Senior Research Fellow
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Islam-West relations, (comparative) political thought, intellectual history, International Relations. Focusing on radicalism and dissent (violent and non-violent; secular and religious): Islam and liberalism; counter-extremism and counter-terrorism policies; anarchism and globalisation; the (cross-) cultural politics of anti-authoritarianism, including in literature and art.
Zaheer Kazmi is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mitchell Institute. He has a BA (Hons) in Politics (SOAS), an MSc (Econ) in International Relations (LSE) and a PhD in international political theory (Cambridge). His interdisciplinary and comparative work crosses the study of political thought, religion, international relations and intellectual history.
His research focuses on the conceptual, historical and transcultural study of ‘radicalism’ and explores comparative ideas and practices of dissent and state subversion in Islamic and Western contexts. He is especially interested in the relationship between Islam and liberalism and the evolution and impact of Western counter-terrorism policies on contemporary Muslim politics, culture and society and has wider research interests in anarchism, globalisation and counter-culture.
He is completing a co-edited volume titled Islam After Liberalism (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2017 forthcoming), with Faisal Devji and working on his second monograph, Jihadutopia: Visions of Anarchy (Oxford University Press/Hurst, forthcoming), a study of non-violent radical anti-authoritarianism in Islam, his first being a study of anarchist thought and international relations, titled Polite Anarchy in International Relations Theory (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). He is also the co-editor of an interdisciplinary volume on global Islamist militancy called Contextualising Jihadi Thought (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2012).
He was previously a Senior Research Analyst at the Foreign Office focusing on transnational Islam and issues relating to global security (2006-11). Since leaving the diplomatic service, he has held various research and visiting positions: Senior Associate Member of St Antony’s College, Oxford (2011-12), ESRC Mid-Career Fellow at the Faculty of History, Oxford University (2012-14), Visiting Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge University (2014-15), and Associate Member of the Faculty of History, Oxford University. He has also worked in the faith and human rights international NGO sectors, including as an NGO representative to the UN Commission on Human Rights, Geneva.
He has published articles in various media outlets, including The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, Prospect, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Foreign Affairs and Open Democracy and also has an interest in the interface between Islam, politics and art having published essays in the arts and literary magazines TANK, The Brooklyn Rail, and 3AM Magazine.