Lina Khatib

Middle East Center
Khatib is director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. Previously, she was the co-founding head of the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.


PhD, MA, University of Leicester
BA, American University of Beirut


Arabic; English

Contact Information


Lina Khatib is director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. Previously, she was the co-founding head of the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Her research interests include the international relations of the Middle East, Islamist groups, political transitions, and foreign policy. She has also published widely on public diplomacy, political communication, and political participation in the Middle East. 

Khatib has published seven books, including Image Politics in the Middle East: The Role of the Visual in Political Struggle (I. B. Tauris, 2013), Taking to the Streets: The Transformation of Arab Activism (co-edited with Ellen Lust, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), and The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication (co-authored with Dina Matar and Atef Alshaer, Hurst/Oxford University Press, 2014). Her published journal articles include “Qatar’s Foreign Policy: The Limits of Pragmatism,” “Public Diplomacy 2.0,” and “Hizbullah’s Political Strategy.” 

Since 2008, Khatib has been a founding co-editor of the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication and a research associate at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. From 2010 to 2012, she was a nonresident research fellow at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy. She lectured at the University of London from 2003 to 2010. 

Prior to joining the academic field, Khatib worked in broadcast journalism in Lebanon.

  • Oxford University Press August 15, 2014
    The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication

    Hizbullah uses its image, language, and its charismatic leader, Hassan Nasrallah, to legitimize its political aims and ideology and appeal to different target groups.

  • Johns Hopkins University Press April 16, 2014
    Taking to the Streets: The Transformation of Arab Activism

    A critical look at the dynamics of activism in the Arab world since the Arab uprisings of 2011 and the interplay between the domestic and regional contexts in different Arab countries.

  • BBC World Service Newshour September 11, 2014
    The Islamic State and the Battle of Arsal

    Lebanon’s official policy of disassociation with the war in neighboring Syria hasn’t kept the conflict at bay.

  • BBC Radio 4 Today August 5, 2014
    Thousands ‘Fleeing’ Lebanon’s Eastern Border

    Thousands of people are fleeing Lebanon’s eastern border town of Arsal, as the Lebanese army and rebels from Syria clash.

  • RT America June 17, 2014
    ISIS Insurgents Battle Military on Outskirts of Baghdad

    Sunni militants with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are clashing with Iraqi military units in the city of Baqubah, 40 miles from Baghdad.

  • National Public Radio June 17, 2014
    Militant Group Moves to Create Islamic State in Iraq

    The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, who have laid siege to large parts of Iraq, contains all the necessary ingredients to become a global terrorist group.

  • BBC World Service’s Newshour June 15, 2014
    The Struggle for Power in Iraq

    Fighters from ISIS have taken over the major towns of Mosul and Tikrit. If they manage to hang on to them, how are they likely to govern?

  • Associated Press June 3, 2014
    Syria’s Election

    The Syrian presidential election is not free or fair. It is Bashar al-Assad’s attempt to legitimize his presidency.

  • KCRW’s To The Point June 2, 2014
    Whatever Happened to the ‘Arab Spring?’

    Just three years ago, it appeared that dictatorships in the Middle East might become replaced by democracies. Now, these same regimes have found ways to use the electoral process to maintain power or attain it.

  • Radio France Internationale English March 17, 2014
    Syrian Forces Take Full Control of the Rebel Bastion Yabroud

    The Syrian military’s recapture of Yabroud has severely weakened an already fragmented opposition.

  • July 17, 2014 Beirut عربي
    What Next for Kurdistan and Iraq?

    As most of Iraq threatens to collapse under the weight of sectarian violence, Kurdistan in northern Iraq stands in sharp contrast. Will Kurdistan seize this opportunity to declare its independence?

  • June 5, 2014 Beirut عربي
    The Syrian Presidential Elections: A Non-Turning Point

    On June 3, the Syrian people cast their votes for a new president amidst an ongoing civil war. How will the election results impact the prospects for a political solution?

  • May 21, 2014 Washington, DC
    The Local and Regional Dynamics of Arab Activism

    After the major uprisings of 2011 in Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen, many assumed that the movements emerged spontaneously directed by tech-savvy, young revolutionaries. However, citizen activism in the Arab world was already adapting to changing internal political and social dynamics in the preceding years.

  • May 7, 2014 Beirut عربي
    Tripoli From the Brink? Addressing the Underlying Challenges

    Tripoli has become the focal point for much of the conflict in Lebanon, with potentially significant implications for Lebanon and the region.

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