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Meet Paul Amar

Paul Amar is a specialist on youth, gender and urban social movements, working on issues of reform, participation and violence in the security, police and justice sectors, and on urban inequality in the global context. He has extensive experience in the Middle East and Latin America, in both community organizations and international institutions. He works on a daily basis with youth and student organizations in the US, Egypt, Lebanon, and Brazil around issues of global justice, security-sector reform, ‘gang’ violence, police and militarization, and issues of gender, class, masculinity and identity.

His achievements include researching and supporting youth and gender movements in Egypt working on issues of harassment and police violence, working with LGBT youth issues and police violence in Brazil, supporting Arab-American youth movements in the context of Islamophobia in the post-9/11 United States, rethinking notions of youth masculinity and manhood in relation to military and security reform in the Middle East and Latin America, and serving as advisor for student movements around issues of police brutality, legal observing, civil rights, globalization and global justice. He speaks Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and English fluently, and holds a US passport.


Dr. Amar trained as a political scientist, urban ethnographer and political sociologist at Duke University, New York University, l’Institut des Etudes Politiques in Paris, and the American University in Cairo.  He has worked previously in UC Santa Barbara’s Law & Society Program for five years, the Federal University Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) International Relations program for two years, and at the City University of New York. Currently, he serves as Associate Professor (with tenure) in the Global & International Studies Program (Governance and Human Rights subfield) at UCSB. 

He lived for six years in Egypt, including periods on a Fulbright fellowship, a Benenson fellowship and on a Carnegie-Mellon grant, as well as on fellowships at the Cairo University Faculty of Economics and Political Science, and at the CASA graduate program at American University in Cairo. He has also held fellowships and research residencies to support youth, gender and security-sector NGOs in Brazil.  In the 1990s, he worked for five years at the United Nations Development Program, on projects concerning demilitarization of civil conflict and reform of police forces and security laws in Israel/Palestine, El Salvador and Colombia (particularly on gender, youth, and accountability dimensions). 

His experience in service and advisement include having served on the local board of the American Civil Liberties Union (focusing on youth, policing and ‘gangs), the Executive Committee for Middle East Studies at UCSB, UC Presidential Committees, the grant selection committee of the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research, and on the board of several journals.


His recent publications (2011) on youth and social movements in the Middle East include the following:

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