• Co-Director, Center for Middle East Studies, 2006-
  • Principal on NSEP Grant for $1,300,000 to expand Arabic at OU, 2008
  •  Assist. Prof. of  Middle East Studies, School of International & Area Studies

2006 to Persent NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY: teach annual mini-course on Syria and its Neighbors.
1998-99 PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, Lecturer, Dept. Near Eastern Studies
1997-98 PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, Visiting Fellow, Dept. Near Eastern Studies
1994-97 WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY, Visiting Instructor; Middle East History
1991-94 SARAH LAWRENCE COLLEGE, Guest Instructor; Middle East History
1989-91 PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, Lecturer & Assistant Master of Stevenson College
1979-81 INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE, Beirut, Lebanon, Teacher: History and English Literature

1984-97 PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, Ph.D. Dept. of Near East Studies
1982-84 HARVARD UNIVERSITY, MA, Center for Middle East Studies
1975-79 SWARTHMORE COLLEGE, BA, Honors in European history and French
· University of Grenoble, France, 1976-77 study abroad


  • I appeared in print, radio, and TV over 80 times in 2008. See Landis in the News
  • TV: Frequent TV commentator: CNN, ABC, NBC, Fox, PBS and BBC. Lehrer News Hour, Charlie Rose Show. I have also spoken in Arabic on Middle Eastern stations, including hour-long interviews on al-Jazeera and Syrian National TV.
  • Radio appearances are frequent on BBC & NPR.  
  • In 2008, I was quoted in the New York Times, Le Monde, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Time Magazine, and Foreign Policy among others.


2009 Syria: 1 month in Damascus and travel
2005 SYRIA : 12 months as Fulbright Senior Research Fellow
2002 MOROCCO and SYRIA : Summer Research Grant from OU
2000 SYRIA and LEBANON : Summer research Grant from OU
1987-88 DAMASCUS , SYRIA : Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research
1986-87 CAIRO , EGYPT : American University , CASA program
1985 ISTANBUL , TURKEY Bosporus University summer language program
1981-82 DAMASCUS , SYRIA : Fulbright Scholar, study at University of Damascus
1979-81 BEIRUT , LEBANON : International College , teacher
1958-67 SAUDI ARABIA , LEBANON : Grew up in the Middle East; father banker


2000-‘07 OU Travel Grants, $7000
2005 FULBRIGHT SENIOR RESEARCH AWARD – 12 months to carry out research in Syria and Lebanon . Granted by the Fulbright Middle East , North Africa , South Asia Research Program.
2003, '02, '00 JUNIOR FACULTY RESEARCH GRANT, OU, $15,000 research in Syria
2002, PRESIDENTIAL TRAVEL GRANT, Morocco, $1,000
1997 M. H. KERR DISSERTATION PRIZE, Awarded by Middle East Studies Ass. for best dissertation in the social sciences
1987-88 FULBRIGHT-HAYES, Diss. research in Washington, London, Paris & Damascus
1988 SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL, Dissertation research and write-up
1986-87 CASA Fellow, language study at American University in Cairo
1985 FLAS, Intensive summer program in Turkish, Istanbul
1982-86 FLAS, Tuition and stipend at Harvard & Princeton
1983 HARVARD TRAVEL GRANT, Summer study in Syria
1981-82 FULBRIGHT SCHOLAR, Study at University of Damascus

"Nationalism and the Politics of Za'ama: the Collapse of Republican Syria, 1945-1949"
· Awarded the Middle East Studies Association 1997 Malcolm H. Kerr Prize for best dissertation in the social sciences


Syria Comment, Web newsletter on Syrian politics and history, updated daily.

