Middle Eastern Studies & Suleiman Chair Activities

Middle East Studies has an active presence at Kansas State University, with the Department of Political Science at the heart of it. Offering the majority of the courses related to the study of the Middle East and inviting prominent scholars within the field to share their insight. Additionally, faculty from all over university showcase their expertise on this critical region through research, public lectures, and media interviews. As a result, a vibrant, intellectual community interested in Middle Eastern politics has developed both on and off campus.


Michael W. Suleiman Chair


Sabri Ciftci, a well-known scholar on Middle Eastern politics and a professor in the Department of Political Science (K-State), currently holds the Michael W. Suleiman Chair in Arab and Arab-American Studies. As the primary political scientist at K-State engaged in research on Middle Eastern issues, Dr. Ciftci has published on a range of vital topics in some of the discipline’s most prestigious journals. Most recently, he has published research on the relationship between Islam and democracy, religion and anti-Americanism, and individual political and social behavior in the Arab world. Dr. Ciftci is the author of several books, with his most recent works being Islam, Justice, and Democracy (2021) and Beyond Piety and Politics (2022), which he co-authored.

As Chair, Dr. Ciftci has presented and has been invited to present his research at many academic conferences around the world. He has earned many awards and grants for his scholarly work and teaching abilities, such as the Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award from K-State and the Visiting Scientist Award from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey.

Dr. Ciftci teaches classes on Middle Eastern politics, international relations of the Middle East, and political Islam; as well as doctorate level courses on the Middle East and U.S. Security.

Middle East Studies Minor

Recently, K-State inaugurated the Middle East Studies Minor, an interdisciplinary program involving the Political Science, History, Modern Languages, Communication Studies, and Philosophy departments. The Middle East Region continues to play a heavy role in global economic, political, and business affairs. This minor increases the knowledge of this critical region on campus and beyond and helps prepare K-State students for challenging professions requiring expertise in this area.

As the Middle East Studies minor is an interdisciplinary program, the faculty of the program come from various departments at K-State.

Middle East Studies Professors

Middle East Speaker Series

With the support of the Department of Political Science and donations made to the Suleiman Chair, the Middle East Speaker series was established in 2015. Through this series, prominent scholars in the study of Middle Eastern affairs have been invited to present to students and faculty alike.

The Middle East Speaker Series continues to host many distinguished scholars in the field to this day. Keep updated on future visitors through our Events page.


Conferences and Symposiums

In addition to the speaker series, conferences and panel discussions are jointly organized by the Suleiman Chair and the department, each with a theme centured around Middle Eastern affairs and politics.


Events like these further establish K-State as an excellent place to study and build upon your knowledge of Middle Eastern affairs. Though many individuals have contributed to this dynamic learning environment, the greatest debt is owed to Dr. Michael W. Suleiman. A faculty member for over forty years and pioneer of Arab and Arab-American issues, Dr. Suleiman’ s passion was the promotion and advancement of Arab and Middle Eastern studies at K-State. His life's work is evident across campus, with the most visible mark of his legacy being the establishment of the Suleiman Chair.


Benefits to campus & community

The study of the Middle East and the activities carried by the Suleiman Chair provide great benefits to K-State and beyond. Published research by our faculty and students increases the visibility of K-State in the academic community. The scholarship of our faculty can be seen in the classroom where our students are exposed to contemporary instruction. Our students have also promoted awareness of critical issues in the field, with one student currently investigationg the potential reasons we see large differences in military expenditures across the Arab world.

Department of Political Science
Kansas State University
802 Mid Campus Dr. South
101D Calvin Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506