Conference Participants



Nathan Brown

Professor of Political Science and International at George Washington University, and author, editor and co-author of several works including The Dynamics of Democratization: Dictatorship, Development, and Diffusion (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011), Constitutions in a Nonconstitutional World: Arab Basic Laws & the Prospects for Accountable Government (SUNY Press, 2001), The Rule of Law in the Arab World: Courts in Egypt and the Gulf (Cambridge University Press, 1997), and Between Religion and Politics (Carnegie Endowment, 2010). His forthcoming monograph is titled When Victory is Not an Option: Islamist Political Parties in Semiauthoritarian Politics (Cornell University Press).


Juan Cole

Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, author of the widely-acclaimed website Informed Comment, and author of several acclaimed works including: Engaging the Muslim World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), The Ayatollahs and Democracy in Iraq (Amsterdam University Press, 2006).


Ovamir Anjum

Imam Khattan Endowed Chair of Islamic Studies, University of Toledo. His publications include Politics, Law and Community in Islamic Thought: The Taymiyyan Moment (Cambdridge U. Press, 2012). He has researched contemporary Islamic movements in the Arab World for over a decade and specializes in both classical and modern Islamic political thought.


Professor Anjum’s paper will address the challenges Islamic political thought faces in the contemporary era, highlighting the need for Islamic as well as Western scholars to appreciate the depth and variety of political theorization in Islamic tradition, and the power it continues to wield over discourse in the Muslim World.

Jonathan A. Brown

Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and Muslim Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, and author of Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011), Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Oneworld, 2009), and editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islamic Law.Professor Brown’s paper will trace the history of Salafi thought and movements in the contemporary Muslim World and give an account of the apparently astonishing success of Salafis in Egypt in particular.


Jillian Schwedler

Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts, author of Faith in Moderation: Islamist Parties in Jordan and Yemen (Cambridge U. Press, 2006).

Bassam Haddad

Director of the Middle East Studies Program and teaches in the Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University, and Visiting Professor at Georgetown University, Economic and Political Reform in the Arab World Project. He is the author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience (Stanford University Press, forthcoming). He serves as Founding Editor of the Arab Studies Journal and is co-producer/director of the award-winning documentary film, About Baghdad, and director of a critically acclaimed film series on Arabs and Terrorism.



Abbas Barzegar

Assistant Professor, Georgia State University

Abdullah Al-Arian

Assistant Professor, History, Wayne State University


Abdullah Al-Arian's dissertation "Heeding the Call: Popular Islamic Activism in Egypt (1970-1981), focused on the revival of the Muslim Brotherhood as the leading social movement in Egypt during the Sadat era. While at Georgetown, he worked with the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding and spent two years on the Qatar campus of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He has also worked on the development of American Muslim political institutions. His research interests include Islamic social movememts, Islamic law in theory and practice, globalization and the Muslim world, United States policy toward the Middle East, and the history of Islam in American. His writing has been featured on the websites of Foreign Policy and Al-Jazeera.

Berna Turam

Associate Professor, Department of International Affairs at Northeastern University. Her numerous publications on political sociology in Turkey include Between Islam and the State: the Politics of Engagement (Stanford University Press, 2007).


Ahmed Khanani

Indiana University, Bloomington


Najla Abdurrahman

Ph.D. student, Columbia University. She works on Islamic law, cultural theory, and post-colonial studies. In addition, she has written on Islamist groups in Libya, and has been published on Al-Jazeera and Foreign Policy.















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