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alison pargeter.

North Africa and Middle East Expert

         Libya . Tunisia . Egypt . Iraq 

 Muslim Brotherhood . Political Islam 



About me

I am a freelance North Africa and Middle East expert with a particular focus on Libya, Tunisia, Iraq (including the Kurdish region), and Egypt, as well as on political Islamist movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood.  


I am a Senior Research Associate at RUSI (Royal United Services Institute) and have also held a range of academic posts including at the University of Cambridge and Kings College, London. I have carried out numerous research projects in the region and published widely in my areas of expertise.

I am also a Senior Associate at global consulting firm, Menas Associates.

I am regularly called upon to brief policymakers in the UK and internationally, and have addressed a wide range of international audiences, including the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the International Atomic Energy Agency and various foreign ministries. I have given expert evidence to the UK Foreign Affairs Select Committee and have acted as an expert witness in cases in the UK courts.



Return to the Shadows: The Muslim Brotherhood and An-Nahda since the Arab Spring

Based on extensive research and interviews with members of the Brotherhood and An-Nahda, this book offers a comparative analysis of the rise and fall of Islamist movements in North Africa since the Arab Spring. It also outlines the consequences of the Brotherhood's decline on the region and on the wider Islamist project.

‘This book addresses one of the great conundrums of the Arab Awakening: the failure of moderate political Islam, particularly in North Africa. It is a highly timely analysis and offers an excellent insight into one of the most acute crises that faces the Islamic world today’ - George Joffé, University of Cambridge


"A masterful analysis enriched by access to excellent primary sources.’ -

Lorenzo Vidino, George Washington University

"This must-read account combines strong reporting with level-headed analysis." - Eric Trager, the Washington Institute

The Muslim Brotherhood: From Opposition to Power

This updated edition follows the twists and turns of the Muslim Brotherhood as it battled through the years of oppression under authoritarian regimes to finally become a key political actor. 

"Alison Pargeter s book on the Brotherhood was published to critical acclaim in 2010 ...  Now a well-timed paperback edition with a new final chapter offers some penetrating insights on the two dramatic years in which the Brotherhood moved from opposition to power." - Ian Black, Guardian

"Highly recommended, especially to those who see radical Islam, Jihadism, Wahhabism, Salafism and Islamism as one huge monolith and all equally to be feared." - New Statesman

Libya: The Rise and Fall of Gaddafi

This book documents Qaddafi's extraordinary rise to power and 42-year reign, assessing the impact that his unique fashion of ruling had on Libya and its population, and ultimately his own demise.

“Her account is well-researched and draws upon direct observation. She keeps the story moving and asks the right questions: how did Gaddafi remain in power for so long, why did his end come as it did, and can Libya now be turned into a functioning state?”— European Quarterly

The Muslim Brotherhood: The Burden of Tradition

This book traces the evolution of the Muslim Brotherhood and assesses the aims and strategies it has employed both in the Middle East and in Europe to achieve its objectives. It looks at a selection of individual branches of the Brotherhood, but also at its international organisation, examining the often fraught relationship between the various branches and the centre in Cairo.

 "Alison Pargeter has established a reputation as one of the best current analysts of Islamic radicalism. This book - detailed, authoritative, sober, perceptive and meticulously researched - shows why. It is an important contribution to our understanding both of the Muslim Brotherhood itself, to the controversies that surround the movement and to the broader phenomenon of political Islam. A must read for scholars, students and anyone interested in the Middle East.' -Jason Burke, The Guardian

The New Frontiers of Jihad: Radical Islam in Europe

In this book Alison Pargeter explores how radical Islam arrived in Europe, how it evolved and how, in a globalised world, Middle Eastern power struggles came to be played out in our back yard.  

"This is easily the best book available on radical Islam in Europe. .. Pargeter soberly and coolly dissects the Western habit of lumping every radical Muslim into one large and homogeneous jihadi pot."— Marc Sageman, author of Leaderless Jihad and Understanding Terror Networks

"Provocative, timely, and well reasoned, Pargeter's iconoclastic views deserve a wide audience."—Publishers Weekly


"A seminal work on Islamist radicalism in Europe."—The Economist


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