Stephen Zunes


Dr. Stephen Zunes is a Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, where he serves as coordinator of the program in Middle Eastern Studies. Recognized as one the country’s leading scholars of U.S. Middle East policy and of strategic nonviolent action, Professor Zunes serves as a senior policy analyst for the Foreign Policy in Focus project of the Institute for Policy Studies, an associate editor of Peace Review, a contributing editor of Tikkun, and co-chair of the academic advisory committee for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

He is the author of scores of articles for scholarly and general readership on Middle Eastern politics, U.S. foreign policy, international terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, strategic nonviolent action, and human rights. He is the principal editor of Nonviolent Social Movements(Blackwell Publishers, 1999), the author of the highly-acclaimed Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism (Common Courage Press, 2003) and co-author (with Jacob Mundy) of Western Sahara: War, Nationalism and Conflict Irresolution (Syracuse University Press, 2010.)

Professor Zunes received his PhD. from Cornell University, his M.A. from Temple University and his B.A. from Oberlin College. He has previously served on the faculty of Ithaca College, the University of Puget Sound, and Whitman College.

He has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship on Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies at Dartmouth College and a Human Rights Fellowship at the Center for Law and Global Justice at the University of San Francisco. He has also served as a research associate for the Center for Global, International and Regional Studies at the University of California-Santa Cruz. He has been a recipient of a Joseph J. Malone Fellowship in Arab and Islamic Studies as well as research grants through the Institute for Global Security Studies, the United States Institute of Peace, and the International Resource Center. In the early 1990s, Dr. Zunes served as founding director of the Institute for a New Middle East Policy in Seattle. In 2002, he won recognition from the Peace and Justice Studies Association as their first Peace Scholar of the Year.

Professor Zunes has made frequent visits to the Middle East and other conflict regions, where he has met with top government officials, academics, journalists and opposition leaders.

He is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Open Democracy, Common Dreams, Truthout, and Alternet websites, and serves as a foreign affairs columnist for the National Catholic Reporter and the Santa Cruz Sentinel. His op-ed columns have appeared in major daily newspapers on four continents. In addition, he has spoken at over 120 colleges and universities and scores of community groups in the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, and Australia, and is a frequent guest on National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio, PBS, BBC, MSNBC and other media outlets for analysis on breaking world events. He serves as a consultant and board member for a number of peace and human rights organizations in both the United States and overseas. 

Topics covered
  • U.S. Middle East Policy
  • Israel/Palestine
  • Syria
  • Iran
  • Pro-Democracy Struggles in the Middle East and Beyond
  • Strategic Nonviolent Action
  • Strengthening the Movement for Peace and Justice in the Middle East
  • Morocco/Western Sahara
If you want to plan a speaking event with Stephen, please contact him at zunes [at] usfca [dot] edu