Areas of Research/Interest
Comparative politics and political economy; Middle East politics; modern Iran
My general fields of research and teaching are comparative politics of the Middle East with a focus on issues related to political economy, authoritarianism, and social movements. Much of my writing focuses on modern Iran, although I have studied, conducted research, and taught in several other countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
My research has revolved around questions of change and continuity as reflected and produced by socio-economic economic hierarchies, political imperatives, and collective solidarities. The book, Bazaar and State in Iran (2007), was based on my dissertation research and engages with the literature on networks and political institutions in order to trace the structure of the Tehran Bazaar under the Pahlavi monarchy and Islamic Republic, and shed light on the organization and governance of markets as well as state-society dynamics, more generally. The analysis stresses unintended consequences and historical contingencies, while identifying mechanisms and contradictions that traverse the immediate issue of bazaars and the Iranian case. I have also published articles on clergy-state relations and authoritarian survival in Iran. My current research examines the Persian Gulf in order to analyze the processes of late imperialism and globalization from the perspective of local circuits of trade and transnational alliances. By examining geopolitical and local political economies since the late nineteenth century, I seek to locate the Gulf in various modes of political control and economic exchange at multiple scales. My essays have appeared in Politics and Society, International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Geopolitics, in addition to a number of edited volumes.
I teach both undergraduates and graduate students. I offer an introductory survey of Middle East politics of undergrads and more specialized seminars on such topics as “Iranian politics in comparative perspective” and “Social Movements and Protests in the Middle East.” My graduate teaching includes a seminar surveying approaches to the study of Middle East politics and more thematic courses related to my research and student interests, such as "Transnationalism and the Middle East."
Beginning in September 2010 I became the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies.
At present I am on the editorial board of the International Journal of Middle East Studies and I was on the editorial committee of the Middle East Research and Information Project (www.merip.org) from 2005 to 2011.
- Bazaar and State in Iran: Politics of the Tehran Marketplace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)
- Special Section in Geopolitics: “Transnational Connections in the Middle East: Political Economy, Security and Geopolitical Imaginaries,” (co-edited with Waleed Hazbun), Geopolitics 15,2(May 2010)[see article]
- “Geopolitics and the Genealogy of Free Trade Zones in the Persian Gulf,” Geopolitics 15,2(May 2010), 263-289. [see article]
- “A War on Multiple Fronts,” (co-authored with Nida Alahmad), Middle East Report 257(Winter 2010), 17-28 [see article]
- "Places in Shadows, Networks in Transformation: An Analysis of Tehran Bazaar's Publicness," in Publics, Politics, and Participation: Locating the Public Sphere in the Middle East and North Africa, Seteney Shami (ed), (New York: Social Science Research Council, 2009), 205-234. [see article]
- “Tehran, June 2009,” Kaveh Ehsani, Arang Keshavarzian and Norma Claire Moruzzi, Middle East Report Online, June 28, 2009[see article]
- “Regime Loyalty and Bazari Representation under the Islamic Republic of Iran: Dilemmas of the Society of Islamic Coalition,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 41, 2(May 2009)[see article]
- “Contestation without Democracy: Elite Fragmentation in Iran,” in Authoritarianism in the Middle East: Regimes and Resistance, Marsha Pripstein Posusney and Michelle Penner Angrist (eds.), (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2005), 63-88. [see article]
- “Conceptualizing the Bazaar,” Goft-o-gu 42(Esfand 1383 [February 2005]), 141-168. [In Persian]
- “Tehran Bazaar: Continuity or Transformation?” Goft-o-gu 41(Bahman 1383 [January 2005]), 11-47. [In Persian]
- “Turban or Hat, Seminarian or Soldier: State Building and Clergy Building in Reza Shah’s Iran,” Journal of Church and State 45,1 (Winter 2003), 81 -112[see article]
- Co-authored with Anthony Gill, “State-Building and Religious Resources: An Institutional Theory of Church-State Relations in Iran and Mexico,” (co-authored with Anthony Gill) Politics and Society27,3 (September 1999), 431-465[see article]