Marc Owen Jones | Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Hamad Bin Khalifa University


Marc Owen Jones

Dr. Marc Owen Jones (PhD)

Associate Professor Middle East Studies
Middle Eastern Studies Department (MESD)
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Master of Arts in Digital Humanities and Societies

  • Phone44546785
  • Office locationA142


Marc Owen Jones is an Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies at Hamad bin Khalifa University, where he lectures and researches on political repression and informational control strategies.

His recent work has focused on the way social media has been used to spread disinformation and fake news in the Middle East.

In March 2019, he published ‘The Gulf Information War| Propaganda, Fake News, and Fake Trends: The Weaponization of Twitter Bots in the Gulf Crisis’, in the ‘International Journal of Communication’.

His upcoming book on ‘Disinformation and Deception in the Middle East’ will be published by Hurst Books and Oxford University Press in 2021.

His previous work has focused on political repression.  His recent monograph, ‘Political Repression in Bahrain’, was published in July 2020 by Cambridge University, Press.

Jones has won multiple awards for his work. Jones’ PhD thesis in Government and International Affairs from Durham University won the ‘2016 Best Thesis’ award from the Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies. In 2021 he won the ‘UK alumni professional achievement’ award from the British Council in Qatar. Through the course of his career he has won several awards for teaching both at Exeter University and HBKU.  He is the editor of numerous books on Bahrain and the Gulf, including Gulfization of the Arab World, published in 2018 by Gerlach Press.

Jones also specializes in providing timely analysis on disinformation campaigns, and has taken an active role in numerous high profile investigations.  

In addition to his academic publications, Jones has written for numerous international media outlets, including the Washington Post, CNN, the Independent and the New Statesman. His work features frequently in publications such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian.  He also makes regular appearances on BBC, Al Jazeera, LBC, CBC News, and many others. Jones grew up in Bahrain and Saudi, and has worked and studied in Sudan, Syria, Germany and the United Kingdom.


Research Interests

  • Disinformation
  • The Persian Gulf
  • Social Media
  • Political Repression
  • Information Controls


Assistant Professor Middle East Studies and Digital Humanities

Hamad bin Khalifa University, Doha, Qatar

2018 - present
  • Lecturer History of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula

    Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter

    2017 - 2018
  • Research Fellow in Gulf Studies

    Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter

    2016 - 2017
  • ‘Teach@Tuebingen’ (Postdoctoral) Fellow in 'Gulf Politics'

    the University of Tubingen, Germany

  • Tutorial Leader on 'Middle East Politics'

    Department of Politics and Geography, Newcastle University

    2015 - 2016
  • Tutorial Leader on 'Introduction to Middle East Politics'

    School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University

    2013 - 2015


PhD in Government and International Affairs

Durham University, England

2011 - 2015
  • MSc Arab World Studies

    Durham University (Damascus and Edinburgh Universities too), England, Syria, Scotland

    2008 - 2010
  • BA (Hons) Journalism, Film and Broadcasting

    Cardiff University, Wales

    2003 - 2006

Selected Publications

  • Monographs

  • Jones M.O.

    Digital Authoritarianism in the Middle East. Hurst/OUP - (Expected October) 2021
  • Jones M.O.

    Political Repression in Bahrain. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. 2020
  • Edited Books

  • Jones M, Porter R, Valeri M

    Gulfization of the Arab World. Gerlach Press. 2018
  • Jones, M.O., and Shehabi, A. (eds)

    The Bahrain Uprising, London, Zed Books Ltd, 2015. 2015
  • Saudi Intervention, Sectarianism, and De-Democratization in Bahrain’s Uprising

    Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, 39, 251-279. Full text. DOI. 2016
  • Journal Articles

  • Jones, M.O.

    Disinformation superspreaders: the weaponization of COVID-19 fake news in the Persian Gulf and beyond, Global Discourse Journal, 2020
  • Jones, M.

    Digital De-Citizenship: The Rise of the Digital Denizen in Bahrain. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 52(4), 740-747. doi:10.1017/S0020743820001038 2020
  • Jones, M.O.

    Propaganda, fake news, and fake trends: the role of Twitter bots in the Qatar Gulf Crisis, International Journal of Communication; Vol 13 (2019) 2019
  • Jones, M. O.

