Omar S. Dahi

Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty and Professor of Economics & Faculty Trustee
Hampshire College Professor Omar Dahi
Contact Omar S.

Mail Code DO
Omar S. Dahi
Cole Science Center 115
413.559.5392

Omar S. Dahi is interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of Faculty and professor of economics at Hampshire College and a research associate at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

He is the founding director of Security in Context, a research network on peace, conflict, and international affairs. He has published in academic outlets such as the Journal of Development Economics and Applied Economics, Southern Economic Journal, Political Geography, Middle East Report, Forced Migration Review, and Critical Studies on Security. His last book was South-South Trade and Finance in the 21st Century: Rise of the South or a Second Great Divergence (co-authored with Firat Demir).

Dahi serves as an associate editor of the Review of Social Economy as well as the e-zine Jadaliyya and has served on the editorial committee of the Middle East Report. He is a founding member of the Beirut School of Critical Security Studies within the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS). Dahi has served as a lead expert on the United Nations Economic and Social Commission of West Asia's National Agenda for the Future of Syria program.

Dahi was born and raised in Syria and currently lives with his wife and two children in Amherst.

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • This is the second of a year-long two semester course taught in conjunction with Security in Context, an international research initiative. Students will continue their research on critical approaches to security studies and will get the chance to participate in one of four thematic research clusters: climate change and insecurity; technologies of surveillance and data capture; political economy of multipolarity; financialization and militarism. Students who complete the two semesters will co-produce original content for the initiative in the form of articles, interviews, videos, podcasts or other material.

  • Political economy is the study of the economy and society through examining the intertwining of class, power, states and markets. This course introduces students to various schools of political economy including Marxist, Keynesian, feminist economics and theories of racial capitalism. We will study how these schools of thought offer both a critique as well as an alternative lens to mainstream economic theory through a critical pluralistic approach. We will use a political economy lens to study key contemporary economic and social challenges such as financial crisis, inequality, development in the global South and the covid-19 pandemic. Students will be expected to undertake an original research project applying course concepts to a topic of interest. Keywords: Smith, Marx, Keynes, Economics, Neoclassical Theory

  • This is the first of a year-long two semester course taught in conjunction with Security in Context, an international research initiative tackling urgent issues of global importance including climate change, inequalities, and war. Traditionally, security has been understood through the prisms of militaries, policing, borders, and surveillance. However, for many populations around the world, these traditional practices of security lead to insecurity in their daily lives: economic precarity, social dislocation, imprisonment or marginalization. The course will introduce students to alternative notions of security from an interdisciplinary and global South perspective that challenges narrow Western ideas of security. Students who complete the two semesters will co-produce original content for the initiative in the form of articles, interviews, videos, podcasts or other material. Keywords: Climate change, politcal economy, global institutions