UNE’s Ali Ahmida joins special commission on research in the Middle East and North Africa

Ali Ahmida, Ph.D., professor in and founding chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of New England.
Ali Ahmida, Ph.D., professor of political science.

Ali Ahmida, Ph.D., professor in and founding chair of UNE’s Political Science program in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, has been invited to join the Special Commission on Social Science Research in the Middle East and North Africa, an initiative of the Research Ethics Committee in the Middle East and North Africa (REMENA) project at Columbia University, which is dedicated to developing guidelines for the conduct of responsible, ethical, and social inquiry.

The initiative is organized by the Middle East Institute at Columbia in collaboration with the Columbia Global Centers, the American University of Cairo, the Rabat Social Studies Institute, and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences. The two-year project will enliven an interdisciplinary network of scholars to assess the landscape of social science research conducted in the Arab world, focusing on some of the ethical, political, and economic challenges to conducting such research responsibly.

The project has two aims. The commission first will raise awareness of the structural context of social science research in the Middle East and North Africa. Then, working with academics, researchers, and practitioners, it will develop responses and remedies for the deficiencies identified to improve the quality of social science research on, and in, the Middle East and North Africa.

This initiative is intended to address a variety of challenges facing the increasingly globalized field of social science research, including questions of how, when, and where social scientists do and should collaborate; how they interact with research subjects; and what standards of transparency should be observed within the research enterprise.

“I am honored and happy to be invited to join this distinguished commission,” said Ahmida, an expert on North African and Libyan relations. “It will help bring more visibility to UNE nationally and internationally.”

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