Prof. Jordi Tejel


I received my Ph.D. in History and Historical Sociology in November 2004 from the University of Fribourg and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris), respectively. Between 2006-2008, I was a post-doctoral researcher first at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London) and then at the EHESS (Paris). Upon my return to Switzerland, I was Lecturer at the University of Fribourg and Neuchâtel. Between 2010-2016, I led a research project on minority conflicts in the Middle East funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Since September 2017, I am Adjunct Professor in the Department of History at the University of Neuchâtel where I am leading a project funded by the European Research Council (ERC), titled “Towards a Decentred History of the Middle East: Transborder Spaces, Circulations, Frontier Effects and State Formation, 1920-1946”.

I define myself as a historian of contemporary Middle East with an interdisciplinary profile. I am particularly interested in topics such as nationalism, state-building, minority conflicts, social mobilisation and cross-border dynamics, including networks of violence, refugees and smuggling. I am also interested in historiographical debates as well as the search for new epistemological and methodological avenues to better grasp the complexities of historical events and dynamics.

Within the framework of my present research project, I am planning to re-examine the relationship between violence, border-making and state-formation in the Middle East after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire by using ‘borderlands’ as an analytical device that affords a new, decentred perspective. Likewise, the project expects to generate new knowledge in the areas of “border studies” (border-making, frontier effects and circulations across borders) and the history of the Middle East by using both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Selected publications

Edited books and volumes

2020 (edited with Ramazan H. Öztan), Forced Migration and Refugeedom in the Modern Middle East. Towards Connected Histories of Refugeedom in the Middle East Special issue of Journal of Migration History, Vol. 6, No. 1, Leiden: Brill.

2016 (edited with Benjamin T. White) The Fragments Imagine the Nation ? Minorities in the Modern Middle East and North Africa, Special issue of British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 43, No. 2, London: Francis & Taylor, 254 pages.

2012 (edited with Peter Sluglett, Riccardo Bocco, and Hamit Bozarslan), Writing the History of Iraq: Historiographical and Political Challenges, Singapore: World Scientific Press, 576 pages.

2010 (edited with Clémence Scalbert-Yücel) Ruralité, urbanité et violence au Kurdistan, Special issue of Etudes rurales, No. 186, Paris: EHESS, 247 pages.


2018 (with Boris James) Les Kurdes en 100 questions, Paris: Tallandier, 378 pages.

2016 Kordhaye sooriyah, Tarikh va Jamee [Farsi translation of Syria’s Kurds: History, Politics and Society], Tehran, 302 pages.

2015 Suriye Kürtleri: Tarih, Siyaset ve Toplum [Turkish translation of Syria’s Kurds: History, Politics and Society], Istanbul: Intifada Yayinlari, 327 pages.

2014 La question kurde: passé et present, Paris: l’Harmattan, 144 pages.

2013 Al-Harka Al-Kurdiya Al-Turkiya fi Al-Manfa [Arabic translation of Le mouvement kurde en exil. Continuités et discontinuités du nationalisme kurde sous le mandat français en Syrie et au Liban (1925-1946), by Georges Batal], Erbil: Aras, 425 pages.

2009 Syria’s Kurds: History, Politics and Society, trans. from the French by Emily Welle and Jane Welle, Abingdon: Routledge, 208 pages.

2007 Le mouvement kurde en exil. Continuités et discontinuités du nationalisme kurde sous le mandat français en Syrie et au Liban (1925-1946), Bern: Peter Lang, 375 pages.

2006  Irak. Chronique d’un chaos annoncé, Robert Belot and Jordi Tejel, Panazol: Lavauzelle, 220 pages.

Adjunct Professor in Contemporary History


Jordi Tejel
Phone: +41 718 1603

On-going projects