Faculty Profile

Ed Webb

Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies (2007)

Contact Information


Denny Hall Room 202


His teaching and research activities are mainly in Middle East politics, comparative politics and international relations. He contributes to Middle East Studies and Security Studies. He has particular interests in the interaction of religions and politics and the politics of education, as well as authoritarianism and empire. His interest in pedagogical applications of new technologies, including simulations, games, and social media, has led to him being appointed to the Advisory Board of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education. A former diplomat, he has lived and worked in the Middle East and Europe. Recent publications: Professor Webb contributed a chapter on “Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism” to 21st Century Political Science: A Reference Handbook, edited by Ishiyama & Breuning (2011) and a chapter, “Should the Daleks Be Exterminated?” (with Mark Wardecker) to Doctor Who and Philosophy, edited by Smithka & Lewis (2010). His article “Engaging Students with Engaging Tools” was published in Educause Quarterly in 2009.


  • B.A., Cambridge University, 1992
  • M.A., University of Pennsylvania, 2003
  • Ph.D., 2007

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

AFST 220 African Government & Politics
Cross-listed with POSC 252-01. An introduction to the politics of contemporary, sub-Saharan Africa. After analyzing the historical and socio-economic context of African politics, the course examines a number of contrasting political systems in depth. The final section of the course discusses the current problems of South Africa from an international perspective.

POSC 252 African Government & Politics
Cross-listed with AFST 220-05.

INST 401 Empire
Empires may seem to belong to history, but they have shaped today’s political order and globalizing economy. Few parts of the world have been untouched by empire. Some argue that the United States is or should be an empire, whether they see it as benign or malign. What does empire mean today? Participants will critically assess diverse materials to come to their own conclusions about the analytical utility of the concept of empire, and how they can best apply it to understand issues that matter in world politics today. Students will produce research papers examining how empire affects their areas of specialization, in preparation for discussion at the oral examination in the spring.

Spring 2019

INST 170 International Relations
Cross-listed with POSC 170-03.

POSC 170 International Relations
Cross-listed with INST 170-03.

FMST 220 Media/Pol in Mdl East & N Afr
Cross-listed with MEST 260-01 and POSC 260-01. Together we will try to answer the questions: What roles do media technologies and practices (particularly new digital technologies) play in the politics of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries? How do states respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by changes in the communication ecosphere? We will study the development of mass media and its regulation in the MENA region. Students will collaborate to produce presentations for the class on particular problems in the role of media in politics and society, and will also complete individual critical and reflective works. The class will make extensive use of digital and social media, seeking to understand their political and social impact partly through first-hand experience.

MEST 260 Media/Pol in Mdl East & N Afr
Cross-listed with POSC 260-01 and FMST 220-01.

POSC 260 Media/Pol in Mdl East & N Afr
Cross-listed with FMST 220-01 and MEST 260-01.