Bessma Momani is a senior fellow, joining CIGI in 2004. She has a Ph.D. in political science with a focus on international political economy, and is an associate professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the University of Waterloo. She has been a visiting scholar at Georgetown University’s Mortara Center and at the Amman Institute, a research centre to improve local governance in the Middle East.
Bessma has received a number of awards and prizes for her research and work. In 2015, she was awarded a Trudeau Fellowship and will be researching Arab-Canadian youth and communities. She is a Fulbright Scholar and is undertaking an Insight Development Grant funded by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) on change in urban development in the Middle East caused by an influx of Arab Gulf investments. Bessma was also the recipient of a previous SSHRC grant on the reform of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Executive Board. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her writing, including the University of Waterloo’s Lois Claxton Humanities and Social Sciences Endowment Fund Award to support the publication of her co-edited volume studying Arab-Canadians.
Bessma has authored and co-edited numerous books, including: Targeted Transnationals: The State, the Media, and Arab Canadians; Shifting Geo-Economic Power of the Gulf; From Desolation to Reconstruction: Iraq’s Troubled Journey; Canada and the Middle East: In Theory and Practice; IMF-Egyptian Debt Negotiations; and Twentieth-Century World History: A Canadian Perspective.
She is also the author of more than 40 scholarly journal articles and book chapters that have examined the IMF, the World Bank, the Financial Stability Board, petrodollars, regional trade agreements in the Middle East, and economic liberalization throughout the Arab Gulf and the Middle East. The journals that Bessma has published in include: Review of International Political Economy; Asian Affairs; Global Society; Journal of International Relations and Development; New Political Economy; International Journal; Canadian Journal of Political Science; Review of International Organizations; Middle East Review of International Affairs; World Economy; New Political Economy; Journal of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies; Journal of European Integration; and World Economics.
Bessma is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post online magazine, and has a blog at cigionline.org and opencanada.org. As a political analyst on the Middle East, the Arab Spring and the global economy, she has written several editorials in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Embassy Magazine and the Toronto Star. She is also a regular media contributor, having done over 200 live interviews, with CBC Radio, CBC News, CBC’s The National, CTV Newsnet, Al Jazeera, BBC World Service and Business News Network.
Notable Media & Presentations
- "Discussion on 'Transitions'." Invited panel chair at the Canadian Foreign Policy Conference, Toronto, May 2015.
- Momani, Bessma (2011). “Egyptian revolution will have little impact on global economy.” The Globe and Mail. February 14.
- Provided commentary for CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup and CTV News on the latest pro-democracy developments in Egypt, as well as on the role of Western nations in negotiating with current and future Egyptian governments, February 2011.
- Provided commentary for CBC News (Radio One syndicate) on growing tensions in Egypt, while outlining the political and economic realities for most Egyptians and the history leading up to mass protests, January 2011.
- “Canada’s Economic Interests in the Middle East.” Invited presentation to the Canada-Arab Business Council and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, January 2008.
- “Reforming the IMF.” Invited presentation given at The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, October 2007.
- Jaffer, Zahra, Luna Khirfan and Bessma Momani (December 2013). "Whose authority? Exporting Canadian urban planning expertise to Jordan and Abu Dhabi." Geoforum 50.
- Hennebry, Jenna and Bessma Momani (eds.) (forthcoming 2013). Targeted Transnationals: The State, the Media, and Arab-Canadians. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
- Khirfan, Luna and Bessma Momani (2013). “(Re)branding Amman: A ‘lived’ city's values, image and identity.” Place Branding and Public Diplomacy.
- Ennis, Crystal and Bessma Momani (2012). “Between Caution and Controversy: Lessons from the Gulf Arab States as (Re)Emerging Donors.” Cambridge Review of International Affairs 25, no. 4.
- Holroyd, Carin and Bessma Momani (2012). “Japan’s Rescue of the IMF.” Social Science Japan Journal 15, no. 2.
- Cooper, Andrew and Bessma Momani (2011). “Qatar and Expanded Contours of Small State Diplomacy.” The International Spectator 46, no. 3.
- Legrenzi, Matteo and Bessma Momani (eds.) (2011). Shifting Geo-Economic Power of the Gulf. London: Ashgate.
In the News
- Immigration is a net economic benefit – this is a story Canada should build on, Globe & Mail, September 14, 2016
- China Sets Flexible GDP Target to Gain Steam for Structural Reform, Zhang Shuai, CRIEnglish, March 5, 2016
- Taxation in the Middle East and IMF Advice, BBC World Service, February 22, 2016