Omar S. Dahi

Professor of Economics
Hampshire College Professor Omar Dahi
Contact Omar S.

Mail Code DO
Omar S. Dahi
Franklin Patterson Hall 203

On leave of absence fall 2024 and sabbatical spring 2025. 

Omar S. Dahi is a professor of economics at Hampshire College.

Dahi has previously served in various roles at Hampshire, as Faculty Trustee, as a representative of the Hampshire AAUP, and as interim vice president for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty.

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

  • Economic Development is the process of structural transformation in developing countries, or more simply, the ways that poor countries can become rich. In the course we will survey the theory and practice of economic development since World War II, including such topics as development ethics (e.g. what is development? development by whom and for what?), industrialization, agricultural development, rural-urban migration, and a global Green New Deal including such issues as Climate Reparations. Student research teams will choose a developing country at the beginning of the course to study in depth, applying the ideas discussed in class. The groups will periodically present their research to the class to help us achieve a larger sense of the challenges faced in seeking effective, equitable development. Keywords:Economics; Political Economy; Global Green New Deal; Industrialization; Agriculture

  • This course is taught in conjunction with Security in Context, an international research initiative on peace, conflict and international affairs as they intersect with processes such as climate change, global inequalities, and warfare. 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 will be introduced to the Security in Context network and engage with the work of scholars from around the world. KEYWORDS:International Relations; Global Studies; Critical Security Studies; Global Capitalism

  • What are markets and how are they created and organized around the world? What is the appropriate relationship between society, governments and markets? How can we transform our economic systems to address climate change? What role has racism played in the development of global capitalism and how does it continue to impact economic outcomes? This course addresses these questions by introducing students to a variety of approaches and theories. The course begins with an introduction to core political economy ideas and concepts drawing upon both classical and modern thinkers, and then introduces contemporary themes and debates. We read foundational political economy thinkers as well as debate key questions and problems in the study of political economy. A significant amount of this course will be dedicated to addressing questions of race and power as well as societal responsibilities towards addressing climate change. KEYWORDS:Economics; Political Economy; Race & Power; Climate Change