Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science


Brief Biography

James H. Sunday is assistant professor of methods with an emphasis on comparative politics in the Department of Political Science (POLS) at The American University in Cairo (AUC). In that capacity, he is also program director, overseeing the joint MA program in Comparative and Middle East Politics and Society (CMEPS) between AUC and the Institute of Political Science at the University of Tübingen in Germany. Prior to this appointment, Sunday was a part-time lecturer in 2012, then served as a research assistant professor from 2013 to 2016. Sunday received his BA in politics and medieval studies from the University of Virginia, followed by his MA in Political Science from AUC. He then earned his PhD in politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London.

At AUC, Sunday teaches undergraduate/graduate courses and frequently supervises MA theses both in Cairo and in Tübingen. In addition to teaching, he also serves on the POLS Graduate Committee, the AUC Graduate Advisory Council, and the Community Standards Committee representing the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HUSS). Sunday has presented his research and analyses in multiple international conferences and has also provided commentary for a number of news agencies, amongst them the Washington Post (US), Tahrir TV (Egypt), and Egyptian state television.

Sunday's current research focuses on state-society relations in Egypt, in which he takes an ethnographic approach to revisit conceptions of participation amongst youth in new popular (shaʿbi) quarters of Greater Cairo.  As such, his interests span Middle East politics and economy, including urban and everyday politics, resistance and mobilization, informal networks, participation, subject formation, neoliberal governmentality, as well as theories of power.


PhD in Politics (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)

Graduate Diploma in Middle East Studies (American University in Cairo)

MA in Political Science (American University in Cairo)

BA in Politics and Medieval Studies (University of Virginia)


• Sunday, James H. (2014) Bonded by Choice: Shebabi Sociality and Neoliberal Governmentality in Contemporary Egypt, presented at the International Studies Association Annual Convention on the panel "Global Politics of Resistance in the Middle East: Contestations of Power as Everyday Practices and Beyond" (Conference): Toronto.

• Sunday, James H. (2012) Defying Homo Economicus: Youth Subjectivity, Competition and Informal Networks in Neoliberal Cairo, presented at “Negotiating State-Society Relations in the Developing World: From Micro-Politics to Political Settlements” (Workshop). 16 August 2012. London School of Economics and Political Science (International Development) and University of Oxford (Development Studies): London/Cairo (Video Conference).

• Sunday, James H. (2012) Generation Tahrir: Europe in the Youth Imaginary in Times of Change, presented at “The EU and Arab Spring” (Workshop). 20 January 2012. London School of Economics and Political Science: London.

• Sunday, James H. (2011) Shirking the Basha: Youth Encounters with the Everyday Security State in Cairo, presented at “Democracy, Governance and Development: Between the Institutional and the Political” (Conference). 26-28 June 2011. Department of International Development, University of Oxford: Oxford.


• Sunday, James H. (2016) “Making Sense of the Outcome.” 11 November 2016. Invited Lecture: Faculty of Economics and Political Science. Giza: Cairo University.

• Shahin, Magda, Aly Arfan, and James H. Sunday. (2016) “US Elections… What Now?” 10 November 2016. Invited Lecture: CASAR, MESC, POLS, American University in Cairo: Cairo.

• Sunday, James H. (2015) “Life of the Party: Politics, Power, and Ideology in Presidential Selection.” 5 November 2015. Invited Lecture: Faculty of Economics and Political Science. Giza: Cairo University.

• Elnur, Ibrahim and James H. Sunday. (2015) "How to Reflect on Politics in a Rapidly Changing MENA" panel presentation as part of the Alumni Lectures Series. DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst: Cairo.

• Sunday, James H. (2015) "Collaborative Social Sciences in a Global Age" panel discussion prepared for the workshop Study Programs Tailored for the Labor Market hosted by DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst: Cairo.

• Sunday, James H. (2014) “Shifting Balance by Design: Power, Parties, and Election Politics.” 19 November 2014. Invited Lecture: Faculty of Economics and Political Science. Giza: Cairo University.

• Sunday, James H. (2013) “Protest: The Politics of Participation.” 20 March 2013. English Language Institute (Live Lecture Series): The American University in Cairo.

• Sunday, James H. (2011) “The U.S. and the MENA: Implications for the Arab Spring.” 8 March 2011. School of Oriental and African Studies & Iraqi News Agencies (Media): London.

• Sunday, James H. (2009) “State Terrorism and Neoliberalism: The North in the South” (Chair). 4 February 2009. Department of Politics, School of Oriental & African Studies: London.

• Sunday, James H. (2009) “Institutions and the State: Implications for Economic Development in the Middle East and North Africa.” 9 July 2009. Department of Economics (Guest Lecture): The American University in Cairo.

• Sunday, James H. (2008) “Track-II Diplomacy: Assumptions and Lessons from the Middle East.” 8 April 2008. Harvard University Law School (Consultation): Cairo.


Comparative Politics

Critical Theory

Urban and Everyday Politics

Resistance and Mobilisation

Informal Networks

Political Participation

Subject Formation

Neoliberal Governmentality




POLS 1001/2003: Introduction to Political Science

POLS 2104: Introduction to Research Methods in Political Science

POLS 3401: Introduction to Comparative Politics

POLS 3408: Introduction to Comparative Politics of the Middle East and North Africa

POLS 4033: Special Topics/Independent Study: The Arab State and Neoliberal Globalisation

POLS 4033: Special Topics/Independent Study: Revisiting the Urban: Space, Power and Politics


POLS 5201: Comparative Theory

POLS 5299: Research Guidance and Thesis