Sara Roy (Ed.D. Harvard University) is a senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies specializing in the Palestinian economy, Palestinian Islamism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Dr. Roy is also co-chair of the Middle East Seminar, jointly sponsored by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and co-chair of the Middle East Forum at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.
Dr. Roy began her research in the Gaza Strip and West Bank in 1985 with a focus on the economic, social and political development of the Gaza Strip and on U.S. foreign assistance to the region. Since then she has written extensively on the Palestinian economy, particularly in Gaza, and on Gaza’s de-development, a concept she originated.
Dr. Roy is the author of The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-development (Institute for Palestine Studies, 1995, 2001, third edition 2016 with a new introduction and afterword and Arabic edition, 2018); The Gaza Strip Survey (The West Bank Data Base Project, 1986); Failing Peace: Gaza and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict (Pluto Press, 2007); and editor, The Economics of Middle East Peace: A Reassessment, Research in Middle East Economics, Volume 3 (Middle East Economic Association and JAI Press, 1999). She has a new book, Unsilencing Gaza: Reflections on Resistance (Pluto Press, 2021). Her book, Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza: Engaging the Islamist Social Sector (Princeton University Press, 2011, 2014 with a new afterword), was a winner of a 2012 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize in Middle Eastern Studies and was named one of CHOICE’s “Outstanding Academic Titles”: Top 25 Academic Books for 2012. The research for this book was funded by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Dr. Roy also has authored over 100 publications dealing with Palestinian issues and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has lectured widely in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Australia among other international venues.
In addition to her academic work, she serves on the International Advisory Council of American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) among other appointments, and has served as a consultant to international organizations, the U.S. government, human rights organizations, private voluntary organizations, and private business groups working in the Middle East.