Dr Asaf Siniver

Asaf Siniver

Department of Political Science and International Studies
Reader in International Security

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 6386
+44 (0)121 414 3496
Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government and Society
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Siniver is a Reader in International Security. His work is broadly concerned with conflict resolution and international mediation, the Arab-Israeli conflict, foreign policy analysis, and contemporary US foreign policy.


  • PhD, International Relations (Nottingham), 2006
  • MA, International Relations (Nottingham), 2002
  • BA, Political Science (Tel Aviv), 1997


Dr Siniver joined POLSIS in 2007. His primary areas of interest are mediation and conflict resolution; the politics, diplomacy and history of the Arab-Israeli conflict; and Foreign Policy Analysis. In 2011 he received a two-year Leverhulme Research Fellowship (#2011-222) to support his research on 'Third Party Mediation in the Arab-Israeli Conflict.'

His recent book, Abba Eban: A Biography, a major new biographical account of Abba Eban, the father of Israeli diplomacy and the country’s elder statesman, was published in 2015 to wide critical acclaim. The result of six years of research which included visits to twenty archives and forty interviews, the book was highlighted by the New York Times ( "Editor's Choice"), the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, Kirkus Reviews (Starred review), the Jerusalem Post, the Times of Israel ("a magisterial work of scholarship"), the Jewish Chronicle, and the Midwest Book Review.

Other praise for the book include the following: "This is beyond question the definitive work on Eban, and is likely to remain so for a very long time" (Professor Alan Dowty, Notre Dame); "Essential reading for anyone interested in Israeli foreign policy" (Professor Joel Peters, Virginia Tech); "An invaluable primer for those seeking to understand politics within Israel" (Professor Janice Gross Stein, Toronto); "Eban's biography is one of the best stories of one of the 20th century's greatest miracles and enigmas"(Akiva Eldar, Haaretz); "rigorous and long-overdue examination of Abba Eban... highly readable and thoroughly researched"  (Patrick Tyler, former Chief Correspondent of The New York Times).


Current teaching in POLSIS:

  • The Diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (3rd Year)
  • The Politics of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (MA)

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Siniver currently supervises PhD students in the following areas:

  • The Israeli-Palestinian peace process
  • Multi-track diplomacy
  • The Arab Spring and Syrian politics
  • Iranian foreign policy
  • Military interventions in the Middle East

Dr Siniver welcomes PhD applications in the following areas:

  • International mediation and conflict resolution
  • The politics, diplomacy and history of the Arab-Israeli conflict
  • The Israeli-Palestinian peace process
  • The international relations of the Middle East
  • Contemporary US foreign policy
  • Foreign Policy Analysis


Dr Siniver's current research centres around three key areas:

  • The potential contribution of multi-track diplomacy, both in theory and in application to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
  • The benefits and limitations of International arbitration vs. mediation in resolving international conflicts.
  • A new typology of the theory and practice of diplomacy.  

Other activities

Administrative responsibilities

  • Programme Director, International Relations Programme (2016-)
  • Director of Graduate School (2013-16)
  • Deputy Head of Department (2015-16)
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies (2008-11)
  • Member of University of Birmingham Senate (2010-14)



Siniver, A. (2015) Abba Eban: A Biography (New York: Overlook).

Siniver, A. (ed.) (2013) The Yom Kippur War: Politics, Diplomacy, Legacy (New York: Oxford University Press).

Siniver, A. (ed.) (2010) International Terrorism post-9/11: Comparative Dynamics and Responses (London: Routledge).

Siniver, A. (2008) Nixon, Kissinger and US Foreign Policy Making: The Machinery of Crisis (New York: Cambridge University Press).

Journal Articles and Edited Chapters

Siniver, A. (2016) 'Anti-Intellectualism and Israeli Politics', British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies

Siniver, A. and S. Lucas (2016) 'The Islamic State Lexical Battleground: US Foreign Policy and the Abstraction of Threat', International Affairs 92(1): 63-79.

Siniver, A. and L. Cabrera (2015) '"Good Citizen Europe" and the Middle East Peace Process', International Studies Perspectives 16(2):210-228.

Siniver, A. (2015) 'Abba Eban and The Development of American-Israeli Relations, 1950-1959', Diplomacy & Statecraft 26(1): 65-83.  http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09592296.2015.999625

Siniver, A. and J. Collins (2015) 'Airpower and Quagmire: Historical Analogies and the Second Lebanon War' (with J. Collins), Foreign Policy Analysis 11(2): 215-231. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/fpa.12029/full

Siniver, A. (2013) 'The Limits of Public Diplomacy: Abba Eban and the June 1967 War', in C. Jones and T. T. Peterson (eds.), Israel’s Clandestine Diplomacies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 121-136.

Siniver, A. (2012) 'Change Nobody Believes In: Obama and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict', Diplomacy & Statecraft 22(4): 678-694.

Siniver, A. (2012) 'Israeli Identities and the Politics of Threat: A Constructivist Interpretation', Ethnopolitics 11(1): 24-42.

Siniver, A. (2012) 'The EU and the Israel-Palestinian Conflict', in R. Whitman and S. Wolff (eds.), The EU as Global Conflict Manager (London: Routledge, 2012), pp. 80-91.

Siniver, A. (2011). 'Arbitrating the Israeli-Palestinian Territorial Dispute', International Politics 49(1):117-129.

L. Heemsbergen and A. Siniver (2011) 'New Routes to Power: Towards a Typology of Power Mediation', Review of International Studies 37(3): 1169-1190.

Siniver, A. (2011) 'Managing and Settling Ethnic Conflict', in S. Wolff and K. Cordell (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Ethnic Conflict (London: Routledge (2011), pp. 187-197.

Siniver, A. (2008) 'The Nixon Administration and the Cienfuegos Crisis of 1970: Crisis Management of a Non-Crisis?', Review of International Studies, 34(1): 69-98.

Siniver, A. (2006) 'Power, Impartiality and Timing: Three Hypotheses on Third Party Mediation in the Middle East', Political Studies, 54(4): 806-826.

Siniver, A.(2004) 'The Truth is Out There: The Recently Released NSC Institutional Files of the Nixon Presidency', Presidential Studies Quarterly 34(2): 449-454. 

Other Publications

Contributor to the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Diplomacy (due 2017).

Siniver, A. (2014) 'Mediating the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process Current Prospects and Alternative Frameworks', Policy Brief for the Middle East Conference on WMD/DVs Free Zone, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt.

Siniver, A. (2014) 'Un Largo Y Complejo Proceso De Paz', Desperta Ferro no. 3: La Guerra del Yom Kippur, 1973  http://www.despertaferro-ediciones.com/en/revistas/numero/desperta-ferro-contemporanea-n-o-3-la-guerra-del-yom-kippur-1973/