Jean-Pierre Filiu (born in Paris, 1961) is a French professor of Middle East studies at Sciences Po, Paris School of International Affairs, an orientalist and an arabist.

Jean-Pierre Filiu
Filiu in 2015
Born (1961-12-19) 19 December 1961 (age 62)
Paris, France
Sciences Po

Life and career


Before joining Sciences Po in 2006, Jean-Pierre Filiu was a career-diplomat who served as a junior officer in Jordan and the US, before becoming the French Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in Syria (1996–99) and in Tunisia (2002-2006). Filiu was also diplomatic adviser to the French minister of Interior (1990–91), the minister of Defense (1991–93) and the Prime Minister (2000-2002). He was one of the ten independent experts that President François Hollande designated to contribute to the 2013 White Book for National Defense and Security[citation needed].

Jean-Pierre Filiu authored or co-authored some twenty books, including "The Arab Revolution, ten lessons from the democratic uprising",.[1] He later authored "Gaza, a history" (2014, Palestine Book Award) and "From Deep State to Islamic State, the Arab counter-revolution and its jihadi legacy" (2015), "Revisiting the Arab uprisings, the politics of a revolutionary moment" (2018).

His previous research focused on the multi-faceted adaptation of Islam to globalized modernity. He described the conflicting dialectics between local and global jihad. And he highlighted how radical movements try to "modernize" traditional concepts, giving them a new meaning previously unknown in Islam, for instance in the case of the caliphate.[2] His "Apocalypse in Islam"[3] was awarded the main prize (Augustin-Thierry) by the Rendez-vous de l'Histoire, held every October in the city of Blois.

He has been visiting professor at the Columbia University (New York City, NY) and Georgetown University, invited as a guest speaker to American universities, Harvard Kennedy School (Cambridge, MA)[4] and the James Baker Institute (Houston, TX),[5] as well as think tanks.:[6]

Other activities


Filiu has been interviewed by Christiane Amanpour,[7] by BBC/The World [8] and has been a guest to the English-speaking branch of France 24.[9] He also published five graphic novels and wrote the lyrics of two songs, one about the conflict of the Gaza strip and the latter about the Syrian civil war.