Kirstie Lynn Dobbs, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Practice
Middle East and North Africa Specialist
Supports the Empowerment of Youth and Communities
Dr. Kirstie Lynn Dobbs is currently an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Political Science and Public Policy and the Early College Program at Merrimack College in North Andover, MA. In her dissertation, she analyzed why youth in Tunisia were so active during the 2011 Arab Spring revolution but were still less likely than older generations to vote at the ballot box in the aftermath of the democratic transition.
Dr. Dobbs applied her specialization on voter turnout as a Manatt Research Fellow at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and has presented this research to the United States Agency for International Development and the Arab Reform Initiative. She currently serves as a research consultant for the European Partnership for Democracy on creating a global Youth Political Participation Index. She has op-ed articles in the Foreign Policy Journal and invited articles in Ace: Electoral Knowledge Network, ORIENT Magazine, and the American Political Science Association's Middle East and North Africa Politics Section Symposium. Peer-reviewed journal articles appear in Democratization, The British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Representation, and Politics.
Currently, she has expanded her regional focus on the Middle East and North Africa to explore the civic engagement of youth worldwide, especially in the Global South. Her book project, Growing Up Pandemic: The Future of Global Democracy, investigates the political socialization of youth worldwide and how Millenials and Generation Z seek to reform political institutions worldwide.
Dr. Dobbs also engages in multiple civically engaged research projects with community partners investigating how educators, practitioners, academics, and civil society can support youth empowerment after the COVID-19 pandemic. She created a summer research experience for first-year students to conduct independent research projects using youth participatory action research practices. This summer course also engages with a summer civic engagement program for middle schoolers she co-created and co-facilitated with faculty and undergraduate students called Youth Voice. The research from this program is published in Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies (forthcoming) and a book chapter published by Palgrave in the Political Pedagogies series (forthcoming). In the spring of 2022, Dr. Dobbs was acknowledged for her scholarly work at Merrimack College's Tolle Lege Honors Ceremony.