustour Al-Fidiraly Aam 2015” [Decentralization in Yemen and the 2015 Draft of a Federal Constitution – in Arabic]. Al-Masar, num. 65 (https://al-masar.org/), pp. 21-74.

    2021    “The Social Life of Non-profit and Third Sector in the Middle East”, in Armando Salvatore, Sari Hanafi, and Kieko Obuse (eds), Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of the Middle East, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

    2020    “The Political Economy of Local Governance in Yemen: Past and Present”, co-authored with Joshua Rogers, Contemporary Arab Affairs 13(4), pp. 45-69.

    2020    “Current Legacies of Colonial Violence and Racialization in Tunisia,”, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 40(2), pp. 248-255.

    2019:   “Europe After Eurocentrism ?” (with Chiara Bottici), Special issue on The Future of Europe, Agon Hamza & Frank Ruda (eds), Crisis & Critique 7(1), pp. 56-87.

    2018:   “Research in and on the Palestinian Occupied Territories”, in Janine A. Clark and Francesco Cavatorta (eds.), Political Science Research in the Middle East and North Africa: Methodological and Ethical Challenges, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 62-72.

    2017:   “Citizenship and Violence in the Arab worlds. A Historical Sketch”, in Bryan S. Turner and Jürgen Mackert (eds.), The Transformation of Citizenship, Vol. 3: Struggle, Resistance and Violence, London: Routledge, pp. 93-112.

    2017:   “Citizenship and Violence in the Arab Worlds: A Historical Sketch”, book chapter in Bryan S. Turner and Jürgen Mackert (eds.), The Transformation of Citizenship, Vol. 3: Struggle, Resistance and Violence, London: Routledge, pp. 93-112. 

    2013:   Guest editor of a special issue of Constellations. An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory 20(1), “Social Theory and the Arab Uprisings”.

    2010:   The Myth of the Clash of Civilizations, co-author Chiara Bottici, London: Routledge (paperback available since June 2012).

    2009:   Palestinian Civil Society: Foreign Donors and the Power to Promote and Exclude, London: Routledge.

    2000:   La Ligue Marxiste Révolutionnaire en Suisse Romande (1969-1980), Fribourg: Presses de l’ Université de Fribourg.

    Performances and Appearances

    In the last years, Benoit Challand has developed new interdisciplinary courses on settler colonialism in the USA thanks to four grants from the Mellon Foundation (Periclean Faculty Leadership Program in the Humanities and Civic Liberal Arts Initiative).

    The NSSR blog Research Matters published a report on the walking tours proposed as part of one of these classes. See the article “NSSR and Lang Students Explore Suppressed Histories in New York City”.

    Research Interests

    Political sociology; global critical theory; Arab politics; civil society and citizenship; settler colonial formations; Western European Marxism.

    Awards And Honors

    Mellon Initiative for Inclusive Faculty Excellence, The New School. Faculty Fellow, 2022-2023

    Mellon Periclean Faculty Leadership Grant, 2021.

    Civil Liberal Arts Initiative (Mellon Foundation, 2017, 2020 and 2021).

    Marie Curie Fellow, Intra-European Fellowship (2006-2008).

    Future Courses

    GSOC 5061, Spring 2025

    Independent Study
    LSOC 3950, Spring 2025

    Independent Study
    GSOC 6990, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

    Power & Domination in Mid East
    GHIS 5193, Fall 2024

    Power & Domination in Mid East
    LSOC 2210, Fall 2024

    Power & Domination: Mid East
    GSOC 5160, Fall 2024

    Past Courses

    Independent Study
    GSOC 6990, Fall 2023, Spring 2024

    Independent Study
    LSOC 3950, Spring 2024

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