  • Written up by The New York Times, Washington Post, Time Magazine, etc.
  • Read by government officials and analysts in Washington and European capitals.
  • It receives 2000 to 3000 visits a day and has 1100 email subscribers. In 2008, it was visited 412,780 times by an average of 30,000 unique visitors a month. I posted 225 articles in 2008, which received 945,708 page views. Go to


  • Democracy in Syria (Palgrave-McMillan, forthcoming)

Articles in Scholarly Journals and Books

  • Joshua Landis and Joe Pace,“The Syrian opposition: The Struggle for Unity and Relevance,” in Fred Lawson, ed., Demystifying Syria. Saqi Books, 2009.
  • “al-Arsūzī, Zakī” entry for the Third Edition of Encyclopedia of Islam. 2008.
  • “Inside Iran: A Roundtable Discussion,” Yale Israeli Journal, No. 11, Spring, 2007, pp. 12-23.
  • Joshua Landis & Joe Pace, “The Syrian Opposition,” The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 30, Jan. 2007, pp. 45-68.
  • Islamic Education in Syria : Undoing Secularism,” in Eleanor Doumato , ed., Tailor-Made Islam: Religion, Identity and Nation in Middle Eastern Schoolbooks, Bolder Colorado : Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2007. Also published in Arabic and English by al-Tharwa Project, Damascus .
  • “US Policy Toward Syria in a Muddle,” Syria Today , Damascus , June 2005.
  • “Syrian Expert Landis: Damascus Rife With Rumors on Whether UN’s Lebanese Investigation Implicates Syrian Leadership,” Council on Foreign Relations, September 21, 2005.
  • “A Blogger's Report From Damascus ,” From the Council on Foreign Relations, March 8, 2005 .
  • “The United States and Reform in Syria,” published in The Syria Report, Paris, May 2004, No. 18, pp. 4-6; also published by al-Tharwa Project and “All4Syria” in Damascus , July 2004.
  • Syria in the 1948 Palestine War: Fighting King Abdullah’s Greater Syria Plan,” in Eugene Rogan and Avi Shlaim, eds., Rewriting the Palestine War: 1948 and the History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict , Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 178-205. (Also published in French, Italian, and two Arabic versions).
  • The Origins of U.S. Policy toward Palestinian Refugees: The Syria Option, 1949-1954,” Ginat & Perkins, eds., The Palestinian Refugees: Old Problems, New Solutions, Oklahoma University Press, 2001, pp. 77-87.
  • Shishakli and the Druzes: Integration and Intransigence,” in T. Philipp & B. Schäbler, eds., The Syrian land : Processes of Integration and Fragmentation in Bilad al-Sham from the 18th to the 20th Century , Stuttgart , 1998, pp. 369-395.
  • “The Political Sociology of Syria Reconsidered,” in The Beirut Review, 5, spring 1993, pp. 143-152.
  • “ Syria ,” The Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, Washington D.C. : Congressional Quarterly Books, 1998, pp. 723-725.
  • “Anwar Sadat,” The Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, Washington D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Books, 1998, pp. 663-664.

Articles for Think Tanks, Magazines, Newspapers

 Book Reviews

  • Al-Abhath, volume 53, (2004).
  • International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 30, No. 1, Aug. 1998.
  • MESA Bulletin, Vol. 28, No. 2, Dec. 1994. David W. Lesch, Syria and the United States: Eisenhower’s Cold War in the Middle East (Reviewed by Joshua Landis)


