Dr. Wael Abu-ʿUksa is an expert in the history of political and religious ideas in the Middle East. He is an assistant professor (lecturer) in the Political Science department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a research fellow at The Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace. He was a visiting postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, and a Polonsky postdoctoral fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem institute.
His research intertwines comparative political philosophy and Middle East studies. In his works, he explores the history of ideas from a linguistic perspective that focuses on the development of languages. Through the lenses of conceptual history, part of these works scrutinizes the history of central political ideas such as liberalism, socialism, and democracy in the Middle East during the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. One of the most important characteristics of this methodological approach is its emphasis on the local content of ideas that are constructed in particular cultural realms and in specific units of time.
Among his publications, Freedom in the Arab World: Concepts and Ideologies in Arabic Thought in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and Liberalism and Left in Arab Thought after 1990 (monograph, Davis Institute, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem).