2011-2012 Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr. Michael Driessen

Dr. Michael Driessen obtained his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana and holds a position as Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, where he taught in the Fall of 2012. Prior to obtaining his Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Driessen earned a BA in Philosophy, Fine Arts and Mathematics in 2002 at the University of Portland (OR) and received a Master’s degree in International Relations in 2005 at the University of Johns Hopkins (SAIS).

Dr. Driessen’s research interests include Islamic and Catholic political movements, democratization studies and the politics of Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. He is the author of several published academic papers, including a recent article on religion-state arrangements in democracies in Politics and Religion as well as an article in Comparative Politics on public religion in Algeria. He has also written book and dataset reviews for journals, and has widely presented papers at academic conferences and academic research institutes.

While at the CIRS, Dr. Driessen is writing a book manuscript on “Religiously Friendly Democratization Processes” in the Mediterranean region that analyzes how religion-state arrangements help frame questions of religious and political identity in Muslim and Catholic societies. To find out more about his research, including links to recent papers and an occasional blog on religion and politics, visit Michael’s website at www.michaeldriessen.com.

Driessen’s recent publications include:

Dr. Mari Luomi


Dr. Mari Luomi holds a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies from Durham University, UK, and BSocSc and MSocSc degrees in Political Science and International Politics from the University of Helsinki. She has previously worked in various positions for the Middle East Project and the Programme in the International Politics of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. She has functioned as the Vice President of the Finnish International Studies Association, and is a long-term board member and secretary of the Finnish-Qatari Association.

Dr. Luomi’s research focuses on the climate change-related responses of small Gulf monarchies, with a special emphasis on Qatar and the UAE (Abu Dhabi). Her broader fields of interest include the domestic and international politics and political economy of natural resources and environmental sustainability in the Gulf and the Middle East.

Dr. Luomi has published in a number of Finnish and international fora, ranging from journal articles and book chapters, through briefing papers, working papers and reports, to opinion-editorials. She has presented her research to a wide variety of audiences in Europe and the Gulf.

Among her recent publications are:

Besides her research, Dr Luomi writes a professional blog for the Current Intelligence magazine, Emissions.