Michelle Weitzel


University of Basel

My research brings topics in conflict, security, political violence, and governance into conversation with the sensory and material world.  My papers have been accorded the Wilson Award and the Hayward R. Alker Award by the American Political Science Association.

I received my PhD in Politics at the New School for Social Research in New York, where I trained in comparative politics and international relations and specialized in the political systems of the Middle East and North Africa.  I received an ALM in Government from Harvard University, and a BS in Journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University.  My research has been supported by the American Institute of Maghrib Studies, the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, the Palestinian American Research Center, and the Graduate Institute for Design, Research and Ethnography.

My current book project is entitled “Sound Politics: Affective Governance and the State.” The book draws on empirical, inductive case studies in Palestine, Israel, Algeria, France, and Morocco, and asks how ambient sound constitutes a form of political power. The cases reveal embodied and affective forces that undergird public opinion and behavior in conflict and contentious politics, and models a way of understanding domination and resistance that has important implications for understanding politics today.  Currently I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Basel.