Jean-Pierre Filiu

Full Professor
Phone: +33145495147 -
Jean-Pierre Filiu, a historian and an arabist, is professor of Middle East Studies at Sciences Po, Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA). He teaches 
at Sciences Po since 2006 and has been an associate to the CERI since 2009.He has held visiting professorships both at Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and at Georgetown School of Foreign Service (SFS).
He served also as an adviser to the Prime minister (2000-2002), to the Minister of Defense (1991-93), and to the Minister of Interior (1990-91). Prof. Filiu was a career diplomat from 1988 to 2006, following humanitarian missions in Afghanistan (1986) and Lebanon (1983-84). He was assigned to Amman, before becoming Deputy Chief of mission in Damascus and Tunis.
Prof. Filiu's Apocalypse in Islam (University of California Press, 2011) was awarded the main prize by the French History Convention. His works and articles about contemporary Islam and the Arab world have been published in a dozen languages. Prof. Filiu also wrote the script of Best of Enemies, a graphic novel about US in the Middle East (the first of three volumes is already out with Self Made Hero). His Arab Revolution, ten lessons from the democratic uprising was published in 2011 by Hurst (London) and Oxford University Press (New-York).
President François Hollande appointed Prof. Filiu in July 2012 as one of the members of the draft committee that releases the White Book for Defense and National Security.
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Work in Progress

The Middle East in international relations; Contemporary history of the Middle East; Social and political change in the Middle East

Research Interests

The Middle East in international relations, Contemporary history of the Middle East, Social and political change in the Middle East



Four-class course delivered at Mohyla Adademy of Kyiv, historical partner of Sciences Po, on february 2023.

The Kremlin’s unconditional support to Assad’s war against his own people, since 2011, has too often been analyzed through geopolitical lenses. But the two leaders share a very deep intimacy that they care to protect from any outsider: both have inherited a regime in dire need of a generational facelift, Assad from his own father, Putin from hailing Yeltsin; both were bred in a KGB-style culture, where the “people” do not exist and color revolutions are only foreign plots to be mercilessly crushed; both are running a mafia-style syndicate instead of an institutionalized State and use wars to regulate such a ruling clique.

It is in Syria that Russia, especially after its 2015 direct military involvement, tested and expanded the terror tactics that have already proven so destructive against Ukraine: massive bombings of civilian infrastructures, self-proclaimed “humanitarian corridors” in order to trap the fleeing inhabitants, systematic violation of international law to impose submission or exodus as the only alternative, all this backed by a vicious and global campaign of fake news to deny and/or whitewash the war crimes, while the United Nations are being paralyzed by the Russian veto.

It is in Syria that Moscow and Tehran forged the alliance now so aggressive against Kyiv. Iran even played a decisive role in driving Russia to a direct military campaign in 2015, after four years of providing air-support to pro-Iranian militias, and then Iranian shock troops. The Iranian drones, integrated into the Russian air offensive, were upgraded until the Shahed/Martyr-136 was developed in Syria, before being widely used against Ukraine. But it is not only a multi-faceted military partnership, since both leaderships are convinced that popular resistance should be quelled with the maximum violence if only to deter any further dissent.

It is in the Middle East that, after the all-out invasion of Ukraine, Russia has scored its greatest success against the Western resolve: Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey have so far refused to endorse the financial sanctions against Russia, while Saudi Arabia chose Russia instead of the USA to broker a global partnership on oil prices. Putin has even used resources plundered in Ukraine, like wheat, to support his Syrian protégé. But the situation remains very fluid, and Russia’s gains might prove short-lived if a more proactive policy is to be followed in the region.

  • Keywords
  • Teaching

    - Establishment : Sciences Po, title : Conflicts and negotiations in the Middle East, (level : master),

    - Establishment : Sciences Po, title : History of the Palestine question, (level : master),

    - Establishment : Sciences Po, title : Introduction to the history of contemporary Middle East, (level : licence),

    - Establishment : Sciences Po, title : Introduction to the history of the Arab and Muslim world, (level : licence)
  • Languages

    English, Arabic, Spanish
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