Mathilde Becker Aarseth

Post-doctoral Researcher
Image of Mathilde Becker Aarseth
Norwegian version of this page
Mobile phone +4793691559 +4793691559
Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36 P. A. Munchs hus 0371 OSLO
Postal address Siebkes gate 4B

Academic interests

My background is in Middle East Studies, political science, and Arabic. Among my academic interests are rebel governance in conflict zones, and questions of legitimacy in fragmented states. My PhD was a qualitative study of the Islamic State's governance of civilians in Mosul, Iraq. The book based on my findings were published by I.B. Tauris / Bloomsbury in 2021: 

Among my research interests are also climate and environmental policy, oil politics in Norway and the Gulf countries, renewable energy, climate adaptation and water governance in the Middle East. My current research project Oil in Transition (UiO:Energi) investigates political discourse on climate change and the "green shift" in Norway, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. 


I have previously worked as a foreign news and feature journalist for major Norwegian newspapers for many years. I defended my PhD thesis in August 2019 at IKOS, University of Oslo. I hold an MSc in Middle East Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, with a thesis on the military-strategic discourse in Israeli media. I hold a BA in Middle East studies from IKOS focusing on political science and Arabic, including a year at the International Language Institute in Cairo and a semester at the University of Damascus. I also hold a BA in Journalism from Høgskolen i Bodø. 

I am currently Subject Editor for Iraq in the Great Norwegian Encyclopedia. I have taught in the courses MØNA1000 and MES4500 and held lectures for a range of public and private institutions. 




Tags: Midtøsten, Arabisk, Irak, SIMS, islam and politics, Climate Change, Oil Politics in the Gulf Region, UiO:Energi, Water governance, renewable energy


  • Lia, Brynjar & Aarseth, Mathilde Becker (2022). Crusader Hirelings or Loyal Subjects? Evolving Jihadist Perspectives on Christian Minorities in the Middle East. Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. ISSN 0959-6410. 33(3), p. 255–280. doi: 10.1080/09596410.2022.2096761. Full text in Research Archive
  • Aarseth, Mathilde Oda Becker (2020). The Islamic State's Construction of Citizenship. In Meijer, Roel; Sater, James & Babar, Zahra (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Citizenship in the Middle East and North Africa. Routledge. ISSN 9780367178932. p. 171–184. doi: https%3A/
  • Aarseth, Mathilde Oda Becker (2020). Jihadister som statsbyggere – IS vs. Al-Qaida. Babylon - Nordisk tidsskrift for Midtøstenstudier. ISSN 1503-5727. p. 8–19. doi: 10.5617/ba.8158.
  • Aarseth, Mathilde Becker (2018). Resistance in the Caliphate's Classrooms: Mosul Civilians vs IS. Middle East Policy. ISSN 1061-1924. 25(1), p. 46–63. doi: 10.1111/mepo.12324.

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  • Aarseth, Mathilde Becker (2018). Iraks nye Robin Hood? [Newspaper]. Morgenbladet.
  • Aarseth, Mathilde Becker (2017). ISIS i Irak, reportasje i P1 Orientering. [Radio]. Danmarks Radio.
  • Aarseth, Mathilde Becker (2017). Urix spesial: Religion, vold og terror. [TV]. NRK.
  • Aarseth, Mathilde Becker (2015). Streker i sanden. [Newspaper]. Klassekampen.
  • Aarseth, Mathilde Oda Becker (2019). Governing the Caliphate. The Islamic State’s interaction with civilians in Mosul (2014-2017). Oslo 07-Media.

View all works in Cristin

Published Feb. 5, 2021 1:56 PM - Last modified Aug. 15, 2022 2:30 PM