Mark N Katz

Mark N Katz

Mark N Katz


Russian foreign policy, especially toward the Middle East; Great power competition

Mark N. Katz, Professor Emeritus of Government and Politics, began teaching at George Mason University in 1988 and retired in 2024.  He writes mainly on Russian foreign and security policy--especially toward the Middle East.

Current Research

Russian foreign policy toward the Middle East

Great power competition

Selected Publications

“Post-Putin Russia: Five Potential Pathways.” E-International Relations, July 4, 2023.

“Russian Strategy toward the MENA Region in the Ukraine War Era.” European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), IEMed Mediterranean Yearbook 2023.

“The United States and Regional Great Power Rivalry: Can America Still Pass the Mearsheimer Test?” Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Working Paper no. 133, April 2023.

"Despite Russian Reliance on Iranian Drones, Tehran’s Leverage Over Moscow Is Limited," Russia Matters (Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center), December 1, 2022.

“How the War in Ukraine is Hitting the Middle East,” in Valeria Talbot, ed., “The MENA Region in 2023: Where Do We Go Now?” Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), December 1, 2022.

“Different but Similar: Comparing Moscow's Middle East Policies in the Cold War and Putin Eras,” in Nikolay Kozhanov, ed., Russian Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East: 
New Trends, Old Traditions (London: Hurst/New York: Oxford University Press, 2022). 
“Putin’s Grand Strategy Toward the Middle East,” in Tore T. Petersen and Clive Jones, Grand Strategy in the Contemporary Middle East: The Concepts and Debates (Berlin: Gerlach Press, 2022).

“Risk or Opportunity? How Russia Sees a Changing MENA Region,” in Karim Mezran and Valeria Talbot, eds., “Evolving Mena Power Balances: What Is Next for Us Engagement in the Region?” Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)/Atlantic Council Dossier, July 12, 2022.

“The Role of Deflection in Putin’s Diplomacy toward the U.S.,” Kennan Cable No. 71, Kennan Institute/Wilson Center, September 2021.

“Russia and Israel: An Improbable Friendship,” in Dimitar Bechev, Nicu Popescu, and Stanislav Secrieru, eds. Russia Rising: Putin’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East and North Africa (London: I.B. Tauris, 2021).

“Putin’s Mediterranean Gambit: Endgame Unclear,” Atlantic Council, April 2021. 
“Incessant Interest: Tsarist, Soviet and Putinist Mideast Strategies.” Middle East Policy, Spring 2020. 
“Whatever His Title, He Plans to Remain in Charge: Is It a Solo ‘Tandemocracy’ Now?” Al Jazeera Center for Studies, February 6, 2020. 

“When the Friend of My Friends Is Not My Friend: The United States, US Allies, and Russia in the Middle East,” Atlantic Council, May 2019.

“Syria and the Middle East: Fracture Meets Fracture,” in Anna Ohanyan, ed., Russia Abroad: Driving Regional Fracture in Post-Communist Eurasia and Beyond (Georgetown University Press, 2018).

“Support Opposing Sides Simultaneously: Russia’s Approach to the Gulf and the Middle East,” Al Jazeera Center for Studies, August 23, 2018.

Expanded Publication List

Grants and Fellowships

Sir William Luce Fellowship, Durham University (UK), Easter Term (late April—late June) 2018.

Fulbright Scholarship, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, January-March 2018.

Earhart Foundation Fellowship Research Grants, Summer 1997, Summer 2001, Summer 2004, Summer 2005, Summer 2006, and Spring 2015.

Kennan Institute Short-Term Grant, January 2008.

Hokkaido University Slavic Research Center 21st Century Center of Excellence Program Foreign Visitors Fellowship, June-July 2007.

National Endowment for the Humanities Stipend, Summer 1995.

United States Institute of Peace Grant, September 1994-May 1995.

Earhart Foundation Fellowship Research Grant, September 1993-May 1994.

United States Institute of Peace Jennings Randolph Peace Fellowship, June 1989-May 1990.

Kennan Institute Research Scholarship, February-August 1985.

Rockefeller Foundation International Relations Fellowship, September 1982-November 1984.

Brookings Institution Research Fellowship, September 1980-August 1981.

Earhart Foundation H. B. Earhart Fellowships, Summer 1980, and Fall 1981.

Institute for the Study of World Politics Fellowship, September 1979-May 1980.

Courses Taught

GOVT 338--Government and Politics of Russia

GOVT 444--The War on Terror

GOVT 447--Revolution and International Politics

GOVT 540--International Relations

GOVT 731--Seminar on Revolution and International Politics

GOVT 731--Seminar on Russian Politics and Foreign Policy

POGO 750--Russian Security Policy

POGO 750--Russia and the Middle East


Ph.D. in Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, February 1982.

M.A. in International Relations, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, May 1978.

B.A. in International Relations, University of California at Riverside, June 1976.