Katja Žvan Elliott

Originally from Slovenia, I am an Associate Professor in Political Science/North African and Middle East Studies at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. I received my B.A in International Relations from the University of Ljubljana, and my MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford. I continued with my DPhil in Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford which I earned in 2012 with a dissertation entitled Women’s Rights and Reform in Provincial Morocco: From Disenfranchisement to Lack of Empowerment. Though trained as a political scientist, I am a proponent of qualitative/ethnographic methods in social sciences.

Research, Interests and Expertise

Politics of women’s rights in North African authoritarian regimes, Development and gender, Femininities and masculinities, North African authoritarianism and human development, Education and authoritarian regimes, Legal reforms (Muslim Family law, Penal Code, Nationality Code, etc.), Gender-based violence.


Authored books

  • 2015 Žvan Elliott, Katja. Modernizing Patriarchy: The Politics of Women’s Rights in Morocco. Austin: University of Texas Press.
    Modernizing Patriarchy (Combine Academic)
    Modernizing Patriachy
  • Chapters in edited Volumes

  • 2018. Žvan Elliott, Katja. “Morocco: Struggle for More Representation. In Global Handbook on Women and Political Rights. Netina Tan, Mona Lena Krook, and Susan Francheschet (eds). Palgrave MacMillian.
  • 2012 Zvan Elliott, Katja. “The Moudawana and Rural Marital Relationships: Reformed or Resolute?” In Self-Determination and Women’s Rights in Muslim Countries. Chitra Raghavan and James Levine (eds). Waltham: Brandeis University Press.
  • Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • 2015 Žvan Elliott, Katja. “(Dis)Empowering Education: The Case of Morocco.” Journal of Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems. 44:1, 2 (Spring-Summer 2015): 1- 42.
  • 2014 Žvan Elliott, Katja. “Morocco and Its Women’s Rights Struggle: A Failure to Live Up to Its Progressive Image.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 10:2 (Spring 2014): 1-30.
  • 2009 Žvan Elliott, Katja. "Reforming the Moroccan Personal Status Code: A Revolution for Whom?" Mediterranean Politics 14.2 (2009): 213-27.
  • Book reviews

  • 2015 Fiddiyan Qasmiyeh, Elena. “The Ideal Refugees: Gender, Islam, and the Sahrawi Politics of Survival.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 47:1.
  • 2008 Gray, Doris. "Muslim Women On the Move: Moroccan Women and French Women of Moroccan Origins Speak Out." The Journal of North African Studies 13.4.
  • Courses Taught

  • Middle East Politics
  • North African Government and Politics
  • Gender and Politics in Modern Middle East
  • 20th Century North Africa and Middle East
  • Comparative Political Systems
  • Multidisciplinary Research Design
  • Graduate Seminar in North African and Middle East Studies
  • Women in Society and Politics
  • 20th Century International History
  • Contact information

    School of Humanities and Social Sciences | Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane Building 7, office 111 53000 Ifrane Morocco | k.zvan-elliott@aui.ma | +212 (0) 535 86 24 76 | +212 (0) 535 86 29 77 (fax)