2009 Feb.     "Syria,What Lies Ahead" Weatherhead Center, Harvard. Feb 19.
2009 Feb.     “Balancing between unilateralism and multilateralism in the larger Middle East,” for Department of State's annual Institute on U.S. National Security Policy Making at the University of Delaware. Feb. 6.
2008 Oct.      “U.S.-Syria  relations,” Northwestern University. Oct. 10.
2008 Sept.    “The Evolution and Future of Syrian Support for Terrorism,” National Counterterrorism Center, Mclean ,VA. Sept. 25.
2008 Sept.    “Syrian Stability and Future Prospects,” Defense Intelligence Agency, Wash. DC. Sept. 24.
2008 Sept.    “Syria and Iraq” at conference entitled: “The Regional and Foreign Relations of Iraq,” sponsored by the Office of Iraq Analysis, Mclean, VA, Sept 22.
2008 Sept.    “Peace Talks and the Assassination of Mohammad Suleiman.” World Affairs Council of Houston, Texas, Sept. 10.
2008 Aug      “Engaging Syria,” Public Library, Rochester, Vt. Aug 3.
2008 June     “Leadership and Regime Dynamics in Syria,” for the National Intelligence Council’s “Syria: Domestic Dynamics and Foreign Policy Workshop,” in preparation of new National Intelligence Assessment on Syria and Lebanon. Panel convened at Eurasia Group offices in Washington, DC. June 25.
2008 May     “The Middle East and US-China Relations,” conference, Huangshan, China
2008 Apr.     “Is engaging Syria and Iran important for a new Democratic President” Democratic Party Chapter, Norman, OK, April 25.
2008 Mar.     “Iraq Workshop: Steps toward Peace in Iraq,” March 7. Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.
2008 Feb.     “What Syria Wants from Iraq,” for conference: “Iraq: Promoting Engagement and Reconciliation” February 20-21: Virginia. Sponsored by Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Iraq Analysis.
2007 Dec.     “The Relationship between Hezbollah and Iran,” Dec. 11: Springfield, VA. For Army Directed Studies Office.
2007 Dec.     “Political Reform in Syria, “Dec. 2: Chicago, Ill. Keynote Address at annual meeting of Syrian American Congress.
2007 Nov.    “US-Israeli dialogue,” Nov 8-9: NYC. Council on Foreign Relations.
2007 Oct.      “What Do Syrians Want?” October 20-2: Waltham, MA. Brandeis University.
2007 July      “The Battle of Maysaloun,” July 22: Damascus, Syria. Kalamoun University.
2007 May     “How to Manage Syria,” May 14-15: Paris, France. “Transatlantic Dialogue on the Levant,” sponsored by US Center for Naval Analysis and French Ministry of Defense.    
2007 May     “U.S-Syrian Relations,”  May 7: Chicago, Ill. Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
2007 Mar      “Engaging Syria: the Quest for Peace in the Middle East,” March 22: St Petersburg, FL. University of South Florida, St. Petersburg.
2007 Feb.     “Engaging Syria,” Feb 27. World Affairs Council, Houston, TX.
2007 Feb.     “The Syrian Opposition and the Kurds,” Feb. 2. Lecture to Special Forces, Fort Campbell, Clarksville, TN.
2007 Jan.      “Syria and Iraq,” Jan 8. Conference sponsored by US Security and Intelligence Command, VA.
2006 Nov.    “Blogging the Middle East,” Middle East Studies Ass., Boston, MA.
2006 Nov.    “The US and Syria,” Syrian Studies Ass., Boston, MA
2006 Nov.    “Hizbullah and Syria,” Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
2006 Oct.      “Should The United States Engage Syria?” Brookings Institute: the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Washington DC.
2006 Sept.    “The Future of Secular Nationalist Regimes,” for “Emerging Ideologies and Identities in the Middle East” conference sponsored by the Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis (NESA) Office of the Central Intelligence Agency.  Virginia.
2006 June     “Modern Syria and Its Neighbors,” 3 day seminar for National Security Agency in Baltimore, MD.

