Negotiating Popular Mandate and the Sovereignty of God in Iran

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, James Barry
in John L Esposito, Lily Zubaidah Rahim and Naser Ghobadzadeh (eds), The Politics of Islamism (NY: Palgrave, 2018), pp. 159-178
Publication year: 2018

Iran’s political system benefits from dual sources of legitimacy, which seemingly enables Iran’s ruling clergy to proclaim their system to be the ultimate representation of a perfect political system, one that brings Islam and democracy together. Questioning this propaganda-laden claim, we suggest that this duality has embedded an inherent contradiction between the theory and practice of an Islamic Republic. Indeed, it is for this reason that elected and appointed offices in Iran have been continually embroiled in tense relations since the inception of the Islamic Republic. Elaborating on the country’s electoral rules and procedures, it is suggested that despite the vetting of candidates by the appointed Guardian Council, Iranian elections are highly competitive and revolve around issues of national importance such as the economy and social issues. This chapter offers a detailed investigation of the challenges that have arisen from the inherited contradiction between divine and popular sovereignty, which has gained considerable credence during Hassan Rouhani’s presidency. This inherent contradiction at times appears to tilt in favour of popular sovereignty. However, that is only because the political elite are acutely aware of the fact that without the illusion of popular rule, the regime could very well be cast aside, mirroring the fate of the Pahlavi regime. It is argued that Rouhani’s achievements do not address the contradiction between divine and popular sovereignty, but rather illuminate the astute political calculations made in the top echelons of power in order to create a semblance of popular rule. This chapter argues that the Iranian system of government is based on a clear hierarchy of authority in which divine sovereignty in the form of velāyat-e faqih hovers over the empty shell of democracy.

Afghanistan – Challenges and Prospects

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh in Bose, Srinjoy, Nishank Motwani, and William Maley, eds. Afghanistan–Challenges and Prospects. Routledge, 2017.
Publication year: 2017

After decades of turmoil a new phase is opening up for Afghanistan, in which a new generation comes to the fore as many of the key players from earlier phases, including foreign interventionist powers, leave the scene. Although this new phase offers new possibilities and increased hope for Afghanistan’s future, the huge problems created in earlier phases remain. This book presents a comprehensive overall assessment of the current state of politics and society in Afghanistan, outlining the difficulties and discussing the future possibilities. Many of the contributors are Afghans or Afghan insiders, who are able to put forward a much richer view of the situation than outside foreign observers.

The Small Gulf States

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Iran and the GCC Sheikhdoms’, in Khalid S. Almezaini, Jean-Marc Rickli (eds), The Small Gulf States (London: Routledge, 2017). pp. 89-106
Publication year: 2017

The Small Gulf States analyses the evolution of these states’ foreign and security policies since the Arab Spring. With particular focus on Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, it explores how these states have been successful in not only guaranteeing their survival, but also in increasing their influence in the region. It then discusses the security dilemmas small states face, and suggests a multitude of foreign and security policy options, ranging from autonomy to influence, in order to deal with this. The book also looks at the influence of regional and international actors on the policies of these countries. It concludes with a discussion of the peculiarities and contributions of the Gulf states for the study of small states’ foreign and security policies in general.

Providing a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the unique foreign and security policies of the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) before and after the Arab Spring, this book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of Middle East studies, foreign policy and international relations.

Rouhani’s First Two Years in Office: Opportunities and Risks in Contemporary Iran

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Dara Conduit
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Dara Conduit: ‘Rouhani’s first two years in Office, opportunities and risks in contemporary Iran’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh and Dara Conduit (eds), Iran in the World: President Rouhani’s Foreign Policy (NY: Palgrave, 2016). pp. 1-17
Publication year: 2016

President Hassan Rouhani surprised onlookers in June 2013 by winning the first round of the Iranian presidential election outright. Rouhani had campaigned on a platform of moderation, promising to form a “government of prudence and hope,” and raising expectations of an imminent shift in Iran’s international engagement.1 On the campaign trail, Rouhani broke a number of political taboos. He criticized media censorship in a live television interview, questioned the need for heavy-handed state security, and declared that the 2009 postelection protests were “natural and popular.”2 These statements were seen as potentially significant given that the two reformist candidates from the 2009 election (Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi) remained under house arrest, accused of carrying out a foreign plot against the Islamic regime.

The Arab World and Iran: A Turbulent Region in Transition

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: 'Iran's Syrian Foreign Policy Objectives', in Amin Saikal (ed), The Arab World and Iran: A Turbulent Region in Transition (NY: Palgrave, 2016). pp. 127-145
Publication year: 2016

US Foreign Policy and Iran is a study of US foreign policy decision-making in relation to Iran and its implications for Middle Eastern relations. It offers a new assessment of US-Iranian relations by exploring the rationale, effectiveness and consequences of American policy towards Iran from the aftermath of the 1979 Iranian Revolution to the present day.

As a key country in a turbulent region and the recipient of some of the most inconsistent treatment meted out during or after the Cold War, Iran has been both one of America’s closest allies and an ‘axis of evil’ or ‘rogue’ state, targeted by covert action and contained by sanctions, diplomatic isolation and the threat of overt action. Moreover, since the attacks of 11 September 2001, Iran has played a significant role in the war on terror while also incurring American wrath for its links to international terror and its alleged pursuit of a nuclear weapons programme.

US Foreign Policy and Iran will be of interest to students of US foreign policy, Iran, Middle Eastern Politics and international security in general

Iran in the World

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Dara Conduit
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Dara Conduit: ‘Charting a New Course? Testing Rouhani’s foreign policy agency in the Iran-Syria relationship’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh and Dara Conduit (eds), Iran in the World: President Rouhani’s Foreign Policy (NY: Palgrave ,2016). pp. 133-154
Publication year: 2016

Iran and Syria have enjoyed one of the most enduring alliances in the Middle East, with the relationship surviving the Iran—Iraq war, decades of international sanctions, and the Iranian nuclear dispute. The alliance took on new significance after the outbreak of war in Syria in 2011 when Iran, led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, provided decisive diplomatic and materiel support for the Syrian regime. The largesse of this support suggested that for many in Tehran, the Iran—Syria alliance remained as important in 2011 as it was when it was established in 1979. The election of the reformist President Hassan Rouhani in 2013 appeared to complicate this calculus, with speculation emerging that he would temper Iran’s support for Syria. In practice, however, Rouhani’s response to Syria has been muted, reflecting an attempt to placate the international community while simultaneously preserving Iran’s most reliable regional alliance. In doing this, Rouhani has also inadvertently revealed the deeply polarizing impact that the Syrian crisis has had on the Iranian political elite, as well as the limits of presidential power in Iran.

Afghanistan and its neighbors after the NATO withdrawal

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘A new phase in relations between Iran and Afghanistan’, in Amin Saikal and Kirill Nourzhanov (eds), Afghanistan and Its Neighbors after the NATO Withdrawal (London: Lexington, 2016). pp. 35-48
Publication year: 2016

The planned reductions in NATO troop numbers in Afghanistan through 2015 and a final withdrawal at the end of 2016 brings up numerous pressing questions about the security and national interests of not just Afghanistan, but of the broader region itself. The problem of a chaotic Afghanistan-or of an outright Taliban victory-is of great concern to not only immediate neighbors such as Iran, Pakistan, and the former Soviet Central Asian republics to the north, but also to those countries in the region with Afghanistan-related security or economic concerns, such as China and India. Further abroad, Russian, American and European interests and plans for dealing with the fallout from Afghanistan must also be taken into account as these major powers have enduring interests in Afghanistan and the region. This volume puts the prospects for short- and mid-term security dynamics at the core of the analysis, with each case being placed in its proper contemporary historical, economic, and political context. The book will offer a truly comprehensive, nuanced, and timely account of the security situation in and around Afghanistan

