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Biography – Dr. Karim Knio


Dr. Karim Knio is an Associate Professor in International Political Economy and Governance at the Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS). He has recently been appointed as the new scientific director of the CERES Research School for International Development (CERES). He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Critical Realism (JCR) and formerly was the associate managing editor of European Political Science Review (EPSR) from 2014-2019. He is also the ISS academic coordinator of the Erasmus Mundus MA in Public Policy (MAPP).

Dr. Knio’s research themes focus on the political economy of governance with an emphasis on regionalism and trade, varieties of capitalism, institutional analysis, politics of crisis management, EU democracy promotion programs and Lebanese politics. He has published in various peer-reviewed journals such as Mediterranean Politics, Third World Quarterly, Globalizations, Politics and Governance, Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, Journal of Critical Realism and The RoundTable among others. He is the author/editor of various books such as: Political Ontology and International Political Economy: The Case of Neoliberalism (2024, forthcoming), published by Routledge, The Pedagogy of Economic, Political and Social Crises: Dynamics, Construals and Lessons ( co-edited with Bob Jessop), published by Routledge (2019), The South China Sea and Asian Regionalism ( co-authored with Thanhdam Truong), published by Springer (2016), as well as the author of The European Union’s Mediterranean Policy: Model or Muddle? published by Palgrave Macmillan (2013). 


As the academic coordinator of the Erasmus Mundus Master’s program in Public Policy (Mundus MAPP) at ISS, Dr. Knio teaches and elaborates on the pedagogy of problem situating approaches to public policy within this program. He teaches the following courses:

  • Contemporary Capitalism and Governance: Neoliberalism and Beyond (ISS 4212)
  • Thinking about Governance and Institutions (ISS).
  • Politics of Global Development: Debating Liberal Internationalism (ISS 4307).
  • Power, Politics and Development (ISS 1104)


Dr. Knio navigates a research landscape focusing on the intersection between international political economy, governance, public policy and social ontology synchronized along four overlapping tracks. The first tack traced the neoliberalization processes embedded within the Euro-Mediterranean relations and analyzed the roots of their institutional failures within their manifestation in trade, regionalism and democracy promotion policies.

The second track concentrates on the political economy of crises, exploring diverse crisis dynamics from alternative theoretical perspectives. By juxtaposing and linking different tiers of crises management, this research traces various (un/de) learning practices associated with these tiers. An example of this research can be seen in his edited book with Bob Jessop titled The Pedagogy of Economic, Political and Social Crises: Dynamics, Construals, and Lessons published by Routledge in 2019. A video of Dr. Knio and Prof. Jessop discussing the application of this book to Brexit can be found here.

In the third track Dr. Knio developed a research line centered around Immanent Causality Morphogenetic Approach (ICMA), which links Margaret Archer’s morphogenetic analysis of structure and agency with Spinoza’s concept of immanent causality. Subsequently, this framework has been applied into the study context of capitalist transformation by linking the ICMA to the French Régulation school of capitalism. This has culminated into a research line on Morphogenetic Régulation and currently applied to a variety of themes and topics.

The fourth track integrates all of the above by examining the links between the political economy of crises and the politics of social ontology. Particularly, it investigates the political economy of gas extraction in the Mediterranean basin using the Morphogenetic Régulation analytical framework.

Dr. Knio is interested in supervising PhD students interested in the following topics:

  • EU/Mediterranean relations with an emphasis on gas extraction
  • Comparative capitalisms, neoliberalism and capitalist transformations
  • Crises management and learning
  • New institutional analyses of public policy
  • Middle Eastern/Lebanese politics
  • Critical Realism
  • Social ontology and Morphogenetic Régulation


Full list of publications can be found on his institutional biography page.



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