Peer Reviewed Journal Article
 Mhajne, Anwar, and Crystal Whetstone. "Combative Civil Society: Contesting Political Leaders’ Power Grabs in Crises." Romanian Review of Political Science and International Studies, 2022.
 Mhajne, Anwar, and Gregory W. Saxton. Forthcoming. "Gender Egalitarian Attitudes and Support for Islamist Parties in the Middle East and North Africa." Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy, 2022.
Abstract: How do attitudes about women’s equality affect political support for Islamist parties? Women’s issues remain a key point of contention between religious groups and the government in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Given Islamists’ conservative stances on women’s rights, individuals who support gender equality may naturally be skeptical of Islamist parties participating in politics. Nevertheless, democratic stability in the region requires creating inclusive political institutions, including women’s movements and the Islamic opposition. Where democracy is inclusive and competitive, Islamist parties may moderate their positions to remain electorally viable, thus alleviating gender equality proponents’ concerns. To test these expectations, we draw on two different survey data sources from the MENA region. Our results, consistent across time and data sources, demonstrate that gender egalitarian individuals are less likely to trust Islamist parties or tolerate their inclusion in formal politics. Nevertheless, democracy mitigates this negative relationship.
 Mhajne, Anwar and Rasmus Brandt. “Rights, Democracy and Islamist Women’s Activism in Tunisia and Egypt.” Religion and Politics, October 2020.
Abstract: In the early days after the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, Islamist movements and parties appeared to be the winners of the political transformation. This opened new opportunities for activism and political participation for Islamist men and women. The political organizing of the Egyptian Muslim Sisterhood and Ennahda women in Tunisia before, during and after the uprisings provides a significant case for addressing the gap in the literature on Islamist women’s political organizing and agency. Moreover, it addresses the lack of scholarly attention to the Muslim Sisterhood and Ennahda women and the agency they manifest in their sociopolitical activism. Relying on primary and secondary interviews with these activists, this article traces the framing strategies, activism, and roles of Islamist women in Egypt and Tunisia. In both cases, we argue government repression and backlash against Islamist movements is a shared experience and a central topic of identification for Islamist women. Islamist women in Tunisia and Egypt became more visible in the aftermath of the uprisings and reached into decision making bodies such as a parliament when their countries were on the path toward democracy. Women from the two groups highlight democracy, freedom, human rights, and women’s rights to frame their activism.
 Niven, David, Anwar Mhajne, and Alexis Straka. “Who Reveals, Who Conceals? Gender and Candidate Communication Styles,” Political Research Quarterly, March 2019.
Abstract: Do women candidates in the United States more openly provide the specific details of their policy preferences and make clear their political ideology? Previous research supports all manner of conflicting expectations regarding gender and campaign communication strategies. Here, with an eye toward offering evidence on the degree to which candidates make clear their issue positions, we consider how more than 1,300 candidates running in the 2016 elections from fifteen randomly chosen states answered voter guide questions. We do so both to better understand the murky theoretical relationship between gender and communication styles and to offer insight into the practical realities of how women run for office. Ultimately our findings support the notion that women run for office differently, offering less transparency of their issue positions than men. The implication, consistent with a theory of conditional political ambition, is that women weigh more seriously the decision to run for office and, thus, run more sophisticated campaigns when they do pursue office.
 Mhajne, Anwar, and Crystal Whetstone. “The Use of Political Motherhood in Egypt’s Arab Spring Uprising and Aftermath.”International Feminist Journal of Politics, October 2017. DOI:10.1080/14616742.2017.1371624.