Democracy and Reform in the Middle East and Asia: Social Protest and Authoritarian Rule After the Arab Spring

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘The Arab Revolution is Bad News for Iran’, in Amin Saikal and Amitav Acharya (eds), Democracy and Reform in the Middle East and Asia (London: I.B. Tauris, 2014). pp. 105-120
Publication year: 2014

The popular revolutions that swept across the Arab world in late 2010 and 2011 were initially welcomed in Tehran as a vindication of its policies. Since its inception, the Islamic Republic of Iran had maintained a difficult relationship with its Arab neighbours, even fighting a bloody eight-year war with one. From the Iranian point of view, Arab governments had betrayed Islam by working closely with the United States and giving up on the Palestinian cause. At first glance, the Arab revolution that deposed the ruling regimes in Tunisia and Egypt and the revolt in the Gulf sheikhdoms fitted neatly in the narrative of the Iranian regime. The Arab regimes were inclined to side with the United States in all international fora and were generally criticized for not representing the interest of their own people. But this interpretation of the Arab revolution as an automatic endorsement of the Iranian worldview was too simplistic to withstand the test of time. Very soon after the removal of Hosni Mubarak from office and the spread of unrest to Syria and Libya, the Iranian interpretation came under severe strain. In Syria, the Bashar al-Assad regime, which had been hailed by the Iranian authorities as a genuine popular alternative to many other Arab states, seemed to face the same kind of popular unrest that had paralysed its neighbours. In Egypt, the Muslim brotherhood dismissed suggestions that it might follow the Iranian model. Iran’s binary worldview of believers versus disbelief could not explain the momentous events that engulfed the region. The Arab revolution presented a conceptual challenge to the Iranian worldview. This has reminded the leadership of the tenuous nature of their hold on power. The regime has responded by doubling security measures against its internal opposition, dubbed the Green Movement. Only a year after the regime managed to suppress its own opposition rallies, the Arab revolution has made it vulnerable once again. This chapter begins with a survey of the Iranian position with regard to the Arab revolution, and then explores the impact of the Bahrain and Syrian conflicts on Iran’s standing in the region. It argues that the double standard in relation to these conflicts has eroded Iran’s soft power on the Arab streets and led to its marginalization. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the internal implications of this strategic demise as the regime feels pressured from within and without.

Managing religious diversity and promoting active citizenship: Muslims in Australia, Britain and Germany

Scholarly book chapters
Mario Peucker and Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh and M Peucker: ‘Managing religious diversity and promoting active citizenship: Muslims in Australia, Britain and Germany’, in Fethi Mansouri and Boulou Ebanda de B'beri (eds), Global perspectives on the politics of multiculturalism in the 21st century: a case study analysis (London: Routledge, 2014). pp. 141-160
Publication year: 2014

The Vicious Cycle of Stereotyping: Muslims in Europe and Australia

Scholarly book chapters
Mario Peucker and Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Mario Peucker: ‘The Vicious Cycle of Stereotyping: Muslims in Europe and Australia’, in Fethi Mansouri and Vince Marotta (eds), Muslims in the West and the Challenges of Belonging (Melbourne: MUP, 2012). pp. 171-197
Publication year: 2012

Routledge Handbook of Political Islam

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘The Paradox of Political Islam’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed), Routledge Handbook of Political Islam (London: Routledge, 2012). pp. 1-10
Publication year: 2012

The Routledge Handbook of Political Islam provides a multidisciplinary overview of the phenomenon of political Islam, one of the key political movements of our time. Drawing on the expertise from some of the top scholars in the world it examines the main issues surrounding political Islam across the world, from aspects of Muslim integration in the West to questions of political legitimacy in the Muslim world.

Bringing together an international team of renowned and respected experts on the topic, the chapters in the book present a critical account of:

  • Theoretical foundations of political Islam
  • Historical background
  • Geographical spread of Islamist movements
  • Political strategies adopted by Islamist groups
  • Terrorism
  • Attitudes towards democracy
  • Relations between Muslims and the West in the international sphere
  • Challenges of integration
  • Gender relations.

Presenting readers with the diversity of views on political Islam in a nuanced and dispassionate manner, this handbook is an essential addition to the existing literature on Islam and politics. It will be of interest across a wide range of disciplines, including political science, Islamic studies, sociology and history.

Routledge Handbook of Political Islam

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Rebecca Barlow
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Rebecca Barlow: ‘The Institutionalisation of political Islam in Iran’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed), Routledge Handbook of Political Islam (London: Routledge, 2012). pp. 142-153
Publication year: 2012

The establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1980 brought Islamism out of the shadows and into the corridors of power. This was an unprecedented development. Political Islam had emerged as the antithesis of the status quo, an alternative to secular policies and creeping Westernisation. In Iran, what started out as a revolutionary ideology was transformed into official ideology for the new regime. Islamism came full circle. Seemingly overnight, it was transformed from a battle cry for revolution into the pillar of a new system of government. Political Islam in today’s Iran is a status quo ideology that protects the vested interests of many in the clerical establishment, as well as those who have identified with, and benefited from, this transformation. This chapter explores the institutionalisation of political Islam in Iran.

The institutionalisation of Islamism following the 1979 popular revolution was not without difficulties. The major impediment to political Islam in Iran was the fact that it gained prominence on the back of a mass movement thirsty for political, social and economic trans­ parency and accountability. Engrained in the 1979 revolution was a desire to establish a new democratic system where the political leadership was answerable to the people and represented their national interests. The idea of a republic was appealing to the masses that protested against the corruption of the Pahlavi monarchy. Popular sovereignty was at the heart of the republic model. However, rule by the people did not sit easily with the Islamists and had to be demarcated within the limits set, as they claimed, by God. Tension between the popular and the divine models of government was evident from the very first day of the new regime. This tension is entwined in the Iranian constitution which maintains divine caveats to popular sovereignty and is even carried into the official name of the state: the Islamic Republic. The surge of popular resentment against the political establishment following the contested 2009 presidential elections was a reminder that the above tension remained unresolved. Street protests challenging the Supreme Leader and his role at the top of the state hierarchy have raised pertinent questions about the capacity of political Islam as a status quo ideology and what it means for civil rights. This chapter presents an account of political Islam in power and traces its implications for civil rights, with a special focus on women’s rights in Iran.

 

Islamism Reaches Central Asia

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Islamism Reaches Central Asia’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed), Routledge Handbook of Political Islam (London: Routledge, 2012). pp. 119-128
Publication year: 2012

The Routledge Handbook of Political Islam provides a multidisciplinary overview of the phenomenon of political Islam, one of the key political movements of our time. Drawing on the expertise from some of the top scholars in the world it examines the main issues surrounding political Islam across the world, from aspects of Muslim integration in the West to questions of political legitimacy in the Muslim world.

Bringing together an international team of renowned and respected experts on the topic, the chapters in the book present a critical account of:

  • Theoretical foundations of political Islam
  • Historical background
  • Geographical spread of Islamist movements
  • Political strategies adopted by Islamist groups
  • Terrorism
  • Attitudes towards democracy
  • Relations between Muslims and the West in the international sphere
  • Challenges of integration
  • Gender relations.

Presenting readers with the diversity of views on political Islam in a nuanced and dispassionate manner, this handbook is an essential addition to the existing literature on Islam and politics. It will be of interest across a wide range of disciplines, including political science, Islamic studies, sociology and history.

Constitutionalism in Islamic Countries: Between Upheaval and Continuity

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘The Limits of Islam in Post-Soviet Central Asia’, in Rainer Grote and Tilmann Röder (eds): Constitutionalism in Islamic
Publication year: 2011

This chapter examines the limited role of Islam in shaping the public space of post-Soviet Central Asia. It documents Soviet instruments of administrative control on Islam in Central Asia and then examines the behavior of the incumbent regimes which inherited this Soviet legacy. It shows that despite strong expectations of Central Asia’s transition from authoritarian rule to democracy following the Soviet collapse, the incumbent elite managed to thwart that process and return to the familiar modes of centralized authoritarian rule. The chapter concludes by exploring the prospects of Islam’s political role in Central Asia.

America’s Challenges in the Greater Middle East

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Obama in the Middle East: Failure to Bring Change’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed), America’s Challenges in the Greater Middle East (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2-11). pp. 1-10
Publication year: 2011

President Barack Obama inherited an unenviable legacy from his predecessor in the greater Middle East. At the time of his inauguration, U.S. troops were involved in two theaters of war. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq had started well and allowed the United States to gain quick victories against incumbent regimes. Securing these victories, however, had proven elusive. In Afghanistan, the Taliban had managed to put up resistance, seriously curtailing the authority of the central government beyond major centers of population. The Taliban also established camps across the border, using Pakistani territory to train fighters and launch attacks against U.S. troops and those of its allies. In Iraq, a pro-Saddam insurgency soon developed into an Islamist/Al Qaeda campaign of terror, aimed at punishing the United States and instigating a sectarian war between Sunni and Shia Iraqis.

America’s Challenges in the Greater Middle East

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Iran: From Engagement to Containment’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed), America’s Challenges in the Greater Middle East (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). pp. 161-176
Publication year: 2011

President Barack Obama faces a tough challenge to his efforts to steer away from the policies of his predecessor in Iran. Obama’s diplomatic charm offensive in the Muslim world, and more specifically in relation to Iran, was hoped to breathe new life into the tortured relationship between the United States and Iran. This was a marked departure from the past. Regime change was out. Direct engagement was in. Obama refrained from repeating his predecessor’s threats against Iran, instead trying to find a way to influence the behavior of the ruling regime. In a clear effort to draw lessons from past mistakes, the Obama administration moved to address the emotive issues of respect and parity between the United States and Iran and endeavored to chart a path of noninterference. Despite this significant change in the U.S. position, little progress has been made in affecting the behavior of the Islamic regime. Iran continues to defy the international community with its nuclear program, insists on antagonizing Israel, supports Hizbullah, and dismisses international efforts to bring peace to the protracted Palestinian-Israeli dispute. In short, Iran revels in its pariah status. As a result, pressure has been mounting on President Obama to reconsider his policy of engagement and revert back to the pattern of punishment.

America’s Challenges in the Greater Middle East

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Luca Anceschi
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Luca Anceschi: ‘Central Asia: Pragmatism in Action’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed), America’s Challenges in the Greater Middle East (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). pp. 217-236
Publication year: 2011

The Obama administration has inherited a difficult case in Central Asia. Once shunned by successive U.S. administrations for its poor record on human rights and its geostrategic position that was assumed to be peripheral to U.S. interests, Central Asia was thrust on the U.S. foreign policy radar in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Security concerns, followed closely by establishing access routes to the region’s fossil fuels, have dominated the minds of policy makers ever since. In between these concerns has been the nagging question of political reform, something the Central Asian leadership has been disinclined to adopt. The Bush administration tried to find a balance between competing objectives in relation to Central Asia. Generally emphasizing the security aspect of the relationship, the Bush administration peppered its public statements on Central Asia with the occasional reference to the normative concepts of good governance and rule of law. The latter may have been mere window dressing, but such reference was a reminder of an inherent tension between pragmatism and idealism in the foreign policy of the United States. This chapter traces the ebbs and flows of these competing goals and examines the responses formulated by the Obama administration. It is argued that the Obama administration has continued to regard security and access to fossil fuels as Washington’s primary objectives while pushing concerns with normative aspects of foreign policy further to the background.

The Challenge of being Muslim

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘The Challenge of being Muslim’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed), Challenging Identities: Muslim Women in Australia (Melbourne: MUP, 2010). pp. 1-8
Publication year: 2010

Muslim women in Australia are at the forefront of a culture war, and not necessarily by choice. As visible representatives of Islam, veiled women face discrimination and abuse, and carry the stigma of a culture frequently deemed unacceptable and inferior. Despite these adverse conditions, Muslim women have demonstrated a remarkable resilience by maintaining their presence in the public domain and by continuing to make a positive contribution to Australia. The experiences of Muslim women in Australia cannot be typecast as a sisterhood of oppressed females. Challenging Identities questions the assumption of incompatible ‘Australian values’ and ‘Islamic values’, and provides valuable first-person accounts from the lives of Muslim women in Australia.

Living Islam in Australia

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Living Islam in Australia’ in Australia and the Arab World (Abu Dhabi: Emirati Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, 2010). pp. 117-132.
Publication year: 2010

Australia’s contribution to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and its subsequent withdrawal in 2009 have made Arab-Australian relations a controversial and complex issue. They are further complicated as each side seeks not only to secure and maintain strategic and diplomatic relations, but also the perennially important trade and energy relations. This book explores and analyses this relationship using a number of approaches, looking at Australia’s diplomatic and economic ties with the Arab states, as well as the cultural exchange that occurs with the Muslims and Arabs who live inside Australia, and their contribution towards a growing multicultural society. This important analysis will be of interest to students, researchers and policymakers in a range of fields, such as International Relations, Middle East studies, multiculturalism and trade relations.

Islam and Human Rights

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Benjamin MacQueen
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Benjamin MacQueen: ‘Islamic reformism and human rights in Iraq’ in Shahram Akbarzadeh and Benjamin MacQueen (eds), Islam and Human Rights (London: Routledge, 2008). pp. 52-74.
Publication year: 2008

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Benjamin MacQueen
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Benjamin MacQueen: ‘Framing the debate on Islam and human rights’ in Shahram Akbarzadeh and Benjamin MacQueen (eds), Islam and Human Rights (London: Routledge, 2008). pp. 1-11.
Publication year: 2008

The Rise of Anti-Americanism

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Kylie Baxter
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Kylie Baxter: ‘The rise of anti-Americanism in the Middle East’, in Brendon O'Connor (ed), The Global Rise of Anti-Americanism Volume 3 (London: Greenwood Press, 2007). pp. 281-302.
Publication year: 2007

An Introduction to International Relations

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Globalization of Islam’, in Richard Devetak, Anthony Burke and Jim George (eds), Introduction to International Relations: Australian Perspectives (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2007). pp. 307-317.
Publication year: 2007

There are in excess of 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. The great bulk of this population lives in South and Southeast Asia, where Muslims constitute the largest religious group. States with Muslim population majorities are often called Muslim states, regardless of the system of government and political system. But there are also significant Muslim populations in other states. Population movement in the second half of the twentieth century has led to the growth of Muslim communities in Europe, the US and Australia. Muslim migration to Europe seems to have closely reflected colonial links, so that the biggest Muslim community in the UK is from South Asia where the British Empire held sway, while Muslims from Algeria constitute a significant community in France. This picture, however, is fast evolving and Muslim minority groups in non-Muslim states are becoming increasingly heterogeneous in ethnic background and creed.

The demographic spread of Muslims has led to some key questions about identity, community and citizenship. Islam emerged in the Arabian Peninsula in the seventh century, but was not tied to that geography.

Islam and Political Violence

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Fethi Mansouri
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Fethi Mansouri: ‘Contextualising New Islamism’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh and Fethi Mansouri (eds), Islam and Political Violence: Muslim Diaspora and Radicalism in the West (London and NY: IB Tauris, 2007). pp. 1-12.
Publication year: 2007

How do we engage with the pressing challenges of xenophobia, radicalism and security in the age of the “war on terror”? The widely felt sense of insecurity in the West is shared by Muslims both within and outside Western societies. Growing Islamic militancy and resulting increased security measures by Western powers have contributed to a pervasive sense among Muslims of being under attack (both physically and culturally). Islam and Political Violence brings together the current debate on the uneasy and potentially mutually destructive relationship between the Muslim world and the West and argues we are on a dangerous trajectory, strengthening dichotomous notions of the divide between the West and the Muslim world.

Political Islam and Human Security

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Fethi Mansouri
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Fethi Mansouri: ‘Islamism and Political Violence in the New World Order’, in Fethi Mansouri and Shahram Akbarzadeh (eds), Political Islam and Human Security (Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006). pp. 3-14.
Publication year: 2006

Islam and Globalization

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘General Introduction’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed). Islam and Globalization, Volume 1, (London: Routledge, 2006). pp. 1-14.
Publication year: 2006

Globalization has opened up non-Western societies to forces of economic, political and cultural liberalism for the first time, and this process has had a profound effect upon Islamic societies, causing unease and concern among many Muslims. Moreover, this apprehension has been exacerbated by the fact that globalization as a concept and as a process seems to originate from the West, and because many Muslims equate globalization with colonization. The conflict between Islam and globalization and the West is perhaps the most pressing issue in the post-September 11th era, and this set seeks to represent the shape of international relations – conciliatory and otherwise – between the two `civilizations’ in the late-twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
With a general introduction by the editor, the volumes include articles by leading scholars that will initially examine the various ways in which Islam has tried to protect itself against the encroachment of the West, before investigating a more outward-looking Islam that encourages religious reformism and evolution in order to contend with the new challenges and priorities of a global community.

Stock Image View Larger Image Islam And the West: Reflections from Australia

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Islam on the global stage’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh and Samina Yasmeen (eds), Islam and the West (Sydney: UNSWPress, 2005). pp. 1-12
Publication year: 2005

The September 11 attacks on the US stunned Australians, as well as people all over the world, and the consequences have been far-reaching for both the West and the Muslim world. The subsequent War on Terror and its extension to Iraq, assaults on Muslims in many Western countries, and the recent bombing in Jakarta have brought to the fore many issues deserving attention and analysis. These include the prospects of conflict and co-operation between the Muslim world and the West—including Australia—and the future of Muslim communities in Australia. Islam and the West addresses these and other issues from aspecifically Australian perspective.

Islam and the West

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Kylie Baxter
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Kylie Baxter: ‘In search of the Caliphate’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh and Samina Yasmeen: Islam and the West (Sydney: UNSWPress, 2005). pp. 26-44.
Publication year: 2005

The September 11 attacks on the US stunned Australians, as well as people all over the world, and the consequences have been far-reaching for both the West and the Muslim world. The subsequent War on Terror and its extension to Iraq, assaults on Muslims in many Western countries, and the recent bombing in Jakarta have brought to the fore many issues deserving attention and analysis. These include the prospects of conflict and co-operation between the Muslim world and the West–including Australia–and the future of Muslim communities in Australia. Islam and the West addresses these and other issues from a specifically Australian perspective.

Conflict Prevention from Rhetoric to Reality: Organizations and Institutions

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Rafis Abazov
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Rafis Abazov: ‘The Politics of Status Quo in Central Asia’, in Albrecht Schnabel and David Carment (eds), Conflict Prevention from Rhetoric to Reality: Organizations and Institutions (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, June 2004). pp. 81-102.
Publication year: 2004

Books on Google Play Regional Security in the Asia Pacific: 9/11 and After

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Calculating the Risk in Central Asia – the case of Uzbekistan’, in Marika Vicziany, David Wright-Neville and Pete Lentini (eds), Regional Security in the Asia Pacific: 9/11 and After (Edward Elgar, 2004). pp. 112-127.
Publication year: 2004