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Professor James Piscatori

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Member of the Centre for the History of Political Thought  



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

Esteem Indicators

  • 0000: : 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

  • 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.

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 (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.


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