Mark Tessler is Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor of Political Science. He 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 scholarly publications examine the nature, determinants, and political implications of attitudes and values held by ordinary citizens the Middle East. Among his fifteen books are Public Opinion in the Middle East: Survey Research and the Political Orientations of Ordinary Citizens (2011); Islam, Democracy and the State in Algeria: Lessons for the Western Mediterranean and Beyond (2005); and Area Studies and Social Science: Strategies for Understanding Middle East Politics (1999).
His most recent book, supported by an award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, is Islam and Politics in the Middle East: Explaining the Views of Ordinary Citizens (2015). Based on 42 nationally representative surveys carried out in 15 countries between 1988 and 2011, this work investigates popular perceptions and preferences relating to the role that Islam should play in government and political affairs.
Professor Tessler also co-directs the Arab Barometer Survey project. The first wave of Arab Barometer surveys, carried out in eight Arab countries and completed in 2009, was named the best new data set in comparative politics by the American Political Science Association in 2010. The second wave of Arab Barometer surveys was carried out in twelve countries during 2010-2011, and the third wave was carried out in ten countries from late 2012 to early 2014. These data are available through the Arab Barometer website.
Professor Tessler has also conducted research and written extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His publications on the subject include A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, which won national honors and was named a “Notable Book of 1994” by The New York Times. An updated and expanded edition of this book was
published in 2009.