Institute of Political Science

Dr. Tina Zintl


Academic coordinator, M.A. Program CMEPS

and Research Fellow

Academic Background


PhD, School of International Relations, University of St Andrews

Thesis Title: “Syria's authoritarian upgrading 2000-2010: Bashar al-Asad's promotion of foreign-educated returnees as transnational technocrats”; supervisors: Raymond Hinnebusch and Fiona McCallum


M.A. in Political Science (major), Economics & Geography (minors) from University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Professional Background

Since 2013

Academic Coordinator for the “Comparative & Middle East Politics and Society” (CMEPS) M.A. Program and Research Fellow, Tuebingen University

Since 2012

Consultancy for German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Hamburg

(e.g. updating Syria file for German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); researcher in the project “Authoritarian Regimes and Sanctions” funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation).

2009 to 2013

Research Assistant, Centre for Syrian Studies, University of St Andrews

2007 to 2008

Student Assistant, Institute for Political Science and Contemporary History of the Middle East, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

2006 to 2007

Intern, Middle East Department, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)


Intern, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Islamabad/Pakistan

Research Interests

Authoritarian Rule in the Middle East and North Africa

Legitimacy of Authoritarian Regimes

State-Society Relations

Euro-Mediterranean Relations

Migration and Diaspora Politics

Research Ethics and Methods of Qualitative Research

Country Expertise



Research in Political Science: Methods and Ethics (Winter Term 2014/15)

Authoritarianism, Revolution and State Fragility (Summer Term 2014)

Research in Political Science (Winter Term 2013/14)



The Shifting Visibility and Effectiveness of International Sanctions against Syria. Conference paper, 2nd CSS postgraduate conference "The Syrian Uprising: Drivers and Dynamics", St Andrews, June 2013.

Die syrische Staatspropaganda. Assads Imagewandel vom Reformer zum Terroristenjäger (in German). Invited talk, lecture series by "Politik im Vorderen Orient" student society, University of Tübingen, June 2013.

Blaming the 'old guard' or 'terrorist gangs'? How the sudden change of rhetoric undermines and bolsters the Syrian regime's legitimacy. Conference paper, 19th DAVO International Congress, Erlangen, October 2012.

Between authoritarian upgrading and revolution: Two fieldstays in Syria and how to refine results by reflecting on methodological challenges. Conference paper, BRISMES Annual Conference 2012, LSE, March 2012.

Roundtable Discussion: Reflections on the Syrian Uprising. Organization of and participation in panel discussion, MECACS seminar series, St Andrews, March 2012.

The Syrian Crisis: between Revolution and Civil War. Invited talk, St Andrews Foreign Affairs Conference, organized by Foreign Affairs Society, St Andrews, February 2012.

Researching Syria between authoritarian upgrading and revolution: Methodological approaches and constraints in interviews with foreign-educated returnees and Euro-Mediterranean players par excellence? Conceptionalizing transnational Arabs' logics of action. Conference papers, 18th DAVO International Congress, Berlin, October 2011.

Ambassadors abroad, cosmopolitans at home? The role of Syria's expatriates and repatriates for Syria's image campaign. Conference paper, BRISMES Postgraduate Conference, Manchester, January 2011.

The co-optation of foreign-educated Syrians: Between legitimizing strategy and domestic reforms. Conference paper "Bashar al-Asad's First Decade", Lund/ Sweden, October 2010.

International education and the blurring between "us" and "them": A conceptionalization of foreign-educated Arabs' political (inter)actions at home and abroad. Conference paper, WOCMES, Barcelona, July 2010, financed through travel grant by Honeymann Foundation.

Syria’s reforms under Bashar al-Asad: an opportunity for foreign-educated entrepreneurs to move into decision-making? Conference paper, Gulf Research Meeting, Cambridge, July 2010.

The political inclusion of foreign-educated nationals: A way of modernizing and internationalizing authoritarian regimes, illustrated by the Syriancase. Conference paper, ECPR General Conference, Potsdam, September 2009.

Elitenwandel durch Technokratisierung? Conference paper, 30th Orientalistentag, Freiburg/Germany, September 2007.

Elitenwandel durch Technokratisierung? Conference paper, student conference "Migration neudenken!", Mainz/Germany, November 2007.


Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Vorderer Orient (DAVO) - German Middle East Studies Association