Dr. Lob is an associate professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations. His research focuses on the intersection of development and politics in the Middle East. It specifically explores how state and non-state actors in the region instrumentalize development as a soft power mechanism to further their political interests both domestically and internationally. Lob is the author of Iran's Reconstruction Jihad: Rural Development and Regime Consolidation after 1979 (Cambridge University Press, 2020). Based on interviews and archival research in Iran, the book examines how the Islamic Republic mobilized activists and promoted development in the countryside to consolidate power against its internal and external opponents. The project is based on Lob’s 2013 dissertation at Princeton University entitled “An Institutional History of the Iranian Construction Jihad: From Inception to Institutionalization (1979-2011).” In 2014, the dissertation won the Foundation for Iranian Studies annual award for best dissertation and honorable mention for the Association for Iranian Studies biannual Mashayekhi Dissertation Award. His articles have appeared in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Iranian Studies, Middle East Critique, The Middle East Journal, and Third World Quarterly, among other publications.
Lob currently teaches courses on comparative politics and international relations of the Middle East and on political violence and revolution. Before joining the faculty at Florida International University, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Brandeis University’s Crown Center for Middle East Studies. Between 2009 and 2011, Lob conducted fieldwork and studied Persian in Iran. He also studied Arabic at Georgetown and Damascus Universities between 2005 and 2007.
Areas of ExpertiseComparative Politics, International Relations, Middle East and Development Studies
DegreesBA, Communications, University of Pennsylvania, 1996
MA, International Relations, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 2005
PhD, Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, 2013