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 CanadiansShifting 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 and 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

Momani, Bessma 2015 "Discussion on 'Transitions'." Invited panel chair at the Canadian Foreign Policy Conference Toronto May
Momani, Bessma 2011 "Egyptian revolution will have little impact on global economy." The Globe and Mail February 14
Provided commentary for CBC Radio's 2011 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
Provided commentary for CBC News 2011 (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
Momani, Bessma 2008 "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
Momani, Bessma 2007 "Reforming the IMF." Invited presentation given at The Brookings Institution Washington DC October

Select Publications

  1. Momani, Bessma & Hibben, Mark 2017 What's Wrong with the IMF? (Forthcoming ) Polity Press
  2. Mohamed, Eid and Bessma Momani 2016 Tahrir Square and Beyond: Critical Perspectives on Politics, Law and Security (eds) (Forthcoming ) Indiana University Press
  3. Dewitt, David & Bessma Momani 2016 Canada and the Middle East after Afghanistan (July ) in Canada after Afghanistan: Reflections on Canadian International Security Policy Edited by James Fergusson and Francis Furtado University of British Columbia Press
  4. Opatowski, Michael Opondo, Michaal and Bessma Momani 2016 Youth Evaluations of Countering Violent Extremism and Anti-Radicalization Programming in Kenya (July ) Journal for Deradicalization Vol 7 Pages 164-224
  5. Malkin, Anton & Bessma Momani 2016 An Effective Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: A Bottom Up Approach (July ) in Global Policy DOI: 101111/1758-589912357
  6. Hakak, Tanzeel and Bessma Momani 2016 Syria and the Responsibility to Protect (July ) in The Oxford Handbook on the Responsibility to Protect Co-edited by Timothy Dunne and Alexander Bellamy Oxford University Press
  7. Hibben, Mark 2015 Cooperation or Clashes on 19th Street? Theorizing and Assessing IMF and World Bank Colloboration (December ) (December 2015) in Journal of International Organizational Studies Vol 6 Issue 2 Pages 27-43
  8. Momani, Bessma 2015 An Arab Dawn: The Demographic Dividend of Arab Youth University of Toronto Press
  9. St. Amand, Samantha and Bessma Momani 2015 Best Practices in Central Banks' Organizational Culture, Learning and Structure: Case of the Moroccan Central Bank (October ) in Economic Notes Vol 44 No 3 Pages 449-481
  10. Momani, Bessma 2015 China and the IMF in Enter the Dragon: China in the International Financial System (October ) Co-edited by Hongying Wang and Domenico Lombardi CIGI Press
  11. Hampson Fen and Bessma Momani 2015 Hands On or Hands Off? Lessons from the Arab Spring (September ) in Arab Spring: Negotiating in the Shadow of Intifadat Edited by William Zartman Georgia University Press
  12. Jaffer, Zahra, Luna Khirfan and Bessma Momani 2013 "Geoforum" Whose authority? Exporting Canadian urban planning expertise to Jordan and Abu Dhabi. (December ) 50
  13. Hennebry, Jenna and Bessma Momani 2013 "Targeted Transnationals: The State, the Media, and Arab-Canadians" (eds) (forthcoming ) Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press
  14. Khirfan, Luna and Bessma Momani 2013 "Place Branding and Public Diplomacy" (Re)branding Amman: A 'lived' city's values, image and identity.
  15. Ennis, Crystal and Bessma Momani 2012 "Cambridge Review of International Affairs" Between Caution and Controversy: Lessons from the Gulf Arab States as (Re)Emerging Donors. 25 no 4
  16. Holroyd, Carin and Bessma Momani 2012 "Social Science Japan Journal" Japan's Rescue of the IMF. 15 no 2
  17. Cooper, Andrew and Bessma Momani 2011 "The International Spectator" Qatar and Expanded Contours of Small State Diplomacy. 46 no 3
  18. Legrenzi, Matteo and Bessma Momani 2011 "Shifting Geo-Economic Power of the Gulf" (eds) London: Ashgate

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