Back to top

Omar Bortolazzi

Graduate Program Director of the Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) & Associate Professor of Political Science

School of Arts & Sciences

Department of International and Middle Eastern Studies


PhD Political Science (Science Po, Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne) and History (Università degli Studi di Bologna)
MA International Studies in Philanthropy, University degli Studi di Bologna
MA Political Science, Università degli Studi di Bologna

Dr. Bortolazzi joined the American University in Dubai in January 2016. Before joining AUD, he worked at the University of Bologna as Associate Researcher and Assistant Professor at the History, Anthropology and Cultures Department and as coordinator of the Philanthropy and Social Innovation Research Centre (PHaSI, University of Bologna) for several years. He has also worked as associate editor of the academic journal “Giving - Thematic Issues in Philanthropy and Social Innovation” for five years. He has conducted several lectures and seminars at the University of Bologna and at other international academic institutions. Dr. Bortolazzi has also been a visiting scholar and researcher in numerous universities (University of Bath, UK; Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne, Beirut Arab University, Lebanese American University).

Dr. Bortolazzi’s research interests mainly focus on political development in the MENA region, international relations, political theory, international terrorism and homeland security, philanthropy, civil society and social/political movements in the Arab/Islamic world and in comparative perspective.

Dr. Bortolazzi teaches courses in Political Science and International Relations, International Diplomacy, Politics in the Middle East and Geopolitics.

Selected publications:

  • Harakat Amal: Social Mobilization, Economic Resources, Welfare Provision. Journal of South Asian and Oriental Studies, Vol. 45, No. 1, 2021.

  • [2022] From ‘Brain Drain’ to ‘Capital Gain’ Indian Skilled Migration to the United Arab Emirates, in Mizanur Rahman (ed) Social Change in the Gulf societies. Springer [book chapter].

  • [2022] Bortolazzi O. and Sarsar S. (eds), De-Orientalizing the Arab Uprisings. Journal of South Asian and Oriental Studies

  • [forthcoming] Civil Society and Social Capital in North Africa in 2 nd edition of International Encyclopedia of Civil Society, edited by Regina A. List, Helmut K. Anheier and Stefan Toepler, Springer.

  • Management Context: Middle East & Northern Africa, in S. Topler and H. Anheiner (eds.) (2019), Routledge Companion to Nonprofit Management [book chapter].

  • Between Tradition and Innovation: Blended Values and Approaches in a Palliative Care Ward in Saudi Arabia, in M. Malatesta (ed.) (2015), Doctors and Patients. History, Representation, Communication from Antiquity to the Present. San Francisco, CA: University of California [book chapter].

  • Youth Networks, Informal Society and Social Entrepreneurship. Case Studies in Post-Revolutionary Arab World. Bologna, Bononia University Press, 2015 [edited volume].

  • “The Normalization of the Unusual. When Immigration Becomes Slavery: Female Asian Workers in Lebanon”, in Africa e Mediterraneo, January 2014 [article].

  • “Zakat: the Islamic Tradition of Formalized Compulsory Giving”, in Africa e Mediterraneo, July  2013 [article].

  • The Cedar Revolution, Youth Participation and Youth Organizations in Lebanon's Post-Intifada. Civic Engagement, Sectarianism & Identity, Voices on Arab Philanthropy and Civic Engagement, Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2013 [short monograph].

  • “A Divided Impulse: A Review of Anthony Trollope’s The Warden”, in Giving: Thematic Issues on Philanthropy and Social Innovation, Nuova Serie, N. 4 & 2013 [article].

  • Palliative Care and Pain Management in Lebanon and The Role of Lebanon’s Independent and Non-Governmental Associations, in G. Gemelli G. Biasco A. Trombetti (eds.), Hospice & Multiculturality, Bologna, Bononia University Press, 2013 [book chapter].

  • Hospice & Palliative Care: Pictures in Multicultural Societies Today. An Introduction, in G. Gemelli G. Biasco A. Trombetti (eds.) Hospice & Multiculturality, Bologna, Bononia University Press, 2013 [introduction].

  • Iraqi Women Between Civic Engagement, Social Change and Politics From the ‘Awakening' to the 1968 Coup d’état, in Lagioia V. (ed.), Genre et Histoire. Parcours. Bonomia University Press, Bologna 2014 [book chapter].

  • La comunità islamica di Bologna. Note per una storia, in La gioia V. (ed.), Storie di invisibili, marginali ed esclusi, Bologna, Bononia University Press 2012 [book chapter].

  • Hezbollah: Between Islam and Political Society. Popular Mobilization and Social Entrepreneurship in Lebanon, Takaful 2011, American University in Cairo Press, John D. Gerhart Center, 2011.