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


Marc Owen Jones

Dr. Marc Owen Jones (PhD)

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

  • Phone44546785


Marc Owen Jones received his BA in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting from Cardiff University in 2006, and a CASAW-funded MSc in Arab World Studies from the University of Durham in 2010. Following this, he completed his PhD (funded by the AHRC/ESRC) in 2016 at Durham, where he wrote an interdisciplinary thesis on the history of political repression in Bahrain. His thesis won the 2016 AGAPS prize.    He spent much of his childhood in Bahrain, and has also lived in various parts of the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Syria. Prior to joining HBKU, he won a Teach at Tubingen Award at Tuebingen University’s Institute for Political Science, and worked as a Lecturer in the History of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula at Exeter University’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies.    He has edited two books, and an upcoming monograph on political repression in Bahrain with Cambridge University Press. In addition to his academic work, he enjoys communicating his research to broader audiences, and has bylines in the Washington Post, New Statesman, CNN, the Independent, PEN International, and several others. He has also appeared frequently on the BBC, Channel 4 News, and Al Jazeera.

Research Interests

Driven by issues of social justice and a specific area interest in the Gulf, his research spans a number of topics, from historical revisionism, postcolonialism, de-democratization and revolutionary cultural production, to policing, digital authoritarianism and human rights. He is particularly interested in strategies of control that affect people’s life chances in the service of elite power maintenance. Generally speaking, he is interested in forms of political repression and control.   At the moment, he is working on a number of topics, including propaganda and Twitter bots, mapping sectarian hate speech, and archival work related to Bahrain and land appropriation   As an interdisciplinarian, he has a number of facets to his research. He is currently using medium data techniques to examine strategies of sectarian hate speech and propaganda on social media in the Gulf region. Some of this work also looks at the role of Twitter Bots and strategies of informational control used by state and non-state actors.


Lecturer in the History of Gulf and Arabian Peninsula

Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK

2017 - 2018
  • Gulf Research Fellow

    Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK

    2016 - 2017
  • Researcher and Lecturer

    University of Tuebingen, Politikwissenschaft, Germany

  • Teaching Assistant

    School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, England

    2015 - 2016
  • Teaching Assistant

    School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University, England

    2013 - 2016


PhD in Government and International Affairs

Durham University, England

2011 - 2016
  • 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

  • Political Repression in Bahrain

    (Forthcoming). Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 2018
  • Gulfization of the Arab World

    Jones M, Porter R, Valeri M 2018
  • Bahrain's Uprising: Resistance and Repression in the Gulf

    London, Zed Books Ltd    Jones MO and Shehabi A (eds) 2015
  • Propaganda, fake news, and fake trends: the role of Twitter bots in the Qatar Gulf Crisis

    International Journal of Communication, Special Issue on Gulf Crisis (Forthcoming) 2019
  • Nation branding and celebrity diplomacy in Bahrain

    Celebrity Studies Full text. DOI. 10.1080/19392397.2017.1312083 2017
  • Social media, satire and creative resistance in the Bahrain uprising: from utopian fiction to political satire

    Communication and the Public, DOI: 10.1177/2057047317706372  2017
  • Saudi Intervention, Sectarianism, and De-Democratization in Bahrain’s Uprising

    Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, 39, 251-279. Full text. DOI. 2016
  • Social Media, Surveillance and Social Control in the Bahrain Uprising

    Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, 9(2), 69-92. Full text. DOI. 2013
  • Mapping Sectarian Slurs in the Middle East Twittersphere, Book Series: Politics in Transition

    Koyo Shobo Publishers [Japan], Forthcoming 2019
  • 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, 87-110. Abstract. Full text. DOI 2018
  • History of Bahrain. In Matthews C (Ed) The Middle East and North Africa 2017

    Oxford: Routledge. Full text 2017
  • Social media in the Bahrain Uprising: from hope to despair

    In Atanasova D, Reilly P, Veneti A (Eds.) Politics, Protest, Emotion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, PressBooks [Short] 2017
  • Social Media and Unethical P2P Diplomacy in the Bahrain Uprising

    In (Ed) Social Media in the Arab World Communication and Public Opinion in the Gulf States, London: I. B. Tauris, 68-90.  2016
  • Rotten Apples or Rotten Orchards; Police deviance, brutality and unaccountability in Bahrain

    In (Ed) Bahrain's Uprising: Resistance and Repression in the Gulf, London: Zed Books Ltd. 207-238 2015
  • Social Media, Surveillance, and Cyberpolitics in the Bahrain Uprising

    In (Ed) , Zed Books Ltd, 239-262 2015
  • A triple execution in Bahrain has provoked national outrage – and international silence

  • From Geneva to London: How Bahrain Tries to Game Human Rights Accountability in the International Arena

  • Hacking, bots and information wars in the Qatar spat, Washington Post

  • How a spate of killings in Bahrain has raised suspicions of state brutality

  • POLARISED FUTURES? Trump’s visit stokes sectarianism and repression in the Gulf

  • Automated Sectarianism and Pro-Saudi Propaganda on Twitter

  • Bahrain’s uprising: resistance and repression in the Gulf [Book Summary]

  • The More Appalling the Human Rights Record, the Better the Customer at the London Arms Fair

  • The deepening divide in post-election Bahrain

  • Why Aren't the Gulf States Taking More Syrian Refugees

  • ANALYSIS: Bahrain's election - husbands, iPhones and jobs

  • Bahrain’s celebrity anti-diplomacy

  • Bahrain's Silent Spring: What happened to the 'Pearl revolution'?

  • Bahrain's history of political injustice

  • How the Al Khalifas took a quarter of Bahrain’s wealth

  • Little hope for Bahrain as world turns away

  • Putting a price tag on repression

  • The history of British involvement in Bahrain's internal security

  • Hacking, bots and information wars in the Qatar spat

    Washington DC, Project on Middle East Political Science. Author URL 2017
  • UK New Media Review 2010

    Department of Media and Communication Leicester University, Leicester, Department of Media and Communication Leicester University     Dickinson R, Atanasova D, Bain J, Campbell V, Gunter B, Matthews J, Saltzis K 2011
  • Political Change in the Arab Gulf States: Stuck in Transition

    Book ReviewJournal of Arabian Studies, 2(2). DOI. image: 2012
  • Palestine Online: Transnationalism, the Internet and the Construction of Identity

    Book Review. Media, War and Conflict, 5(1), 92-93. DOI 2012