Abstract: Political motherhood, which uses traditional motherhood to mobilize and sustain women’s political participation, is understudied in political science. Women played a significant role in Egypt’s Arab Spring and its aftermath by “bargaining with patriarchy” and strategically using traditional motherhood to access the political sphere. In this article, we develop a theoretical argument based on the work of Gentry, Carreon and Moghadam and Amar. We illustrate it with examples drawn from news articles on women’s political activism and social media posts by Egyptian activists. Our argument explores how women’s agency and the larger political context in which women operate reveals how political motherhood takes the particular shape that it does. In the context of Egypt, we examine how the state’s choice to highlight women as “hypervisible” citizens, worthy of protection, backfired. Through a bottom-up political motherhood, women used their respectability as mothers in need of state protection against the state, thereby legitimizing anti-Mubarak and anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations and challenging these governments
 Mhajne, Anwar. "Toward a comprehensive approach to understanding the construction of Islamic masculinities in the Middle East and North Africa" in Caroline Starkey, and Emma Tomalin, ed. Routledge Handbook of Religion, Gender and Society, 2021.
Read it here!
 Calfano, Brian and Anwar Mhajne. “Muslim Women in the US: Pathways and Perceptions” in Brian Robert Calfano, Nazita Lejarvardi, and Melissa Michelson, ed. Understanding Muslim Political Life in America: (Contested) Citizenship in the Trump Era, Temple University, May 2019.
 Mhajne, Anwar and Crystal Whetstone. “Troubling Conceptions of Motherhood: State Feminism and Political Agency of Women in the Global South” in Laura J. Shepherd, ed. Troubling Motherhood: Maternity and the State,Oxford University Press, 2019.
Abstract:In this chapter, we explore the ways in which political institutions in three countries – Egypt, Sri Lanka, and Argentina – interact with religious and cultural conceptions of motherhood to provide women with social authority, often through respectability politics.State and societal dynamics in each case forced women to bargain with patriarchy in order to secure political gains using – and therefore reproducing – respectability politics. In each of these three cases from different geographical regions of the world, our analysis has revealed how women’s “bargaining with patriarchy” by employing patriarchal discourses on respectable femininity and maternal identities enabled some women to engage, challenge and resist the state. By using respectability politics centered around maternalism and the institution of motherhood, women have helped to advance democratization by challenging human rights abuses and/or furthered women’s participation in politics.With these three cases, we demonstrate how, in certain political and cultural contexts where religion and women’s roles as the foundation of the family significantly structure the lives of women, motherhood has been utilized as a powerful tool for political mobilization and contestation.
 Mhajne, Anwar. “Political Opportunities for Islamist Women in Morocco and Egypt” in Hanane Darhour and Drupe Dahlerup, ed. An Age of Uncertainty: The Double-Edged Politics of Empowering and Sidelining Women in the MENA Region,Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.
Abstract: This asks how do political opportunity structures (POS) - i.e., political openings for and obstructions against organizing - shape Islamist women’s political participation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)? The chapter examines this question in the context of how the POS shapes Islamist women’s political participation in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Morocco’s Justice and Development Party (JDP) while simultaneously addressing the marginalization of Islamist women in the study of state-society politics. It also explores how Islamist women’s political organizing and framing strategies, in turn, reshape these political opportunities. To address how Islamist women, respond to the changes in the POS, this chapter looks at the mobilizing mediums (formal and informal) women utilize and their framing strategies in different political contexts. By applying mobilization and framing perspectives, the author sheds light on how the activities of Islamist women impact political elites’ backing for the movement’s agendas. It considers how POS influences Islamist women’s organizing strategies (mediums and framings) and how these strategies influence POS. It reveals how a lack of gender analysis of POS can mask certain important political processes and applies a theoretical framework that views the POS as dynamic.
Encyclopedic Book Chapter
Runyan, Anne Sisson, Anwar Mhajne, Crystal Whetstone, and Rina Verma Williams. “Feminisms in Comparative Perspective” in Nancy Naples, ed. Companion to Feminist Studies. New York: Wiley Blackwell, 2020.
 Mhajne, Anwar. Review of Polarized and Demobilized: Legacies of Authoritarianism in Palestine by Dana El KurdAlMuntaqa 3, no. 1 (2020): 91-93. Accessed July 22, 2020. doi:10.31430/almuntaqa.3.1.0091.
