Nivien Saleh, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Areas of Expertise: 

International relations of the Middle East, the politics of Egypt, the political economy of information technology, democratization of governance


The regional business environment of the Middle East, the Internet and Social Change, research methods.

Professional Bio: 

Half-Egyptian, half-German, Nivien Saleh received a Master of Arts at the University of Freiburg, one of the oldest universities in Germany. Saleh’s fields of study were politics, Middle East studies, and economics.

At American University in Washington, DC, she earned a Ph.D. in political science, focusing on the dynamics of the Middle East and researching the development of the Internet.

Palgrave Macmillan published her dissertation under the title Third World Citizens and the Information Technology Revolution. The book examines the global power relations of the 1990s and early 2000s, a watershed period in the development of the global information technology landscape. At that time, the U.S. Government made the Internet available for commerce, the European Union privatized its telecom sectors and opened them to competition, and the World Trade Organization produced a new legal framework for knowledge products.

The book’s major finding is that the makers of the new information technology regime systematically excluded citizens of the developing world from their decision processes. Moreover, an in-depth case study of Egypt shows that Third World Citizens were forced to implement these rules in whose making they were not involved. The solution to this deprivation of personal autonomy is the democratization of decisions at both the national and the global level.

Saleh’s teaching experience spans American University, Georgetown University (non-degree), Northern Arizona University, and the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX.

Her articles have appeared in Telecommunications Policy, the Journal of Integrated Social Sciences, Mediterranean Quarterly, and Middle East Policy, among others. In addition, she has written for The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, and Egypt Independent, and given radio and television interviews as well as public lectures on fundamentalism, the use of social media during the Arab Spring, and the international relations of the Middle East.

She speaks German, English, Arabic, and French.