Director of The Middle East and Mediterranean Chair - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres
Gilles Kepel is a French Political Scientist and Arabist, specialized in the contemporary Middle East. He currently is Professor at Paris Sciences & Lettres University (PSL) and director of the Middle East and Mediterranean Chair at Ecole Normale Supérieure.
Originally trained as a classicist, he started to study Arabic after a journey to the Levant in 1974. He first graduated in Philosophy and English, then completed his Arabic language studies at the French Institute in Damascus in 1978 and received his degree from Sciences Po in 1980.
He specialized in contemporary Islamist movements and spent three years at the French Research Center in Egypt where he did the fieldwork for his PhD on “Islamist movements in Egypt”. After his return to France, where he became a Researcher at CNRS (France National Research Faculty), he investigated the developments of Islam as a social and political phenomenon in this country. He was promoted to Research Director at CNRS in 1995 and spent a year in the US as New York Consortium Professor at both Columbia and New York Universities. In 2001, he was appointed Professor of Political Science at Sciences Po, where he created the Middle East and Mediterranean Program and the EuroGolfe Forum.
The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West (Belknap Press, 2004)
Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam (I.B. Tauris, 2004)
The roots of radical Islam (Saqi Books, 2005)
Beyond terror and martyrdom: The future of the Middle East (Belknap Press, 2008)
Terror in France / The Rise of Jihad in the West (La Fracture, 2016)