Benoit Challand is Associate Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research, NYC. His research focus on civil society in Palestine and foreign assistance in the Middle East, Marxist theory, and European identity. He has taught at the Scuola Normale Superiore (Florence), NYU, and the University of Fribourg (CH). He holds a MA in Near East Studies from SOAS (London, 2000) and a PhD from the European University Institute (Florence, 2005). He is currently finishing a book on informal politics and decentralization in Tunisia and Yemen.