Michael Willis

Faculty / College Address:

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern StudiesSt Antony's College

Research Interests:

  • Politics, modern history and international relations of the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia)

Courses Taught:

  • North African Politics (MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies)
  • The Maghreb Since 1830 (MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies)
  • International Relations of the Middle East (MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies)


Dr Michael J. Willis is King Mohammed VI Fellow in Moroccan and Mediterranean Studies. His research interests focus on the politics, modern history and international relations of the central Maghreb states (Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco). Before joining St Antony’s in 2004, he taught politics at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco for seven years.

He is the author of Algeria: Politics and Society from the Dark Decade to the Hirak (Hurst, 2022); Politics and Power in the Maghreb: Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco from Independence to the Arab Spring (Hurst and Oxford University Press, 2012) and The Islamist Challenge in Algeria: A Political History (Ithaca and New York University Press, 1997) and co-editor of Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring: Triumphs and Disasters (Oxford University Press, 2015).

He was Director of the Middle East Centre at St Antony’s 2011-2014 and 2021-2022.

                     https://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/politics-and-power-in-the-maghreb-2/   https://global.oup.com/academic/product/civil-resistance-in-the-arab-spring-9780198749028?q=Michael%20Willis&lang=en&cc=gb

Selected Publications: 

Book Chapters

Journal Articles

  • ‘The Dynamics of Reform in Morocco’ Mediterranean Politics Special Issue: ‘Reform in the Arab World: The Experience of Morocco’ (Volume 14, Number 2, July 2009)
  • ‘Islamism, Democratization and Disillusionment: Morocco’s Legislative Elections of 2007’ Journal of Development Alternatives and Area Studies (Volume 28, No.2,3,4 March 2009)
  • ‘Containing Radicalism Through the Political Process in North Africa’ Mediterranean Politics Special Issue: ‘Transnational Islam and Regional Security: Cooperation and Diversity between Europe and North Africa’ (Volume 11, Number 2, July 2006)
  • ‘Morocco’s Islamists and the Legislative Elections of 2002: The Strange Case of the Party that did not Want to Win’ in Mediterranean Politics (Volume 9, Number 1, Winter 2004)
  • (with Nizar Messari) ‘Analyzing Moroccan Foreign Policy and Relations with Europe’ in Review of International Affairs (Volume 3, Number 2, Winter 2003)

DPhil Students: