The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Lewis Turner

Lecturer in International Politics


I joined Newcastle University in July 2020 as a Lecturer in International Politics of Gender. I am a political ethnographer of humanitarianism in 'the Middle East,' with a particular interest in how humanitarian organisations and workers understand gender, and how gender shapes humanitarian policies and programmes. My work sits at the intersections of feminist international politics, Middle East politics, and refugee and humanitarian studies.

My research has been pubilshed in peer review journals including International Feminist Journal of Politics, Middle East Critique, and Review of International Studies, and has been awarded prizes by multiple professional associations, including the British International Studies Association, the Political Studies Association, and the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section of the International Studies Association.

I am a member of the Council (Trustee) of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES), an Independent Fellow at the Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration, and an Affiliated Researcher at the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute.

Between 2018 and 2020, I was a Senior Researcher at the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute at the University of Freiburg and a Teaching Fellow at University College Freiburg. I received my PhD in Politics and International Relations from SOAS University of London in 2018.

Follow the links for my Google Scholar profile and page. I tweet at @lewiseturner. My pronouns are he/him.


My research focuses on humanitarianism in 'the Middle East.' It explores questions of gender (particularly men and masculinities), vulnerability, refugee encampment, labour market integration, and race and racism within humanitarian work. I aim to offer critical, feminist perspectives on underexplored aspects of humanitarianism,

My work has been published in multiple leading peer review journals within the fields of Middle East politics, International Relations, and feminist international politics. I have published articles on refugee encampment in Mediterranean Politics, the Jordan Compact in Middle East Critique, refugee men's position in humanitarianism in International Feminist Journal of Politics, the politics of refugee vulnerability in Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society, and the racial politics of portrayals of refugee entrepreneurs in Review of International Studies.

I have also written shorter articles in Forced Migration Review, on refugee resettlement (English Arabic) and the Jordan Compact (English Arabic) which are available in both English and Arabic. I have furthermore written numerous shorter essays, blog posts, and media pieces, including for The Middle East Institute, The LSE Middle East Centre, and Al Jazeera.

My PhD thesis, which was completed at SOAS University of London, was awarded the 2019 Michael Nicholson Thesis Prize by the British International Studies Association, the Shirin M Rai Prize in International Relations by the Political Studies Association, and was joint runner-up in the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies' Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize. It gave an ethnographic account of the governance of refugee men in Za'tari Refugee Camp in Jordan, and was funded by an ESRC Doctoral Studentship.

I am currently working on a book manuscript on the position of refugee men and masculinities within humanitarianism, and undertaking work as part of EU Horizon2020 Project ASILE, which studies the interactions between emerging international protection systems and the United Nations Global Compact for Refugees (UN GCR). Within this project, my research is centred on questions of refugee status, rights, and vulnerability, with a focus on Jordan. In the future, I plan to continue my investigations into different aspects of gender and sexuality in humanitarian work in the Arab world.


I have a wide range of teaching experience in the field of International Politics, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I previously taught at SOAS University of London, on courses including International Politics of Human Rights, Introduction to International Relations, and Government and Politics of the Middle East. At the University of Freiburg, I designed and convened a new course entitled Critical International Relations: Feminist, Postcolonial and Indigenous Perspectives. I have also supervised undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations on diverse topics including volunteer humanitarianism in Calais, human rights work in Palestine, decolonial approaches to development, authoritarianism in Turkey, and refugee politics in Lebanon.

During academic year 2020-2021, I will be involved in teaching the following modules:

POL1032 - Key Concepts in International Politics 

POL2012 - Politics of the Middle East

POL2078 - Critical International Politics

POL3119 - Project in International Relations