Professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London
Prof. Efraim Karsh is a Research Professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London and a Principal Research Fellow at the Middle East Forum (Philadelphia). From 1994 to 2010 he served as Founding Director of King’s College London Middle East & Mediterranean Studies Program, and in 2011-12 as the Middle East Forum’s director.
Born and raised in Israel, Mr. Karsh earned his undergraduate degree in Arabic language and literature and modern Middle Eastern history from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and his graduate and doctoral degrees in international relations from Tel Aviv University. After acquiring his first academic degree, he served for seven years as an intelligence officer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), where he attained the rank of major.
Prior to coming to King’s College in 1989, Professor Karsh held various academic posts at Columbia University, the Sorbonne, the London School of Economics, Helsinki University, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington D.C., and the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel-Aviv University. In 2003 he was the first Nahshon Visiting Professor in Israel Studies at Harvard.
Professor Karsh has published extensively on the Middle East, strategic and military affairs, and European neutrality. He is the author of fifteen books, including Palestine Betrayed (Yale); Islamic Imperialism: A History (Yale); Empires of the Sand: the Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East 1798-1923 (Harvard); Fabricating Israeli History: The “New Historians” (Routledge); The Gulf Conflict 1990-1991 (Princeton); Saddam Hussein (Free Press); Arafat’s War (Grove); and Neutrality and Small States (Routledge).
Professor Karsh has appeared as a commentator on all the main British and American television networks and has contributed over 100 articles to leading newspapers and magazines, including Commentary, The Daily Telegraph, The International Herald Tribune, The London Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
He has served on many academic and professional boards; has acted as referee for numerous scholarly journals, publishers, and grant awarding organizations; has consulted the British Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as well as national and international economic companies/organizations; and has briefed several parliamentary committees.
A recent CENTCOM directory of Centers of Excellence on the Middle East ranked Mr. Karsh as the fifth highly quoted academic among 20 top published authors on the Middle East, with his articles quoted three times as often as the best of the four non-American scholars on the list.
He’s the founding editor of the scholarly journal Israel Affairs, now in its nineteenth year, editor of the Middle East Quarterly, and founding general editor of a Routledge book series on Israeli History, Politics and Society.
Ph.D. Tel-Aviv University, 1985–International Relations
M.A. Tel-Aviv University, 1980–International Relations
B.A. Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1975–Arabic Language and Culture & Modern History of the Middle East
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