Alexandra Blackman is a PhD candidate in Stanford’s Department of Political Science. Her research interests include the relationship between political regimes and religious institutions, as well as the development and deployment of religious identities in the political sphere. Her research is also motivated by a broader interest in the politics of the Middle East, including political party development, the evolution of authoritarian institutions, and the role of foreign and transnational forces in the region.
Alexandra’s dissertation examines property rights and conflict over land in the Tunisia. Specifically, her dissertation research examines the impact of French colonial administration on land reform and local political mobilization in Tunisia. In addition, her research explores the evolution of the institution of the ‘waqf,’ which is typically translated as a religious endowment. In addition to acting as a formalized property rights regime, in the pre-modern and early modern era, the waqf was one of the primary vehicles for charity and redistribution through its role in public goods provision and in inheritance practices.