Mark Berlin

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Mark Berlin


Major- Comparative Politics

Minor- International Relations

I am a 5th-year Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at George Washington University. My research interests revolve around Middle East politics, armed group cooperation, and extra-lethal violence. My research has been published in International Studies Review and Terrorism and Political Violence. I am a Civil War Paths Fellow at the Centre for the Comparative Study of Civil War at the University of York. 

My dissertation explores two primary questions: Why do some armed groups rhetorically cooperate with other organizations? How and why may rhetorical cooperation impact armed groups' patterns of violence? To answer these questions, I analyze the behavior of 148 jihadist groups operating across the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. In doing so, I draw on internal organizational documents, hundreds of Arabic-language primary sources, and original data on jihadist groups' tactics and oaths of allegiance to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. 

Prior to GW, I received graduate degrees in Arab Studies and in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from Georgetown University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I completed my B.A. at Elon University while playing Division-1 soccer, helping the men's soccer program reach three straight NCAA tournaments. I have also studied Arabic in Amman, Beirut, Jerusalem, Muscat, and Rabat and volunteered as an English teacher in Hebron. 

Middle East politics, political violence, Islamist movements

B.A. - Elon University

M.A - The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

M.A.- Georgetown University

Texas National Security Review titled "Restrained Insurgents: Why Competition Between Armed Groups Doesn't Always Produce Outbidding."

Nihad Aboud, Mark Berlin, Sam Biasi, and Tyler Parker, "Frame Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer: How al-Masra Newspaper Imagines Individuals," Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression