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Jones, Toby

ImageToby C. Jones

Associate Professor of History

Ph.D., Stanford University, 2006

M.A., Auburn University, 1998

B.A., Auburn University, 1994

At Rutgers since 2007

311 Van Dyck Hall
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Toby Jones is a historian of the modern Middle East. His interests are varied. Jones’s scholarship focuses primarily on the political intersections between science, technology, the environment, knowledge production, and the state formation, war, and Islamism. Before joining the history department at Rutgers University, Jones taught at Swarthmore College. During the 2008-2009 he was a fellow at Princeton University’s Oil, Energy and the Middle East project. From 2004 to early 2006 he worked as the political analyst of the Persian Gulf for the International Crisis Group where he wrote about political reform and sectarianism.

Jones is author of Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia, forthcoming in the fall 2010 with Harvard University Press. He is currently working on a new book project America’s Oil Wars also to be published by Harvard University Press. Jones has published articles in The International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle East Report, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy’s online magazine, the Arab Reform Bulletin, Strategic Insights, and the CTC Sentinel.

He has presented his work at the annual meetings of the Middle East Studies Association, the American Historical Association, the Society for the History of Technology, the International Studies Association, and the American Political Science Association. He also presented his research and political analysis at Cornell University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, New York University, Princeton University, Syracuse University, The College of New Jersey, and Yale University.

At Rutgers Jones teaches courses on the Arab-Israeli Conflict, the modern Middle East, oil, the environment in the Middle East, and war and revolution in Iran and Iraq.


  • 508:205 Modern Middle East
  • 508:300 Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • 508:392 Historical Studies: An Environmental History of the Middle East
  • 506:401 Seminar: Oil and Empire in the Middle East
  • 506:401 Seminar: Diplomacy and Politics in the Modern Middle East


  • Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia (Harvard University Press, forthcoming fall 2010).
  • "Crude Ecology: Technology and the Politics of Dissent in Saudi Arabia," forthcoming in Gabrielle Hecht, ed., The Technopolitical Shape of Cold War Geographies, (MIT Press).
  • “Embattled in Arabia: Shi‘is and the Politics of Confrontation in Saudi Arabia,” Occasional Paper Series, Shi‘a Militancy Program, Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, June 3, 2009.
  • “Saudi Arabia’s Silent Spring,” Foreign Policy online magazine, February 2009.
  • “Saudi Arabia’s Not so New Anti-Shi‘ism,” Middle East Report, 242, Spring 2007, pp 29-32.
  • “Rebellion on the Saudi Periphery: Modernity, Marginalization and the Shi’a Uprising of 1979,” International Journal of Middle East Studies. 38:2. May (2006), 213-233.
  • “Shifting Sands: The Future of U.S.-Saudi Relations,” Foreign Affairs, Volume 85, Number 2, March/April, 2006.
  • “The Iraq Effect in Saudi Arabia.” Middle East Report. 237. Winter 2005, pp 20-25.
  • “The Clerics, the Sahwa and the Saudi State.” Strategic Insights. Volume IV, Issue 3, March 2005.
  • “Violence and the Illusion of Reform in Saudi Arabia.” Middle East Report Online. November 13, 2003.
  • “Seeking a ‘Social Contract’ for Saudi Arabia.” Middle East Report, 228, Fall 2003, pp 42-48.
  • Bahrain’s Sectarian Challenge. International Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°40. May 6, 2005.
  • The Shiite Question in Saudi Arabia. International Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°45. September 19, 2005.


  • Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Swarthmore College
  • Fulbright-Hays to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, 2003-2003


  • American Historical Association
  • Society for History of Technology
  • Middle Eastern Studies Association
  • Gulf/2000 Project

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