Professor Koch is a political geographer focusing on geopolitics, nationalism and identity politics, the state system, and authoritarianism. Her research investigates how authoritarian regimes and power relations are reproduced through sites of pleasure and opportunity, rather than just violence and oppression. Empirically, she focuses on the Arabian Peninsula, where she studies the many transnational ties that bind the Gulf countries, actors, and ideas to other parts of the world.
Her area of expertise includes political geography, nationalism, geopolitics, authoritarianism, and Gulf and Arabian Peninsula studies.
She is the author of “Arid Empire: The Entangled Fates of Arizona and Arabia” which offers a new perspective teaches us to see deserts anew, not as mythic sites of romance or empty wastelands but as an “arid empire,” a crucial political space where imperial dreams coalesce.
Recent Media Interviews:
- Saudi agribusiness thirsty for Arizona’s dwindling water, The World
- The ties between Saudi and Arizona farmers go back nearly a century, KJZZ
- Arizona Is in a Race to the Bottom of Its Water Wells, With Saudi Arabia’s Help, The New York Times (opinion)
- Why are Saudi farmers pumping Arizona groundwater?, High Country News
- We can’t engineer our way out of the water crisis in the Southwest US, New Scientist
- After oil: the challenge and promise of getting the world off fossil fuels, The Conversation Weekly, podcast
- Arizona farmers grew Saudi Arabia’s agriculture empire. Now, the monarchy has a chunk of the state’s water, Channel 12 News (Phoenix)