Annabelle Böttcher serves from August 2016 to July 2017 as guest professor at the Centre for Contemporary Middle East Studies, University of Southern Denmark. She is a specialist on dialog with arms carriers in the Islamic world with a focus on the conflict in Syria and Iraq. Throughout her career she shuttled between academia, humanitarian management and humanitarian consulting.
Annabelle Böttcher holds a Ph.D. in Political Science (1998) from the University of Freiburg and a Habilitation in Islamic Studies (2006) from the Free University of Berlin. She was also affiliated with the Institut d’Études Arabes de Damas (IFEAD) in Damascus, Orient Institute in Beirut (OIB), Université Saint Joseph (USJ) in Beirut, and Harvard University. She lectured at the Free University of Berlin, Université Saint Joseph in Beirut, Sorbonne in Paris, and the University of Vienna. In addition, she studied with a number of leading male and female Sunni and Shiite Muslim religious figures throughout the Islamic world. Since 2006, she is an adjunct professor at the Free University of Berlin, Germany and since 2016 affiliated with the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
Her monographs are related to state Islam in Syria, structure and ideology of transnational Sunni and Shiite networks: Syria’s Sunni Islam under Hafiz al-Asad, Amazon-Kindle 2015; Islampolitik in Syrien von 1961 bis 1996, Amazon-Kindle; Mit Handy und Turban. Scheich Nāẓim al-Qubrusī und sein transnationales Netzwerk. Würzburg, Ergon Verlag, 2011.
In addition to her academic career, she worked as a consultant for a number of private and international institutions in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Kuwait, Jordan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Niger, Europe, and the US and lived in difficult-to-access-corners in the Islamic world. As an advisor for the international humanitarian industry, she developed strategies and tools for negotiations and networking with arms carriers related to humanitarian access in conflict zones and beyond.
Her recent focus is on the conflict in Syria/Iraq and its transnationalization, the proliferation of arms carriers and digital media, as well as Shiite and Sunni confessionalism and migration. She is preparing a monograph on the use of social media in the Syrian conflict. Together with colleagues from medical and cultural studies she is also building a network on migrant medicine focused on improving health care in multi-cultural clinical settings.