(2022). Beyond Piety and Politics: Religion, Social Relations, and Public Preferences in the Middle East and North Africa Indiana University Press. Link (Sabri Ciftci, F. Michael Wuthrich and Ammar Shamaileh)

How do ordinary men and women in Muslim-majority societies create religion-informed views of political topics such as democracy and economics?

Beyond Piety and Politics provides a groundbreaking approach to understanding the depth and variety of political attitudes held by people who consider themselves to be pious Muslims. Using survey data on religious preferences and behavior, the authors argue for the relevance and importance of four outlook categories—religious individualist, social communitarian, religious communitarian, and post-Islamist—and use these to explore complex and nuanced attitudes of devout Muslims toward issues like democracy and economic distribution. They also reveal how intrafaith variation in political attitudes is not due simply to doctrinal differences but is also a product of the social aspects of religious association operating within political contexts.

By highlighting the dynamic societal and political implications of religious devotion, Beyond Piety and Politics offers a fascinating new theoretical perspective on Islam and politics.

(2017). Trust and Terror: Social Capital and the Use of Terrorism as a Tool of Resistance. Routledge. Link

Why do some individuals choose to protest political grievances via non-violent means, while others take up arms? What role does whom we trust play in how we collectively act?

This book explores these questions by delving into the relationship between interpersonal trust and the nature of the political movements that individuals choose to join. Utilizing the examples of the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Syria, a novel theoretical model that links the literature on social capital and interpersonal trust to violent collective action is developed and extended. Beyond simply bringing together two lines of literature, this theoretical model can serve as a prism from which the decision to join terrorist organizations or violent movements may be analyzed. The implications of the theory are then examined more closely through an in-depth look at the behavior of members of political movements at the outset of the Arab Spring, as well as statistical tests of the relationship between interpersonal trust and terrorism in the Middle East and globally.


(2021). Institutional Favoritism, Income, and Political Trust: Evidence from Jordan. Comparative Politics. (Ammar Shamaileh and Yousra Chaabane) Link

(2019). Never out of Now: Preference Falsification, Social Capital and the Arab Spring. International Interactions. Link | Appendix

(2019). Islam, Religious Outlooks, and Support for Democracy. Political Research Quarterly. (Sabri Ciftci, F. Michael Wuthrich and Ammar Shamaileh) PDF (Accepted Version) | Supplemental Material

(2018). Barriers to Financial Institutional Development: A Preliminary Theoretical Exploration of Social Capital, Growth and Institutional Development. Economics Bulletin, 38(1): 186-195. PDF | Appendix

(2016). Am I Equal? Internet Access and Perceptions of Female Political Leadership Ability in the Arab World. Journal of Information Technology and Politics, 13(3), 257-271. PDF


(2021). Ruling Networks and Intra-Regime Transitions. APSA Comparative Politics Newsletter. Article

(2021). The Elephant in our Analyses: Sensitivity Bias and Survey Research in the Middle East and North Africa. APSA MENA Politics Section: MENA Politics Newsletter. Article

(2020). This Critical Juncture: Elite Competition in a Receding Civil War. Frozen Conflicts (POMEPS Studies). Article


Ruling Networks in Authoritarian Regimes

The Consolidation of Power and Ruling Networks

Elite Militia Formation in the Syrian Civil War

The Measurement of Preference Falsification in Survey Research

Dimming the Lights: Political Succession, Crony Capitalism and Economic Development in Syria

Decision Making in Courts: An Experimental Study (with Jens Grosser and Kai Ou)

Interpersonal Trust, Predation and the Delegation of Retribution

Economic Globalization and the Magnitude of Transnational Terrorist Attacks