Thoraya El-Rayyes

Thoraya El-Rayyes

PhD Candidate

Department of Government

Arabic, English
Key Expertise
Authoritarianism, Contentious Politics

About me

Since the ‘third wave’ of democratization, regimes that are neither fully democratic nor classically authoritarian have become the most common form of nondemocratic rule in the world. Such regimes face the distinctive challenge of ensuring regime stability while maintaining institutional features of representative democracy. Thoraya’s doctoral research examines the strategies pursued to maintain regime stability in such contexts, with a focus on the case of Jordan. Her other research projects include work on attitudes to democracy in Egypt and on improving the measurement of protest in the Arab region.

Thoraya holds a BSc in Psychology from University College London, an MSc in Social Policy and Planning from LSE and an MSc in Sociology from the University of Oxford. She has nine years of professional experience in the international development sector, having worked for various intergovernmental agencies and international NGOs on labour and employment issues across the Arab region. Thoraya is also an award-winning literary translator who specializes in bringing political literature from around the Arab region into English.


Expertise Details

Authoritarianism; Contentious Politics

Research interests

  • Authoritarianism
  • Contentious politics

Teaching Record

  • GV248: Power and Politics in the Modern World (LSE, 2018-19) 
  • International Relations of the Middle East (King’s College London, 2017-18)


Steffen Hertog (Supervisor) and John Sidel (Advisor)