 Mhajne, Anwar. Review of Jane Freedman, Zeynep Kivilcim and Nurcan Özgür Baklacıoğlu, A Gendered Approach to the Syrian Refugee Crisisin Political Studies Review(2019).
 Mhajne, Anwar. Review of Sylvester, Christine. War as Experience: Contributions from International Relations and Feminist Analysis in International Feminist Journal of Politics 17, no. 1 (2015): 187-189.
 Mhajne, Anwar. Review of Dal, Mikala Hyldig, Cairo: Images of Transition - Perspectives on Visuality in Egypt, 2011-2013 in H-War, H-Net Reviews. March 2016.
Mhajne, Anwar. "Film Review: My So-called Enemy." (2017): 0092055X17743516.
Professional Association Essay
 Mhajne, Anwar. “Middle East Studies Through a Feminist Lens.” The Middle East and North Africa Workshops of the American Political Science Association (11, 2018)
 Mhajne, Anwar. "Women in International Relations: From the Margins to the Center?" International History and Politics- An Organized Section of the American Political Science Association 2 (November 4, 2016): 8-10.
Works in Progress
 Mhajne, Anwar and Crystal Whetstone. "From Syria to the US: the US Refugee Resettlement Program and Shifting Gender Dynamics."
Abstract: Until the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980, the United States admitted refugees on an ad hoc basis. The Refugee Act of 1980 provided a solid foundation for building a robust resettlement system. Yet in the forty years since the Act’s passage, the United States has not fully lived up to its obligations under the law. Many stakeholders have identified the need for a comprehensive analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the resettlement program. One of the central objectives of the refugee resettlement system is to help refugees achieve “self-sufficiency,” which has traditionally been narrowly focused on finding employment and earning a total income that allows a family to support itself without the receipt of cash assistance from the state. The Act had initially been exempted refugees from work registration requirements for the first 60 days. Still, in 1982, Congress eliminated the exemption, thereby strengthening the connection between self-sufficiency and new employment for refugees. Following the elimination of the exemption, finding work as quickly as possible became the program’s preeminent objective while other priorities outlined in the Act, including English language and employment training programs, were marginalized. The emphasis on self-sufficiency and economic independence risks limiting opportunities for refugees to become accustomed to their new surroundings, find jobs appropriate to their skill sets and access social services that could improve their long-term outcomes. Furthermore, it overlooks a more robust understanding of integration which includes linguistic, and cultural integration. While working through past traumas and dealing with cultural differences and unfamiliar contexts in their new lives in the US, refugees regularly cite the language barrier as their most trying obstacle. Language barriers can reduce employment opportunities and make it difficult for refugees to navigate systems such as healthcare or effectively communicate with law enforcement officials in emergencies. The failure to provide sufficient resources alongside stresses brought by the local backlash against the resettlement system, has had a corrosive effect on the experience of refugees with consequences for longstanding familial and social roles. This study explores how such disruptions exacerbated by a problematic refugee resettlement program in the US influenced gender dynamics in Syrian refugee families residing in the US. This study explores how such disorders have influenced associations between gender and apparent self-worth experienced by Syrian refugee families upon relocation to the United States. It examines how the new challenges in the US have contributed to changing power dynamics between men and women, thus creating more tension in the family. We rely on interviews to recruit 30 participants from Cincinnati and Boston, who were interviewed by a bilingual interviewer. We expect to find significant gender differences in language, self-reported health, ability to budget for household expenses and access to formal social networks and quality housing. We also expect that stressors produced by the refugee resettlement programs caused changes in the family structure where men started relying on their wives and young daughters, to provide for the family, especially in lower-class families. We expect some women to report an increase in freedoms, power, and demands within the family. We also hope women to express a desire to maintain cultural, religious, and traditional gender roles.