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Durham University

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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

Indicators of Esteem

  • :

    Elected to the Society of Scholars, Johns Hopkins University

    Current Advisory Board Membership

    • Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, School of Foreign Servce, Georgetown University
    • Casa Arabe and International Institute of Arab and Muslim World Studies, Madrid and Cordoba
    • Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, Australian National University
    • Centre for Muslim States and Societies, University of Western Australia
    • National Centre for Excellence in Islamic Studies, Australia
    • 2012 Exhibition on the Hajj, British Museum, London

    Current Editorial Boards

    • Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs
    • Critique: Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
    • Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World and Oxford Islamic Studies OnLine, Oxford University Press
    • Journal of Islamic Studies
    • Political Handbook of Political Islam, Routledge
    • Intellectual Discourse [Kuala Lumpur]
    • Awraq [Madrid]
    • Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions (on-line)


Authored book

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

Chapter in book

Edited book

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

Journal Article


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

Selected Grants

  • 2010: Australian Research Council Grant on Democratisation in the Middle East