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Dr José Ciro Martínez



José grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico and studied Political Science at Williams College (BA, magna cum laude). He received his doctorate in Politics from the University of Cambridge in 2018. Before joining York, José held a Junior Research Fellowship at Trinity College, University of Cambridge and was a visiting researcher at the Instituto de Estudios Sociales Avanzados (IESA-CSIC). He has been the recipient of the Watson, Fulbright and Gates Cambridge fellowships and has conducted fieldwork in Jordan, Syria, Morocco and Spain.

In addition to articles in several leading journals, José is the author of a recently published monograph, States of Subsistence: The Politics of Bread in Contemporary Jordan (Stanford University Press, 2022).

José also occasionally writes for a general audience. This work has appeared in Al Jazeera, Jacobin, Jadaliyya, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and the Times Literary Supplement.



José's research explores the politics of food, welfare, contention and state formation in the Middle East and North Africa, drawing on archival and ethnographic methods. He is committed to modes of political inquiry attentive to the seemingly ordinary and mundane.

Building on more than a year working as a baker in the Jordanian capital, Amman, José’s first book wrestles with theories of performativity to dissect the ways in which welfare provision (in the form of food) works to entrench the state in everyday life. He is currently conducting fieldwork on his next major project, funded by the ESRC’s New Investigator Grant. Provisionally entitled, Sovereign Haze: Hashish, Trafficking and the Illicit in the Western Mediterranean, the project explores practices of government and the exercise of authority in southern Spain and northern Morocco by way of the production and trafficking of hashish.

For a detailed list of publications, please see his webpage


José Ciro Martínez

Contact details

Dr José Ciro Martínez
Department of Politics and International Relations
University of York
YO10 5DD

Feedback and Guidance hours, Semester 2: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3pm to 4pm