Najib B. Hourani

  • Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
  • Associate Professor, Global Urban Studies Program


334 Baker Hall, Michigan State University

Research Interests

    Middle East - Lebanon, Jordan, Syria
    Post-Conflict Reconstruction of Urban Environments
    Urban Development and Redevelopment
    Anthropology of Civil Conflict and "War Economies"

Biographical Info

Najib Hourani (PhD, Politics, New York University, 2005) is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and holds a joint appointment with the Graduate Global Urban Studies Program.  He received his BA in Political Science and an MA in Middle East and North African Studies from the University of Michigan. Dr. Hourani also holds an MA in Political Science, with a focus on Central America, from Tulane University.

Dr. Hourani has published extensively on the post-conflict reconstruction of Beirut following the Lebanese Civil War and the 2006 Summer War. In addition he has explored "market driven" urban development and redevelopment in Amman, Jordan.

He co-edited, with Dr. Edward L. Murphy (History, MSU) a volume exploring housing issues entitled "The Housing Question: Tensions, Continuities and Contingencies in the Modern City" (Ashgate 2013); and with Ahmed Kanna (Anthropology, University of the Pacific) a special issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs entitled "Arab Cities in the Neoliberal Moment" (Vol. 6, no. 2, 2014).

In 2019-20 Dr. Hourani will be a Fulbright Scholar, affiliated with the School of Architecture and the Built Environment at the German-Jordanian University in Amman, Jordan. He will be conducting research with Syrians residing in Jordan concerning their needs and aspirations for the reconstruction of Syrian cities in the wake of the ongoing civil war. He will continue this project in Summer 2020 and Summer 2021 with the support of a Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) Senior Scholar Fellowship.


Hourani, Najib, 2015.“People or Profit? Two Post-Conflict Reconstructions in Beirut,” Human Organization. Vol. 74, no. 2, Summer, pp. 174-84.
Hourani, Najib, 2015. Capitalists in Conflict: The Lebanese Civil War Reconsidered,” Middle East Critique. Vol. 24, no. 2, Spring, pp. 1-24.

Hourani, Najib, “From National Utopia to Elite Enclave: The Selling of the Beirut Souqs” in Gary McDonogh and Marina Peterson, eds.. Global Downtowns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.

Hourani, Najib, “War of the Banks: Globalization of the Lebanese Civil War.” Geopolitics, Vol. 15, No. 3, 2010.

Hourani, Najib, 2008. “The Militiaman Icon: Cinema, Memory and the Lebanese Civil  Wars.” CR: The New Centennial Review, Vol. 8, Issue 2, 2008.

Dept. of Anthropology