Martin Seth Kramer (b. September 9, 1954, Washington, D.C.) is an American scholar of the Middle East at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Shalem Center. His focus is on Islam and Arab politics.
- 1 Education
- 2 Career
- 3 Political involvement
- 4 Critique of Middle Eastern Studies
- 5 Palestinian aid controversy
- 6 Bibliography
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Kramer began his undergraduate degree under Itamar Rabinovich in Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University and completed his B.A. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. He earned his Ph.D. at Princeton as well, under Fouad Ajami, L. Carl Brown, the late Charles Issawi, and Bernard Lewis, who directed his thesis. He also received a History M.A. from Columbia University.
- Tel Aviv University, 1971-73 – Middle Eastern Studies
- B.A. Princeton University, 1975 (summa cum laude) – Near Eastern Studies
- M.A. Columbia University, 1976 – History
- M.A. Princeton University, 1978 – Near Eastern Studies
- Ph.D. Princeton University, 1982 – Near Eastern Studies
Martin Kramer is the Wexler-Fromer Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. In 2009 Kramer was appointed President-designate of Shalem College.
During a 25-year career at Tel Aviv University, Kramer directed the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies; taught as a visiting professor at Brandeis University, the University of Chicago, Cornell University, and Georgetown University; and served twice as a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He is a past editor of the Middle East Forum's Middle East Quarterly.
Kramer was an early advocate of attacking Saddam Hussein in the wake of 9/11, arguing in December 2001 that regardless of a possible involvement, he posed a threat to the entire Middle East. However, he was critical of the shifting rationale for the war in October 2002, questioning the United States' "tools of social engineering" needed to promote an eventual democracy process in the Arab world.
Critique of Middle Eastern Studies
Ivory Towers on Sand
In 2001, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy published Kramer's book Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America (download). The work criticizes Middle Eastern Studies in the United States for what Kramer argues is a systematic left-wing bias backed with poor scholarship.
Palestinian aid controversy
At the February 2010 Herzliya Conference in Israel, Kramer caused controversy in a speech in which he advocated cuts in what he termed "pro-natal subsidies" to Palestinians in Gaza as a means of discouraging population growth, thus curbing Islamic radicalization. At the time, he was a National Security Studies Program Visiting Scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, and some critics called on Harvard to distance itself from him. Deans at Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs rejected these calls, stating, "Accusations have been made that Martin Kramer's statements are genocidal. These accusations are baseless." They found that Kramer's critics "appear not to understand the role of controversy in an academic setting" and rejected any attempts to restrict "fundamental academic freedom."
- Political Islam (1980) ISBN 0-8039-1435-0
- Islam Assembled (1985) ISBN 0-231-05994-9
- Shi'ism, Resistance, and Revolution (1987) ISBN 0-8133-0453-9
- Hezbollah's Vision of the West (1989) ISBN 0-944029-01-9
- Middle Eastern Lives: The Practice of Biography and Self-Narrative (Contemporary Issues in the Middle East) (1991) ISBN 0-8156-2548-0
- Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival: The Politics of Ideas in the Middle East (1996) ISBN 1-56000-272-7
- The Islamism Debate (1997) ISBN 965-224-024-9
- The Jewish Discovery of Islam (1999) ISBN 965-224-040-0
- Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America (2001) ISBN 0-944029-49-3, download
- The American Interest Azure magazine, Autumn 2006.
- Nation and Assassination in the Middle East, Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2004.
- Coming to Terms: Fundamentalists or Islamists?, Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2003.
- Policy and the Academy: An Illicit Relationship?, Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2003.
Kramer on American scholars of the Middle East
- Pape-Kramer debate - a debate involving Robert Pape and Kramer
- Suicide Terrorism in the Middle East: Origins and Response Robert Pape
- Islam Obscured, Kramer on John Esposito
- Stephen Walt's World, a critique of Stephen Walt
- The Arab Nation of Shakib Arslan by Kramer, a critique of Shakib Arslan 31 October 1987
- Albert Pasha: criticism of Albert Hourani by Kramer 15 June 2002
- Islamist Bubbles, an assessment of Gilles Kepel.
- Arab Pen, English Purse: John Sabunji and Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, a critique of Wilfrid Scawen Blunt by Kramer 31 December 1989
- Ignatieff's Empire, criticism of Michael Ignatieff January 5, 2003
- The Day the Rabbi Rescued Rashid, a critique of Arthur Hertzberg 28 February 2005
Kramer on Key Middle Eastern Figures
Kramer on Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies
- What Do the Financial Crisis and US Middle East Policy Have in Common? December 2008.
- Battling Toward the Collapse of the Hamas Regime January 2009.
- Sanctioning "Resistance" January 2009.
- Martin Kramer/Juan Cole: Oppo Research
- Martin Kramer, CV and List of Publications
- "Inside the Middle East: Shalem College takes off", The Jerusalem Post, Oct 13, 2009
- From Afghanistan to Araby by Martin Kramer, National Review, December 10, 2001
- i hear arab democracy i reach for my seat.htm When I Hear "Arab Democracy," I Reach for My Seat Belt by Martin Kramer, October 11, 2002
- Rudy's Man in the Middle East, "New York Observer", August 21, 2007.
- "Ivory Towers on Sand" Editorial Reviews Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies
- Savarese, Katharine M. (2010-02-04). "Weatherhead Fellow Incites Controversy". The Harvard Crimson.
- "Harvard Fellow calls for genocidal measure to curb Palestinian births". Electronic Intifada. 22 February 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
- Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (24 February 2010). "WCFIA at Harvard on accusations". Sandbox (blog). Retrieved 13 March 2010.
- Martin Kramer's website
- Martin Kramer's blog
- Kramer's entry with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy
- Kramer about Obama and the Middle East