My name is Mark Berlin. I am a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the George Washington University and am on the 2023-2024 AY job market. I hold an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, an M.A. in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a B.A. in Political Science from Elon University.
My research interests lie at the intersection of comparative politics and international relations. I analyze dynamics surrounding political violence, civil wars, terrorism, militant alliances, extra-lethal violence, and Middle East politics. My research on these topics has been published in International Studies Review, Terrorism and Political Violence, International Interactions, and the Texas National Security Review.
My dissertation explores two primary questions: Why do armed groups rhetorically cooperate with other organizations? Why and when do armed groups utilize extra-lethal violence? To answer these questions, I analyze the behavior of 154 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.
I am also a passionate and devoted educator with experience teaching in different settings and supporting students from diverse backgrounds. As an Instructor of Record at GWU, I designed and taught two semester-length courses: "Political Violence in the Middle East" and "Political Violence and the Jihadist Movement." The GWU Political Science Department awarded one of these classes as the best course taught by a graduate student in 2021-2022. Prior to GWU, I volunteered as an English language teacher in Hebron in 2014, teaching various proficiency levels to Palestinian children, teenagers, and adults.