Mary Ann Tetreault

Mary  Ann  Tetreault , Ph.D.

Una Chapman Cox Distinguished Professor of International Affairs, Political Science

Education   Subjects Taught

Ph.D. - Rice University

M.A. - Rice University

A.B. - Sarah Lawrence College


World politics

Middle East

Energy and the Environment

Violent conflict

International Political Economy

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As a child, I was a pest, constantly asking questions and never satisfied with the standard parental response, "because I said so." As a professor, I look for that child in my students. I see my job as enlarging my students' world and providing multiple views and viewpoints from which to add to their knowledge, and develop ethical responses to what they find and see. To me, the greatest enemy of democracy and autonomy is ignorance. My goals in teaching are not only to transmit knowledge, but also the skills and confidence that will enable students to continue to educate themselves throughout life.

I believe that the greatest enemy of democracy and autonomy is ignorance. My goals in teaching are not only to transmit knowledge, but also the skills and confidence that will enable students to continue to educate themselves throughout life.

My research is eclectic. I've written about oil and the Middle East, the often broken promises of revolutions, the meaning of private and public life, and the relationship between civil society and the state. Women are a focus of nearly all my projects because the actions and experiences of women are often so different from those of men that they enable me to test global theories - which I often find wanting. Empirical examinations of theories are incorporated into my classroom teaching. Among my favorite Baby IR classes is the one where we look at the "democratic peace thesis" and test it using information the students find in their readings on World War I. Although each semester's students display minor variations in their democracy ratings of the various actors in that war, which come from the a priori listing of characteristics of "democracy" the class itself determines, this exercise usually produces some real surprises with regard to how much - actually, how little - democracy predicts to a propensity for aggression.

A T-shirt slogan of my youth was "question authority." To that, I say "Amen," even when I am the authority.


Political Change in the Arab Gulf States: Stuck in Transition, editor, with Gwenn Okruhlik and Andrzej Kapiszewski (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2011).

World Politics as if People Mattered, co-author Ronnie D. Lipschutz (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005); second edition March 2009.

"Great Expectations: Western-style Education in the Gulf States," in Industrialization in the Gulf: A Socioeconomic Revolution, ed. Jean-Francois Seznec, Mimi Kirk (New York: Routledge, 2010): 143-53.

"Globalization and Islam," in Globalisierung "" entfrenzte Welten versus begrenzte Identitäten? Ed. Rachid Ouaissa and Heidrun Zinecker. Leipzig: Leipzig University Press, 2009: 259-81

"Endless Adjustment: How the Second Oil Shock Hatched Today's Oil Market," Viewpoints: Special Edition, Washington: Middle East Institute, August 2009.

"Kuwait: Slouching Toward Democracy?" In Political Liberalization in the Persian Gulf, ed. Joshua Teitelbaum (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009: 107-31.

"The Day After "Victory" : Kuwait's 2009 Election and the Contentious Present," co-author Mohammed al-Ghanim, Middle East Reports Online, 8 July 2009.

"Women's Rights in the Middle East: A Longitudinal Study of Kuwait," co-authors Katherine Meyer and Helen Rizzo, International Political Sociology, 2009(3): 218-37.

"International Relations," and "The Political Economy of Oil," in Understanding the Contemporary Middle East, 3rd. ed., ed. Jillian Schwedler and Deborah J. Gerner (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2008): 137-75 and 255-79 respectively.

"Women in International Relations: Sediment, Trends, and Agency," Politics & Gender 4(1) March 2008: 144-56.

"Naomi Roht-Arriaza's The Pinochet Effect: Transnational Justice in the Age of Human Rights," Minerva 31, Review essay, November 2007, 16-19.

"Complex Consequences: Hydrocarbon Production as a Route to Economic Health," in Rebuilding Devastated Economies in the Middle East, ed. Leonard Binder (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007): 77-94.

"The Sexual Politics of Abu Ghraib: Hegemony, Spectacle, and the Global War on Terror," National Women's Studies Association Journal, 18(3) Fall 2006: 33-50.

"Kuwait's Annus Mirabilis," Middle East Reports Online, 7 September 2006.

"Divided Communities of Memory: Diasporas Come Home," in Muslim Diaspora: Gender, Culture, and Identity, ed. Haideh Moghissi (London: Routledge, 2006): 81-98.

"Three Emirs and a Tale of Two Transitions," Middle East Reports Online, 10 February 2006.

Trinity Involvement

International Studies committee
Work with alumni
Murchison Term Professorships committee

Contact Information
Department of Political Science
Trinity University
One Trinity Place
San Antonio, TX 78212