Assem Abi Ali

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PhD Student

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Ruhr-University Bochum
Universitätsstr. 105, Room 2.23 / 2.24 / 2.27 / 2.32
44789 Bochum

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Phone: +49-(0)234 / 32-22278

Fax: +49-(0)234 / 32-14-294

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Research Interest

  • The structure of the community, and the cultural heritage of Druze
  • Inter-group and international organizations
  • Fractional politics
  • Foreign intervention/sponsorship
  • Regional politics and major changes in power distribution.

PhD Project

Shaping Minority Representation and Interests in Turbulent States:

The Case of the Druze in Syria

This research examines minority politics from group-level, national-level, and international-level of analysis during conflict and ethnic struggles, and it takes the Druze minority in Syria and Lebanon as a case study. The central question that this research aims to answer is what are the structural factors that shape the representation and interests of the Druze minority in Syria amid the raging sectarian and ethnic conflict. Group-level variables such as religion, culture, identity, society and class divisions, and national-level variables such as inter-group relations, political system, electoral system, and alliance formation strategies, in addition to international-level variables such as geopolitical features, foreign sponsorship, regional politics, and internationalization, all are analyzed in this research. These variables are assessed and investigated in order to find the factors that shaped the minority's representation and guaranteed its interests within the political system of the state, and at the time of regional turbulences and political upheavals. An ethnographic approach is used to conduct a comparative analysis to test those variables on the Druze minority in Syria prior the "Great Arab Revolution" in 1925 and till the current Syrian conflict, and compare it with the Druze experience in Lebanon during the same time frame.This research emphasizes on the link between the three levels of analysis in shaping minority representation and guaranteeing their interests in deteriorated and conflict-dominated political systems.

Keywords: Middle East, Druze, Syrian conflict, Minority representation, Minority interest, Ethnic conflict, Conflict resolution.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Christof Hartmann and Prof. Dr. Sami Baroudi


2010 - 2013 Master of Arts in International Affairs, Lebanese American University (LAU), Beirut, Lebanon.
2004 - 2008 BA in Communication Arts emphasis Radio/TV/Film, Lebanese American University (LAU), Beirut, Lebanon.
2003 - 2004 Lebanese Official high school degree in Sociology and Economics, Maroun Aboud Official Secondary School, Aley, Lebanon.

Professional Experience

02/2011 - present Director of media and media consultant, Lebanese MP Talal Arslan, leader of Lebanese Democratic Party, Aley, Lebanon.
11/2014 - 05/2015 Internship and logistics coordinator at MEPI funded Leaders for Democracy
Fellows Arabic Program, Lebanese American University, Beirut.
08/2008 - 05/2010 Communication Specialist, AFDC, Association for Forest Development and Conservation, Beirut, Lebanon
11/2007 Organized "Seeds of Hope" campaign that was funded by HannsSeidel Foundation / Germany, Lebanese American University, Beirut, and AFDC, Association for Forest Development andConservation.


Abi Ali, A. (2013). The Survival of Minorities in a Turbulent Environment. Saarbrücken: LAP

LAMBERT Academic Publishing. ISBN: 978-3-659-45040-2.
  • The profound achievement through this book was to propose a new theory in international affairs regarding survival strategies for minorities in chaotic environments.