2006 Feb. “The Battle between Lebanon and Syria ,” Council on Foreign Relations, Houston , TX .
2006 Feb. “Democracy in the Middle East : Where is it Heading,” OU Club, Houston , TX
2006 Feb .“The Syria-Lebanon Crisis: How Bashar Lost Beirut to Win Damascus” at invited conference: “Lebanon & Syria Face the Future,” Univ. of Mich. , Ann Arbor .
2006 Jan. “Inside Syria : A Conversation with Joshua Landis,” Council on Foreign Relations, NYC, NY.
2006 Jan. “Inside the Pressure Cooker: Syria’s Domestic Political Scene?,” Middle East Institute, Washington DC.
2006 Jan. “Asad’s Consolidation of Power,” Georgetown Univ., Washington DC.
2006 Jan. “Is Asad Winning?” United States Institute of Peace, Syria Working Group, Wash. DC.
2005 Dec. “Our Syria Policy,” The Henry L. Stimson Center , Washington DC.
2005 Dec. “Is Syria Stable?” Arab Thought Conference, Dubai , UAE.
2005 Aug. “Liberalism in Syria ,” Invited conference, Erlangen , Germany.
2005 July “Blogging in Syria ,” Association of Syrian Journalists, (in Arabic) Damascus.
2005 June “ Syria ,” Chatham House: Royal Institute for International Affairs, London , Invited, close door discussion.
2005 May “Islam in Syrian Education,” American University in Beirut , Invited lecture.
2004 Nov. “Populist Authoritarianism in the Middle East,” panel chair and discussant, Middle East Studies Association, San Francisco.
2004 Nov. “Should the United States try to bring Democracy to the Middle East ?” OU Conference on International Relations.
2004 July “Prospects for Reform in the Middle East ,” at the Carnegie Institute for Peace, Washington DC.
2003 May "The Nature of the Syrian Regime," CIA sponsored conf. on Syria, Wash. D.C.
2003 Apr. Maurice Meyer, Distinguished Endowed Lecture, "Islam and Christianity," Will Roger's Univ., OK.
2003 Mar. "Fundamentalist Islam," Leadership Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City.
2001 Nov. "Syria's Role in the Arab-Israeli Conflict," (in French) Aix-en-Provence, France
2001 Oct. "Churchill and Eisenhower in the Middle East," St. Antony's, Oxford
2000 Nov. "The New Syria," Middle East Studies Association, Orlando, FL.
2000 Oct. "Bashar al-Asad's Syria," Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Wash. D.C.
2000 July "Ba`thism, the Alawites and Zaki al-Arsuzi," Erlangen, Germany
2000 Jan. "The 1948 Arab-Israeli War: Was it an Arab Civil War?" Princeton University
1999 Dec. "The U.S. and the Syrian Solution to the Palestine Refugee Problem," O.U.
1999 Nov. "Syrian Strategy during the 1948 War," University of Virginia
1999 Oct. "Nationalism and Minorities in the Middle East," Jewish Studies Center: O.U.
1998 Nov. "The Alawite Minority in Syria: Three Responses to the Nationalist Challenge" Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ
1998 April "Nationalism and Religion in Syria Today," Columbia University
1998 June "Zaki al-Arsuzi and the Ba'th Party," BRISMES, St. Catherine's, Oxford
1996 April "National Identity and Alawite Sectarianism in Syria" Mellon Seminar, Princeton
1995 Nov. "The Foundation of the Syrian Army: 1945-1947," MESA, San Francisco
1995 July "The Druzes, Nationalism, and the Syrian State, 1945-54," Erlangen, Germany
1995 Jan. "Nationalism and Popular Culture in the Middle East," National Humanities Center, Durham, NC
1993 Mar. "Prospects for Israeli-Palestinian Peace," Sarah Lawrence College
1991 Feb. "The Gulf War and Its Aftermath," Sarah Lawrence College
1990 Nov. "The Greater Syria Movement, 1945 - 1949," MESA, Toronto, Canada
1989 Nov. "Minorities Against the State: Syria 1946 - 1949," MESA, San Antonio
1988 Nov. "The Other Side of Suez: the 1956 British-Iraqi Coup in Syria," MESA, Los Angeles, CA
1988 April "L'armée et l'état en Syrie, 1949-1954," French Institute (delivered in French) Damascus, Syria

2004-05 Advisory Board of Al-Sharaka, OU based organization spending $5,000,000 of USAID money to develop Iraqi education.
2003 Helped establish OU Arabic Language Program with Hashemite University in Jordan.
2003 & 04 Raised $10,000 for St. Elijah’s Travel Fund to send students for summer study in Middle East . St. Elijah’s has promised $5,000 a year.
2003 & 04 National Nominating Panel of the NSEP David L. Boren Graduate Fellowships, Washington D.C.
2003-1 Web master, Syrian Studies Association -
2001 Designed and Middle East website -
2000-01 Editor, The Syria Studies Association Newsletter

History of Islam
Islamic Politics Today
Society and Culture in the Modern Middle East
Religion in Modern Middle Eastern Politics
The Arab-Israeli Conflict
Topics in U.S. Diplomatic Relations in the Middle East
(Research seminar based on US and British archival sources)
International Relations in the Middle East, 1800-1956
International Relations in the Middle East, 1956-1992
Introduction to the Middle East, 600-1918
Introduction to the Middle East, 1918-1992
Modern World Civilization, 1500 to the Present

ARABIC, fluent, speak Egyptian and Syrian dialects
FRENCH, fluent
TURKISH, read, 3 years at Princeton and Bosporus University, Istanbul
OTTOMAN, 1 year at Princeton
ITALIAN, read, 1 year intensive course at Harvard

I was brought up in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon until the age of ten. After college, I spent five years teaching and studying in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and Turkey. I went to University in Grenoble, France for a year and have traveled in most European and Middle Eastern countries.