- News Releases
January 31, 2006—Professor Vali Nasr, a leading expert on Islam who specializes in political and social developments in the Muslim world, has joined the Council as an adjunct senior fellow in Middle Eastern studies. Nasr’s work focuses on the interaction of religion, politics, violence, and democratization. “Vali is an outstanding scholar with a keen understanding of the Islamic world,” said Council Vice President and Director of Studies James M. Lindsay. “We are delighted to have him as a member of the Studies Program.” Nasr will lead a roundtable series on political, religious, and socioeconomic change in the Islamic world for the Council. He will also write on the consequences of a majority-Shiite government in Iraq for the broader Middle East, the Islamic world, and U.S. foreign policy.
Nasr is a professor of Middle East and South Asia politics and associate chair of research in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, and a visiting professor at Stanford University.
He is coauthor of Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty (Oxford University Press), which will be released in June, and is the author of four additional books: The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future(W.W. Norton, 2005); Islamic Leviathan: Islam and the Making of State Power (Oxford University Press, 2001); Mawdudi and the Making of Islamic Revivalism (Oxford University Press, 1996); and The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution: The Jama`at-i Islami of Pakistan (University of California Press, 1994).
Nasr is editor of The Oxford Dictionary of Islam (Oxford University Press, 2003); coeditor of Expectation of the Millennium: Shi`ism in History (SUNY Press, 1989); and the author of numerous articles in academic journals and encyclopedias. His work has been translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Indonesian, Persian, Spanish, Turkish, and Urdu.
He has written for the New York Times and the Washington Post, and has provided expert commentary to CNN, BBC, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, “Newshour with Jim Lehrer,” CBS “Evening News,” “60 Minutes,” “NOW with Bill Moyers,” and NBC “Nightly News.”
Nasr has received grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and the American Institute of Pakistan Studies.
He received his BA in international relations from Tufts University (summa cum laude). He earned his master’s from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in international economics and Middle East studies in 1984, and his PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute for Technology in 1991.
Nasr will be based at the Naval Postgraduate School in La Jolla, California.
Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, national membership organization and a nonpartisan center for scholars dedicated to producing and disseminating ideas so that individual and corporate members, as well as policymakers, journalists, students, and interested citizens in the United States and other countries, can better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other governments.