The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Basileus Zeno

Professional Title: 

PhD Candidate


Machmer W-34E



Basileus Zeno is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. He is also an archaeologist by training and holds a BA (2006) in Archaeology and Museum Studies and an M.A. (2011) in Classical and Islamic Archaeology from Damascus University (Syria). Until summer 2012, Basileus was doing his Ph.D. in classical archaeology at Damascus University, but he could not complete his research because of the outbreak of the war. In 2013, he started his M.A. in Political Science at Ohio University, which he completed in 2015. Currently, he is finishing his doctoral dissertation, “Displacement and Identity (re)Formation in Exile: Syrian Asylum-Seekers and Refugees in the United States,” which is a political ethnography of institutional violence and racialized immigration policies in the United States.

Basileus's areas of specialization are comparative politics are Comparative Politics and Contemporary Political Theory with a regional focus on the Middle East. His scholarly interests primarily focus on refugees, asylum and forced migration, colonialism and colonial legacies, interpretive methodology, nationalism and sectarianism, and social movements in the Middle East.

In addition to academic interests, Basileus is strongly committed to public engagement and applied research. To this end, he served as a consultant and a researcher at several international organizations such as the Carter Center’s Conflict Resolution Program, The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA), and the LSE Policy research project "Legitimacy and Citizenship in the Arab World". He is  also a reviewer and co-editor of the Syria Page and Syria Media Roundup at Jadaliyya (an independent, critical ezine produced by the Arab Studies Institute), and Salon Syria (a project that provides an electronic platform for wide-ranging views by Syrian journalists). He is also a co-founding member of Security in Context,  (a project challenging dominant paradigms and practices that seeks to produce and disseminate new thinking about (in)security, geopolitics and global political economy.)


Zeno, Basileus. "Dignity and Humiliation: Identity Formation among Syrian Refugees.Middle East Law and Governance9.3 (2017): 282-297.


Twitter: @BasileusZeno


  • Political Science