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. 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 received an award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York in 2010 for the current phase of this work, which investigates popular perceptions and preferences relating to the political role of Islam.
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 eleven countries during 2010-2011.
Professor Tessler has also conducted research and 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. An updated and expanded edition of this book was published in 2009.