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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Professor James Piscatori

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Professor Piscatori has worked at several universities in Britain, Australia and the United States.  In Britain, he was Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford; and Professor of International Politics in the University of Aberystwyth.  In addition, he was Professor at the Australian National University and Associate Profesor in the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University.  He has also been Senior Fellow at two research institutions -- the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.  He has served on several international collaborative committees such as the Committee for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies of the Social Science Reseach Council, and was co-editor of a series on Muslim Politics for Princeton University Press. 


Professor Piscatori's work has centred on two themes:  Islam and international relations; and Islamic political thought, particularly as it relates to democratisation in Middle Eastern societies.  Area focus has been principally, but not exclusively, on the Arab states of the Gulf.  Recently, he has been working on pan-Islamism and Islamic transnationalism, and specifically investigating the contemporary meaning of the ummah (community of the faith). 

Research Interests

  • Islamic political and international thought
  • Politics and international relations of the Middle East
  • Religion and politics in the Arab states of the Gulf

Teaching Areas

  • Introduction to Middle East Politics

    (10 hours/year.)


Authored book

  • Piscatori, James (2004). Muslim Politics. Princeton University Press.

Edited book

  • Dresch, Paul & Piscatori, James (2005). Monarchies and Nations: Globalization and Identity in the Arab States of the Gulf. I.B. Tauris.


  • Piscatori, James (2000). Islam, Islamists and the Electoral Principle. International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM).

Chapter in book

  • Piscatori, James (2012). 'Winning Hearts and Minds: US promotion of a democratic Islam'. In American Democracy Promotion in the Changing Middle East: From Bush to Obama. Akbarzadeh, Shahram,, Piscatori, James, MacQueen, Benjamin & Saikal, Amin Routledge.

Journal Article

  • Piscatori, James (2012). 'Secular Aspirations and Political Islam in the Arab Middle East: The 1950s - reconsidered'. The Maghreb Review 37(1): 3-32.
  • Piscatori, James (2000). 'Imagining Pan-Islam: Religious Activism and Political Utopias'. Proceedings of the British Academy 131.