Laura Schuhn

Laura Schuhn

Department Geographie und Geowissenschaften
Institut für Geographie

Wetterkreuz 15

Curriculum Vitae

  • Since 01/2021: research associate for the DFG funded project IMAGEUN
  • 04/2019 – 12/2020: Master degree in Middle Eastern Studies (focus on Political Science; FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)
  • 10/2015 – 03/2019: Bachelor degree in Political Science & Cultural Geography (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)
  • 2019-2020: student research assistant at the Chair of Cultural Geography, Institute of Geography, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • 10/2018 – 03/2019 & 10/2019 – 03/2020: student research assistant (tutor) coordinated by the Chair of Middle East Politics and Society at the Institute for Political Science, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg


Research Focus

  • Countries: Saudi Arabia, Tunisia
  • Topics: authoritarian resilience (focus on Gulf monarchies), Social Media (in particular Twitter) in the context of authoritarian regimes, nexus of climate change & state-society-relations
    • PhD project: „The Guardians of the Twitterverse? Narratives of Climate Change & Environmental Hazards in the Saudi Twittersphere“ (working title)

How does climate change affect state-society relations in Saudi Arabia that has so far been mainly analyzed by its rentier nature?
In the Saudi context, climate change and its physical dynamics have triggered fundamental processes of economic, societal, and political transformations – prominently manifested in the Saudi Vision 2030 or the National Transformation Program. Climate insecurities and multiple transformation processes contest the existing „social contract“, raise expectations among the population for the future, political participation in decision-making and greater government accountability and highlight existing societal inequalities.
Twitter, which is used particularly actively among young Saudis, is considered a „social mirror“ that reflects some of the perceptions regarding climate change and ongoing transformations.

Current Research

  • Transnational authoritarian practices on Social Media (in particular Twitter)
  • Geographical imaginations in times of multiple crises (energy & climate crisis)

Publications & Presentations

Schuhn, Laura (2021): Arab Gulf Monarchies as an Epistemic (Online) Community Revisited. Diffusion, Competition, and Survival in the Aftermath of the Arab Uprisings. Taiwan Journal of Democracy 17 (2): 49–71.


Presentations at Conferences

International DAVO/DOT Congress of Contemporary Research on the Middle East (Berlin, September 12 – 17, 2022). Presented topic: „Boosting the game: post-pandemic era, regional dynamics & the pressure for climate action in the Gulf monarchies“