Armin Seif is Programme Director for Democracy and Governance at the Middle East Research Institute (MERI). He specialises in democratization, social policy and development. He has conducted extensive research on governance and the rule of law in fragile states. His research examined different perspectives, limitations and barriers of establishing and advancing the rule of law in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Armin completed his postgraduate studies in social policy research at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Prior to this, he studied international relations as an undergraduate at LSE and as a postgraduate student at the University of Cambridge. He also undertook managerial training at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.
At the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (Biicl), Armin was a member of several research teams on legal reform in the Islamic world with a particular focus on post-conflict Iraq and Afghanistan. He also assisted Biicl's Iran Project, a major part of the EU-Iran Dialogue. Whilst at Biicl, his articles on matters related to US-Iran relations were published in the institution's monthly Bulletin of International Legal Developments. He furthermore assisted with publishing a comparative study on Sharia Law, titled: 'Sharia, Muslim States and International Human Rights Treaty Obligations: A Comparative Study' (2008).
Armin also served as a Research Associate at the Foreign Policy Centre, a London based think-tank, and worked closely with the former UK Shadow Secretary of State for Education (Stephen Twigg) on matters related to UK foreign policy on the Middle East. He assisted with the production of a major publication on Turkey and the EU, titled: 'Turkey in Europe: The economic case for Turkish membership of the European Union' (2008).
With almost ten years of managerial experience in corporate consulting, Armin’s expertise goes beyond policy research. Up until 2006, he worked as an IT consultant in industrial and governmental projects. Armin is a member of several bodies including the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and has undertaken diplomatic and legal training at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and The Hague Academy of International Law.
Armin was born and spent his childhood in Iran, finished school in Germany and studied in England. Before joining MERI, he took a detour to do community work in the field of integration and migration in Germany and was elected to be a candidate for the regional Integration Council. Armin has advised German authorities and NGOs on integration policies.