    Satire, social media and revolutionary cultural production in the Bahrain uprising: From utopian fiction to political satire. Communication and the Public, 2(2), 136–153. 2017
  • Jones, M.O.

    Nation branding and celebrity diplomacy in Bahrain, Celebrity Studies, May 2017, DOI:10.1080/19392397.2017.1312083 2017
  • Jones, M.O.

    "Saudi Intervention, Sectarianism, and De-Democratization in Bahrain’s Uprising", Protest, Social Movements and Global Democracy Since 2011: New Perspectives (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Vol. 39), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 251-279. 2016
  • Jones, M.O.

    'Social Media, Surveillance and Social Control in the Bahrain Uprising', Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, vol. 9, no. 2, 2013, pp. 71 – 91. 2013
  • Technical reports and disciplinary specific e-publications

  • Jones, M.O.

    Tracking Adversaries and First Responding to Disinfo Ops: The Evolution of Deception and Manipulation Tactics on Gulf Twitter, Project on Middle East Democracy,

  • Jones, M.O.

    How the Saudi Regime Silences Those Who Discuss the Khashoggi Affair Online. Jadaliyya and JadMag (2019),

  • Jones, M.O.

    Automated Sectarianism and Pro-Saudi Propaganda on Twitter. Tactical Tech, 2016,

  • Jones, M.O., Shehabi, A and Desmukh, F.

    The IISS: The Myth and Ethics of Think-Tank Independence. Jadaliyya - جدلية.

  • Gunter, B. et al

    UK News Media Review 2012, Department of Media and Communications, (accessed 22 February 2015).

  • Jones, M.O.

    ‘Qatar say their official news agency website was hacked Twitter Bots suggest they may have a point’, AmanaTech, May 2017,

  • Jones, M.O.

    ‘Uncovering a Twitter Bot Army Mobilised Against Al Jazeera’. AmanaTech, August 2017, the-channel-of-pigs

  • Chapters in books

  • Jones, M.O.

    Media Assisted Authoritarianism Bahrain, Open Book Publishers, Spring 2021,

  • Jones, M.O.

    Mapping Sectarian Slurs in the Middle East Twittersphere, 第3章 中東のツイッター界にみる宗派的中傷の分布 Chuto no Tsuitta Kai ni Miru Shuhateki Chusho no Bunpu, Book Series: Politics in Transition, Koyo Shobo Publishers [Japan

  • Jones M, Porter R, Valeri M

    Introduction, in Jones M, Porter R, Valeri M (eds) Gulfization of the Arab World. Gerlach Press.

  • Jones M.O.

    Contesting the Iranian Revolution as a turning-point discourse in Bahraini contentious politics. In valeri M, porter R, Jones MO (Eds.) Gulfization of the Arab World: Exeter Critical Gulf Series, Gerlach Press. 2017.

  • Jones M.O.

    ‘Social media in the Bahrain Uprising: From hope to despair’, in Atanasova D, Reilly P, Veneti A (eds) Politics, Protest, Emotion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, PressBooks, 2017

  • Jones, M.O.

    'Political History of Bahrain', The Middle East and North Africa 2017, Oxford, Routledge, 2016.

  • Jones, M.O.

    'Social media and unethical P2P diplomacy in the Bahrain Uprising ', in Gunter, B., Al-Areshi, M. and Al-Jaber, K., (eds), Social Media and the Arab Uprisings, London, I.B. Tauris, 2016.

  • Jones, M.O. (ed),

    'Social media, surveillance, and Cyberpolitics in the Bahrain Uprising', in M.O. Jones and A. Shehabi (eds), The Bahrain Uprising, London, Zed Books, 2015.

  • Jones, M.O. (ed),

    'Rotten apples and rotten orchards: police deviance, brutality, and unaccountability in Bahrain', in Jones, M.O. and A. Shehabi (eds), The Bahrain Uprising, London, Zed Books, 2015.

  • Jones, M.O., and Shehabi, A. (eds),

    'Bahrain's Uprising: The Struggle for Democracy in the Gulf', in in Jones, M.O. and A. Shehabi (eds), The Bahrain Uprising, London, Zed Books, 2015. 2015
  • Jones, M.O.

    'An inconvenient height above sea level', in Lucantoni, P. Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language Workbook 2, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. 2008