Profile image of Dara Conduit

Dr Dara Conduit



Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Faculty of Arts and Education


Alfred Deakin Institute


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Doctor of Philosophy, Monash University, 2017
Master of Letters (Middle East and Central Asian Security Studies), University of St Andrews, 2011
Bachelor of Arts, Monash University, 2009

+61 3 924 68844


Dr Dara Conduit is an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow in political science at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, and a Non-Resident Scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington D.C. Dara's research interests centre around authoritarianism, with a regional focus on the Middle East, especially Syria. Her research focusses on questions related to contentious politics inside authoritarian regimes, including the relationships between governments and their opponents, and each party's tactical (especially online) innovation.

Dara's book The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria (2019, Cambridge University Press) received the inaugural Oceania Book Prize in International Studies in 2020, and was ranked by International Affairs in 2020 as one of the ‘Top 10 books’ written by women and reviewed by the journal in the previous 12 months. In a review, Biasi concluded that the book was  ‘essential reading’ and a ‘a timely and brilliantly written book on a critical actor in Syria’ (Biasi, International Affairs, 2020). A Perspectives on Politics review found that 'The book’s value lies in historicizing and contextualizing the group’s conduct during the uprising by reference to a variety of qualitative evidence, including memoirs, contemporary periodicals, and interviews. In so doing, Conduit’s work puts another spade of soil on the idea that the Brotherhood can be analyzed as a purely or even primarily an ideological actor' (Brooke, Perspectives on Politics, 2020). Freer (2020) argued on the LSE Middle East Centre’s blog that the book ‘provides much-needed clarity about the history of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood…[and] is a very important contribution to the study of Syria and to the study of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamism more broadly.’

Dara's other academic work has been widely published in journals, including Democratization, Political Geography, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism and The Middle East Journal. Several of these journals were ranked as A* or A by the Australian Political Studies Association at the time of publication. She is a regular media commentator, has been invited to provide advice to the UNESCWA and the UN OHCHR’s Working Group on Mercenaries, and her work has been cited in UN reports. She is co-convenor of the women Middle East researchers in Australia network (WoMENA).

Dr. Conduit holds a PhD from Monash University, a M. Litt from the University of St. Andrews, was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge in 2015.

Read more on Dara's profile

Research interests

Authoritarianism, Oppositions and Non-State Actors, Contentious Politics, Foreign Fighters, Cybersecurity, Digital Authoritarianism, Syria and Iran


Middle East Institute


Filter by


Pre-election polling and the democratic veneer in a hybrid regime

D Conduit, S Akbarzadeh

(2020), Vol. 27, pp. 737-757, Democratization, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Authoritarian power in space, time and exile

D Conduit

(2020), Vol. 82, pp. 1-9, Political geography, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

The Muslim brotherhood in Syria

Dara Conduit

(2019), London, Eng., A1


Great power-middle power dynamics: the case of China and Iran

D Conduit, Shahram Akbarzadeh

(2019), Vol. 28, pp. 468-481, Journal of contemporary China, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Political participation of Islamists in Syria: examining the Syrian Muslim brotherhood's mid-century democratic experiment

D Conduit

(2019), Vol. 30, pp. 23-41, Journal of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

The 'inside track' approach to change in Iran under President Rouhani: the case of freedom on the internet

D Conduit, S Akbarzadeh

(2018), pp. 27-50, Human rights and agents of change in Iran, Singapore, B1

book chapter

Contentious politics and Middle Eastern oppositions after the uprisings

D Conduit, Shahram Akbarzadeh

(2018), pp. 1-14, New opposition in the Middle East, Singapore, B1

book chapter

The Iranian reform movement since 2009

D Conduit, Shahram Akbarzadeh

(2018), pp. 119-149, New opposition in the Middle East, Singapore, B1

book chapter

New opposition in the Middle East

D Conduit, Shahram Akbarzadeh

(2018), Singapore, A7

edited book

The patterns of Syrian uprising: Comparing Hama in 1980-1982 and Homs in 2011

D Conduit

(2017), Vol. 44, pp. 73-87, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, C1-1

journal article

Rouhani's first two years in office : opportunities and risks in contemporary Iran

S Akbarzadeh, D Conduit

(2016), pp. 1-15, Iran in the world : President Rouhani's Foreign Policy, Basingstoke, Eng., B1

book chapter

Charting a new course? Testing Rouhani's foreign policy agency in the Iran-Syria relationship

S Akbarzadeh, D Conduit

(2016), pp. 133-154, Iran in the world: President Rouhani' s doreign policy, Basingstoke, Eng., B1

book chapter

Canada, Australia and New Zealand and the Islamic State

D Conduit, D Malet, L West

(2016), pp. 195-212, New Islamic State, Surrey, Eng., B1

book chapter

Future prospects

S Akbarzadeh, D Conduit

(2016), pp. 177-181, Iran in the world : President Rouhani's Foreign Policy, Berlin, Germany, B1

book chapter

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and the spectacle of Hama

D Conduit

(2016), Vol. 70, pp. 211-226, Middle East journal, Washington, D.C., C1-1

journal article

Foreign fighters, human rights and self-determination in Syria and Iraq: decoding the humanitarian impact of foreign fighters in practice

D Conduit, B Rich

(2016), Vol. 18, pp. 431-454, International community law review, Leiden, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

Iran in the world president Rouhani' s foreign policy

S Akbarzadeh, D Conduit

(2016), Basingstoke, Eng., A7

edited book

The impact of jihadist foreign fighters on Indigenous secular-nationalist causes: contrasting Chechnya and Syria

B Rich, D Conduit

(2015), Vol. 38, pp. 113-131, Studies in conflict & terrorism, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

Anticipated Title Sharing Syrian scholarship on ISIS with the Australian public

Dr Dara Conduit

  • 2017: $9,945

Women know the Middle East

Dr Dara Conduit

  • 2019: $20,000

Industry and Other Funding

For assessing the impact of external actors in the Syrian and Afghan proxy wars

Prof Shahram Akbarzadeh, Dr Dara Conduit, Dr Zahid Ahmed

  • 2020: $226,755
  • 2018: $344,282


No completed student supervisions to report