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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge
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    Dr Teije Hidde Donker

    Murray Edwards College
    Huntingdon Road
    CB3 0DF

    Fellow in Sociology

    Human Social and Political Science (HSPS)


    Degrees and Honours

    • European University Institute, October 2013. PhD in Political and Social Sciences. Defended on 17 October 2013.
    • University of Amsterdam, October 2008. Msc Conflict Resolution and Governance (Political Science), Cum Laude.
    • Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, August 2006. Bsc. Development Studies.

    Research Interests

    My academic interests fall at the intersection of Middle East area studies, political sociology and sociology of religion. I analyze attempts to make religion political by relating it to notions of nationalism, class inequality and state authority. I compare the different ways in which activists do this in Tunisia and Syria. In other words, I analyze the political influence of religion not related to its internal content (as implied in much of contemporary scholarship on ‘islamism’) but to how people define the scope of its social and political relevance in a particular context.


    I grew up in Zevenaar, the Netherlands, I completed my bachelors in Nijmegen (2006), masters in Amsterdam (2008) and Phd at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (2013). I subsequently held a three-year postdoc at the Department of Comparative Politics of the University of Bergen, Norway (2014-2017). During these years, I also learned Arabic in Damascus, Cairo and Tunis and was a visiting researcher at Princeton University in New Jersey, USA. From October 2013 until August 2014 I resided in Istanbul to learn Turkish. I currently hold a three year lecturer position at the department of Sociology.

    And for all those wondering... “Teije” is pronounced as “tire” without the last “r” sound. And my first name is Teije Hidde, my surname is Donker. I am Dutch, the first name is Frysian.


    • Donker, T.H., (2019) Sacred as Secular: State Control and Independence of Mosques in Post-revolutionary Tunisia. Politics and Religion, vol 12, no 3: 501-523.
    • Donker, T.H., (2019) Between Rebellion and Uprising: Intersecting Networks and Discursive Strategies in Rebel Controlled Syria. Social Movement Studies, vol 18, no 1: 17-35.
    • Donker, T.H., (2018) Dschihadismus und Governance in Nordsyrien (Jihadism and Governance in North-Syria). Mittelweg 36, vol 27, no 2: 58-85.
    • Della Porta, D.; Donker, T.H.; Hall, B.; Poljarevic, E.; Ritter, D. (2017) Social Movements and Civil War: When protests for democratization fail, Routledge.
    • Donker, T.H., Netterstrom, K.L. (2017) The Tunisian Revolution and the Governance of Religion, Middle East Critique, vol. 26, no. 2.
    • Donker, T.H. (2013) Reemerging Islamism in Tunisia: Repositioning Religion in Politics and Society. Mediterranean Politics, vol. 18, no. 2: 207–224.
    • Donker, T.H. (2013) Islamic Social Movements and the Syrian Authoritarian Regime: Shifting Patterns of Control and Accommodation. In: Heydemann, S. and Leenders, R. (eds.) Middle East Authoritarianisms: Governance, Contestation, and Regime Resilience in Syria and Iran. Stanford University press. pp. 107-124.