Rana B. Khoury, Ph.D. Candidate


Northwestern University

Country: United States (Illinois)

Research Interests

Conflict Processes & War


Middle East & North African Politics

Foreign Aid

Class, Inequality, and Labor Politics

Countries of Interest




United States


Journal Articles:

(2017) Aiding Activism? Humanitarianism’s Impact on Mobilized Syrian Refugees in Jordan, Middle East Law and Governance

Tags: Refugees, Foreign Aid, Conflict Processes & War

A common narrative of the Syrian conflict suggests that it began with a grassroots uprising and devolved into a violent war between armed actors, leaving civilians to become victims or warriors. A more careful consideration of developments in and around Syria uncovers evidence of continued unarmed mobilization among civilians. Indeed, refugees in neighboring countries like Jordan are deeply engaged in humanitarian, developmental, and political endeavors. In this study, qualitative research and a unique survey together demonstrate that Syrians in Jordan have engaged in abundant activism on behalf of the Syrian cause. Still, the overwhelming militarism and humanitarianism that have characterized the Syrian crisis have had their impacts: activist organization is constricted and configured by security imperatives and, paradoxically, by the aid regime assisting civilians in the conflict. In turn, activism has evolved from grassroots mobilization to a formal and aid-based response to a humanitarian crisis.

Books Written:

(2016) As Ohio Goes: Life in the Post-Recession Nation, Kent State University Press

Tags: Class, Inequality, and Labor Politics, Political Economy

For some, the Great Recession that began in 2007 was a traumatic setback; for others, it was just another dip in a long descent from comfort and security. America is changing in profound ways, but we rarely hear the voices of regular people living the transformation. As Ohio Goes is a journey through cities, suburbs, and remote rural towns in this quintessential American state. Sitting together at dining room tables, walking through rows of planted fields, and swinging back beers at pubs, you’ll meet individuals you won’t soon forget. People like Bill, whose handicap did not push him to take disability payments until his layoff, and Rhonda, a working mother embarrassed to feed her son using food stamps. There are the young soldier who shows us his scars from deployment to Iraq but who remains in the Army to make ends meet and the Amish man whose business loss during the downturn induced him to leave his family and the church. Together their stories personify today’s timeliest issues, which Rana B. Khoury navigates in informative and accessible terms. From student debt and health care costs to female breadwinners and hydraulic fracturing, As Ohio Goes situates each story in a context that relates it to wider trends in Ohio and across the United States. Where economic experts deal in the abstract, Khoury pumps life into otherwise cold facts and figures, putting a human face on economic issues. If the old adage “as Ohio goes, so goes the nation” is right, then these stories should tell us where the nation is headed. Although Ohio is a swing state, Khoury insists that blue and red do not capture the character of the place she calls home. Another reality demands attention: economic inequality has reached historic levels, and there is no indication that the trend will slow or reverse. The growing income gap threatens democratic representation, equal opportunity, and even the American Dream itself. The people in this book display remarkable adaptability, resilience, and love, despite their predicaments, yet the country’s course is the sum of individual fates. Where are Ohio and the nation going?

Media Appearances:

TV Appearances:

(2016) WGTE

Deadline Now: CHARLES BALLARD & RANA KHOURY Aired: 05/27/2016 The great recession that began in 2008 has officially been over for some time – but its effects have lingered. Joining us tonight to talk about all this is Charles Ballard, Professor of Economics at Michigan State University and the author of Michigan’s Economic Future, and Rana Khoury, the author of “As Ohio Goes: Life in the Post-recession Nation.”

Radio Appearances:

(2018) KJZZ 91.5

At Stanford on Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced a new strategy for troops in Syria. That country has been battling a brutal civil war for the last six-plus years. Tillerson said peace will only come to Syria through diplomatic means, and when the country’s Syrian President Bashar al-Assad steps aside. He called for patience and an open-ended U.S. military presence to fight terrorist group resurgence. Most of all, Tillerson said, this would keep Iran from further influence in Syria and the region. At issue here — a league of nations is embroiled in that country’s struggles. Turkey is not happy the U.S. has trained Kurdish rebels to help push back ISIS; Turkey considers the Kurds to be a terrorist group. Russia is also in play. Most recently they’ve wanted to broker a peace deal there. In fact, the United Nations chief just days ago said "too many countries have troops in Syria." So what does this new policy mean for international relations? For that we’re joined by Rana Khoury, from the department of political science at Northwestern University.

(2017) 91.7 WVXU

As Ohio Goes is a familiar phrase, especially during election season. The Buckeye State has voted for the winner in every presidential election but two. That prompted author Rana Khoury, a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Northwestern University, to ask the question, if the nation follows Ohio, where is America headed? She traveled to her home state of Ohio during the 2012 presidential election, talking with people hit hardest by the Great Recession. Rana Khoury joins us to talk about the book that resulted from her journey and conversations, "As Ohio Goes: Life in the Post-Recession Nation."

(2016) Jefferson Public Radio

When historian Studs Terkel wanted to know how people really felt about their jobs, he traveled with a tape recorder and asked them. Rana Khoury recently took a similar tack, except she wanted to know how people felt about the lack of good jobs, about losing their homes and about struggling to escape poverty in the wake of the Great Recession. A Northwestern Ph.D. candidate, Khoury looked to her home state of Ohio for insights we might apply more broadly. Khoury shares takeaways from her interviews with 50 Ohians, collected in her new book: As Ohio Goes: Life in the Post-Recession Nation.

(2016) Live from the Heartland Show

Rana B. Khoury discusses her book As Ohio Goes: Life in the Post-Recession Nation. Audio begins at 37 minutes: http://www.dankugler.com/heartland/ Or video below.