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Melani Cammett

Study Group Chair


Melani Cammett

Melani Cammett is Professor of Government at Harvard University and a Faculty Affiliate at the Belfer Center's Middle East Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School. She specializes in the political economy of development and the Middle East and North Africa and is the author of four books: with Ishac Diwan, Alan Richards, and John Waterbury, A Political Economy of the Middle East (2015); Compassionate Communalism: Welfare and Sectarianism in Lebanon (2014); coedited with Lauren Morris MacLean, The Politics of Nonstate Welfare (2014); and Globalization and Business Politics in North Africa: A Comparative Perspective (2007, 2010). She has received fellowships and awards from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Qualitative and Multi-Methods Research and Comparative Politics Sections of the American Political Science Association, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the US Institute of Peace, the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, the Social Science Research Council, and other organizations, and has published numerous articles in scholarly and policy journals. Her current research focuses on the politics of welfare and development and she has a variety of ongoing projects on governance and the delivery of social services by public, private, and nonstate actors, the historical roots of economic and social development patterns, and identity politics in the Middle East and North Africa.


  • Professor of Government, Harvard University
  • Co-Chair, Colonial Encounters and Divergent Development Trajectories in the Mediterranean Study Group, CES Harvard University
  • Faculty Affiliate, Belfer Center's Middle East Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School