Mednicoff Receives $1 Million for Middle East Research

David Mednicoff
Friday, May 31, 2013

Assistant Professor David Mednicoff (public policy) has been named the principal investigator on a $1.01 million grant to conduct interdisciplinary research on legal development and practices in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The three-year project, titled “The Rule of Law in Qatar: Comparative Insights and Policy Strategies,” has been funded by the Qatar National Research Fund. In collaboration with project staff at FIKRA, a policy-oriented research organization based in Doha, Qatar, Mednicoff will produce policy suggestions for ongoing legal reform in the Arab Gulf.

“From its former status as a small trading port, Qatar has risen to global prominence,” said Mednicoff, explaining that the country’s government has created a long-term national development strategy based on oil and natural gas revenues. “In such a crucible of hyper-globalized change, nested in the midst of a sensitive geopolitical environment, Qatar has particular need for sociopolitical tools to optimize the balance between growth and stability. The rule of law is perhaps the most central such tool.”

This study will build on Mednicoff’s previous work on legal ideals and institutions in several Arab countries. In addition to his role at the Center for Public Policy and Administration (CPPA), Mednicoff serves as the director of the Middle Eastern Studies program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has been a Fulbright scholar in both Morocco and Qatar.

The Qatar National Research Foundation is that country’s major funding entity for peer-reviewed scholarly work. Mednicoff’s is among the largest of the grants awarded this year as part of the foundation’s National Priorities Research Program, which funds original research on Qatar.

CPPA is the hub for interdisciplinary public policy research, teaching and engagement at UMass Amherst.