Skip to main content


Photo of Professor Lise Storm

Professor Lise Storm

BA, MA (Copenhagen), PHD (Exeter)

Professor of Political Science and International Studies


01392 725255

We know that women are the most negatively impacted by climate change, particularly in the Global South. Yet, women are under-represented in climate governance at all levels. My most recent research project explores how women’s political representation at the national level affects women’s climate agency, focusing on (1) barriers and opportunities in terms of standing for election and (2) the consequences of the essentialist view of women as a homogenous group, which obscures the reality that not all women are equally represented, with women whose identities intersect more than one marginalized community particularly disadvantaged.

In line with my previous work, my research on gender, representation and the global climate crisis centres on authoritarian regimes in the Global South and affords particular attention to the role of political parties. Over the past two decades, I have published widely on different aspects of party politics, including the role of political parties in facilitating authoritarian survival (Party Politics and the Prospects for Democracy in North Africa, Democratization in Morocco, and ‘The Fragile Tunisian Democracy’), the rise and demise of different types of parties, including Islamist parties and former rebel movements ( 'Exploring post-rebel parties in power: Political space and implications for Islamist inclusion and moderation', ‘The Persistence of Authoritarianism as a Source of Radicalization in North Africa’ and ‘The Dilemma of the Islamists’), as well as international party assistance in authoritarian settings (‘New Perspectives on International Party Assistance’ and ‘Problems of Party Assistance in Hybrid Regimes’ with Nicole Bolleyer).

Most of my work is on political parties in the Middle East and North Africa (see, for instance, ‘Post-Election Elite Bargaining and Coalition Formation in the MENA: Lessons from Iraq and Morocco’ with Dylan O’Driscoll, Political Parties in the Arab World: Continuity and Change with Francesco Cavatorta and Routledge Handbook on Political Parties in the Middle East and North Africa with Francesco Cavatorta and Valeria Resta), but I also increasingly cover Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. At present, I am finalizing a manuscript on Political Parties in the Global South and another on Gender, Representation and the Global Climate Crisis.

For office hours and research leave, please see here.

Links to publications can be found on the 'Publications' tab.

Research group links

Research interests

My research is located in the Middle East Social Sciences cluster within the IAIS. I am Director of the newly established Centre for Middle East Politics (C-MEP) and I am a member of the cross-departmental CEMAP, which focuses on electoral and party politics. 

My main research interests are:

  • Party politics
  • Islamist parties
  • Ethnic parties and movements
  • Elections
  • Democratization processes
  • Democracy promotion/assistance/support
  • International development (SDG16)
  • Party aid
  • Authoritarianism 
  • Politics in 'hybrid' regimes
  • Party system institutionalization
  • Mechanisms of regime survival in non-democratic states
  • Gender and representation
  • The global climate crisis and women’s agency

I work on all of the above themes, mainly within the context of the Middle East. However, I also focus extensively on Latin America and dabble in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and the West Balkans.

Research supervision

I am happy to supervise students working on democracy, democratization, authoritarianism, political parties, and party system institutionalization as well as international aid and development relating to SDG16. The cases studied do not necessarily have to be Middle Eastern or Muslim World centred – as an associate of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies (EXCEPS) and the Centre for Latin American Studies (CLAS), I also welcome students working on Latin American and African politics.

I expect my students to reside in the UK and/or to travel to Exeter on a regular basis (at least once every two months).

Students supervised by me must have a firm grounding in political science or have good work experience in a relevant field.

Research students

I have seen quite a number of students through to completion, including Dr Anaïd Flesken, who worked on the relationship between electoral systems and ethnic conflict in Latin America; Dr Mona Farag, who owrked on women in the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; Dr Abdelouahed Motaouakal on al-Adl wal-Ihsan in Morocco; Dr Billie Jeanne Brownlee (Syrian media and resistance); Dr Irwan Mohamed Syazli on Malaysian Islamist parties and the Arab Uprisings; Dr Emman el-Badawy (education and democracy in Egypt); Dr Jihad Mashamoun on Saudi foreign policy and proxy war; Dr Tobias Bork on Gulf Foreign Policy; and Dr Stephane Hlaimi on Islam and contested public space.

At present I supervise:

Mr Khaled Alteneiji (w Ella Gao) on democratization in the Arab Gulf states

Mr Rami Babiker (w Ella Gao) on Arabism post-Uprisings

Mr Bogdan Brebeanu on rebel to party transformation

Mr Christopher Cox (w Ella Gao) on Moroccan youth activism

Mr Vito Morisco (w Billie Jeanne Brownlee) on the Hezbollah and Hamas




Other information

In addition to teaching and research, I am heavily engaged in administrative and managerial roles. I have previously held the roles of Director of Research (DoR) and Director of Education (DoE) (IAIS) as well as Chair of the Ethics Committee (College of Social Sciences and International Studies) and member of the Ethical Review Group (University of Exeter). Presently, I hold the following posts:

  • Director of the new Center for Middle East Politics; C-MEP (a joint effort between the IAIS and the Department of Politics)
  • Athena SWAN lead applicant (IAIS) (on hold)
  • Academic Lead (IAIS)
  • Member of CEMAP (University of Exeter)

Outside of the University, but related to my field of study, I am a founding member of REPRESENT, which is a research center for the study of parties and democracy, bringing together academics and practitioners. For more information, please see the REPRESENT website

I also...

  • serve on the editorial board of the journal Mediterranean Politics
  • am a Fellow of the HEA
  • volunteer at the Exeter Food Bank 

In my spare time, I cook, bake and run, whittle spoons, and make things out of wood and clay.

External impact and engagement

Over the past couple of years, I have carried out work on political parties, party assistance and democratization with and for various institutions and organizations, most notably the FCO and the DfID (now the FCDO) as well as the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).



2021-present: Associate Professor of Party Politics. University of Exeter (UK), Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies.

2010-2021: Senior Lecturer in Middle East Politics. University of Exeter (UK), Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies. 

2009-2010: Lecturer in Middle East Politics. University of Exeter (UK), Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies.

2007-2009: Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Comparative Politics. University of Exeter (UK), Department of Politics.

2006-2007: Lecturer in Middle East Politics. University of Exeter (UK), Department of Politics. 


2002-2006: PhD, Political Science. University of Exeter (UK), Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies.

Thesis: The Limits and Opportunities of Democratization from Above: Moroccan Political ‘Games’, 1956-2005.

Supervisor: Prof. Tim Niblock; external examiner: Dr Michael Willis (Oxford).


2000-2002: MA, Political Science. University of Copenhagen (DK), Institute of Political Science.

The first year of the degree was spent at Leiden University (NL), Department of Public Administration.

Dissertation: Theories of Conflict Resolution and Turkey’s Kurdish Question.

Supervisor: Prof. Dietrich Jung.


1997-2000: BA, Political Science. University of Copenhagen (DK), Institute of Political Science.


 Edit profile