Mark A. Tessler

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Mark A. Tessler "is Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor of Political Science. He is also Vice Provost for International Affairs and Director of the University’s International Institute. Professor Tessler specializes in Comparative Politics and Middle East Studies. He has studied and/or conducted field research in Tunisia, Israel, Morocco, Egypt, and Palestine (West Bank and Gaza). He is one of the very few American scholars to have attended university and lived for extended periods in both the Arab world and Israel. He has also spent several years teaching and consulting in Sub-Saharan Africa.

"Many of Professor Tessler’s publications examine the nature, determinants, and political implications of attitudes and values held by ordinary citizens the Middle East. This work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Institute for Peace, the U.S. State Department, and others. Professor Tessler is presently analyzing public opinion data from eight Middle Eastern countries, giving prominent attention to attitudes and values relating to democracy, Israeli-Palestinian peace, political Islam, and gender. Recent reports of this research appear in Comparative Politics, World Politics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Quarterly, and Public Opinion Quarterly.

"Professor Tessler has also written extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is the author of A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, which won national honors and was named a “Notable Book of 1994” by The New York Times. Professor Tessler is currently updating this book. He is also coauthor of Transition to Palestinian Self-Government: Practical Steps toward Israeli-Palestinian Peace, which is based on the report of an American Academy of Arts and Sciences study group composed of American, Israeli, and Palestinian scholars.

"Professor Tessler is General Editor of the Indiana University Press series in Middle East Studies. He served from 1995 to 2004 as President of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies, which maintains research facilities in Tunisia and Morocco and is a member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers located at the Smithsonian Institution. He is also a past President of the Association for Israel Studies and was a founding member of the Palestinian-American Research Center. His prior university administrative experience includes direction of the Center for Political Studies, which is a part of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Professor Tessler directed two Title VI National Resource Centers before coming to the University of Michigan in 2001: the University of Wisconsin Joint Center for International Studies at Milwaukee and Madison, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies of the University of Arizona." [1]

CV [2]


  • American Institute for Maghrib Studies (Washington, Tunis, Tangier), international scholarly society and member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers located at the Smithsonian Institution; Board of Directors (1984-present), President (1995-2004)
  • Palestinian American Research Center (Washington, Ramallah), member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers located at the Smithsonian Institution; Steering Committee (1997-2002
  • Association for Israel Studies; Board of Directors (1985-present), Vice-President (1987-1989), and President (1989-1991)
  • Georgetown University, Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Academic Council (2006-present)
  • Tufts University, Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies; Board of Directors (2001 present)
  • Wisconsin Society for Jewish Learning; Board of Directors (1990-1999), Vice-President (1996-1999)

Commissioned Research and Scholarship

  • Brookings Institution, Saban Center for Middle East Policy; member of Study Group on Arab Democracy and Development (2007-present)
  • World Values Survey; Project Director for Algerian survey and consultant for surveys in Islamic countries, funded by U.S. National Science Foundation (2001-present)
  • United States Government Inter-Agency Strategic Assessment Group; member of Study Group for research on Future Political Developments in Palestine (2000-2002)
  • Rand Corporation (Santa Monica); Visiting Scholar conducting research on Islam and Democracy in the Arab World (Summer 1994)
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences; member of Study Group for research on Transition to Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (1990-1992)
  • Universities Field Staff International; Faculty Associate, reporting on the Middle East, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa (1979-1988)


  • United Nations Development Programme; reader and consultant for Arab Human Development Report (2006)
  • United States Department of State/United States Information Agency; conduct of workshops and seminars on public opinion research in UAE (2004-2005), Bahrain (2003), Oman (2003), the West Bank and Gaza (1997 and 1994) and Madagascar (1996), and consultant on education reform in Senegal (1988)
  • World Bank; consultant for assessment of education reform in the Middle East and North Africa (1996)
  • International Republican Institute; consultant for projects on democratization in Morocco and in the West Bank and Gaza (1994)
  • United States Department of State/United States Information Agency; lecturing in Morocco (1997), Qatar, Jordan, and Israel (1991), and in Sudan and Mauritania (1984)
  • USAID/University of Pittsburgh; instructor for Francophone Africa Development Management Seminar (1980-1982)

Review and Other Committees

  • Middle East Studies Association; Public Affairs Committee (2006-present), Nominating Committee (2002), Program Committee for annual meeting (2001, 1998); Ethics Committee (1996-1999)
  • United States Institute of Peace; Selection Committee for Dissertation Research Grants Program (1999) and Post-doctoral Research Grants Program (1995)
  • U.S. National Security Education Program; Selection Committee for Graduate Fellowships Program (1991-1992, 1992-1993)
  • Social Science Research Council; Selection Committee for International Doctoral Research Fellowship Program for the Middle East (1976-1980)

Select Grants

  • $591,705 Middle East Partnership Initiative of the United States Department of State; grant for researching and programming on “Contributing to Democracy in the Arab World Through Survey Research: Incorporating Arab Countries into the Global Democracy Barometer” (2005-present)
  • $29,700 United States Institute of Peace; grant for cross-national research in the Middle East on the economic determinants of public attitudes toward international conflict (1996-1997)
  • $25,000 Ford Foundation; grant for conduct of a cross-national survey of social attitudes and behavior in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco (1994-96)
  • $20,000 Ford Foundation; grant for convening an international conference on the evaluation and application of survey research in the Arab world (1983)
  • $24,000 Rockefeller Foundation; grant for convening an international conference on the evaluation and application of survey research in the Arab world at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center (1983)

Select Publications

  • Islam, Democracy and the State in Algeria: Lessons for the Western Mediterranean and Beyond (coeditor and contributor). London: Taylor and Francis, 2005. Also published as a special issue of Journal of North African Studies.
  • “Getting to Arab Democracy: What Do Iraqis Want?” (coauthor). Journal of Democracy 17 (January 2006): 38-50.
  • “Gauging Arab Support for Democracy” (coauthor). Journal of Democracy 16 (July 2005): 83-97.
  • “Political Culture in Turkey: Connections Among Attitudes Toward Democracy, the Military, and Islam” (coauthor). Democratization 11 (March 2004): 22-51.

Select Presentations

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Mark A. Tessler, University og Michigan, accessed September 10, 2007.
  2. CV, Mark A. Tessler, accessed September 10, 2007.