Noora Lori

Associate Professor of International Relations

Noora Lori is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies. Her research broadly focuses on citizenship, migration, and statelessness. She is interested in temporal strategies of migration enforcement and has written about citizenship regimes and naturalization policies, temporary migration schemes, and racial hierarchies in comparative perspective. Regionally, her work examines the shifting population movements accompanying state formation in the Persian Gulf, expanding the study of Middle East politics to include historic and new connections with East Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

Lori’s first book, Offshore Citizens: Permanent “Temporary” Status in the Gulf (Cambridge University Press 2019), received the best book prize from the Migration and Citizenship section of the American Political Science Association (2020), the Distinguished Book Award from the Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Studies section of the International Studies Association (2021), the Best Book in MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Politics from the APSA-MENA Politics section of the American Political Science Association, and an Honorable mention for the Best Book Award from Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies (AGAPS) (2021).

She has published in International Migration Review, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Journal of Global Security Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, International Relations, the Oxford Handbook on Citizenship, The Shifting Border, among other journals and edited volumes.  Her research has been funded by the ACLS/Mellon Foundation, the ZEIT-Stiftung “Settling into Motion” Fellowship, the Hariri Institute for Computing and Computer Engineering (BU), the Initiative on Cities (BU) (2016; 2019), as well as other grants.

Since joining BU, Lori has received two teaching awards: the Gitner Family Prize for Faculty Excellence (2015) and the CAS Templeton Award for Excellence in Student Advising (2016). She has also experimented with teaching methods, piloting a ‘digital policy incubator’ that produced Urban Refuge—an aid-mapping app for refugees designed by students at BU with pro-bono support from Microsoft.

Lori was previously an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, a fellow at the International Security Program of the Harvard Kennedy School, and a visiting scholar at the Dubai School of Government. She received her PhD in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University’s (2013), and her dissertation received the Best Dissertation Award from the Migration and Citizenship Section of the American Political Science Association in 2014. She received her B.A. in Political Science and International Studies (summa cum laude) from Northwestern University in 2006.

Lori co-directs the Pardee School Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking with Professor Kaija Schilde. She serves on the steering committee of the Inter-University Committee for International Migration (at MIT), the steering committee of Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS), the advisory board of the “Beyond Borders fellowship” at ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, and the advisory board of the International Politics of Mobility Sanctions (MOBSANCT) at European Research Council/ University of Glasgow, among other committees.

Professor Lori’s areas of expertise include comparative politics, immigration and citizenship, and Middle East politics.


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