Dr Afshin Shahi

PositionLecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics
Department or DivisionPeace Studies
Telephone01274 234199

Research Interests (key words only)

Middle East politics & security, political Islam and religious sectarianism

PhD Supervision

  • Victoria Araj
  • Hossain Mehrabinejad
  • Ikutaro Morita
  • Humaid Almansoori

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Framing the Middle East (MA) 
  • Political Violence and Terrorism (MA)
  • Regional Politics (Level 2)
  • Democracy and Authoritarianism (Level 3)
  • Political Systems, Theories and Ideologies (Level 1) 

PHD Students Supervised

  • Victoria Araj
  • Hossain Mehrabinejad
  • Ikutaro Morita
  • Humaid Almansoori


Afshin Shahi is a lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics. He is a founding director of the Centre for Study of Political Islam. He joined the Division of Peace Studies in August 2013, prior to this he was a lecturer at the Department of Politics at Exeter University.

After he had finished his BSc and MA in International Relations he received a full PhD scholarship from ESRC through Centre for Advanced Studies of the Arab World (CASAW). CASAW was set up as a result of a UK government initiative to build up crucial expertise on the Arab World. Following a year of studying Arabic at University of Edinburgh and a language school in Egypt, he started his PhD in late 2008 at the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University where he also taught a range of courses. In addition to research and teaching, he has been a regular contributor to the international media and worked as a consultant.

Study History

  • Qualification in Higher Education Teaching, Durham University
  • PhD Politics, Durham University
  • MA International Relations, Durham University
  • BSc International Relations, University of Wales/ Aberystwyth


Professional History

  • 2013– present Lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics, University of Bradford, Division of Peace Studies
  • 2012– 2013 Lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics, University of Exeter, Department of Politics
  • 2012-2013 Co-ordinator of International Relations: Security, Conflict, and Peace Pathway, International Summer School, University of Exeter
  • 2010 – 2012 Tutor in International Relations, Durham University, School of Government and International Affairs
  • 2009 – 2012 Residential tutor, Durham University, St. Aidan’s College



  • Afshin Shahi, The Politics of Truth Management in Saudi Arabia’ (Routledge, 2013)
  • Afshin Shahi & Ehsan Abdoh-Tabrizi, Iran, the Shia State and the Sunni Minority ( Forthcoming)

Peer reviewed papers:

  • Afshin Shahi & Alam Saleh, ‘Andalusiasation: Is Iran on the Trajectory of De-Islamisation?’ British Journal of Middle East Studies, Volume 42, Issue 4, 2015
  • Afshin Shahi & Hesam Forozan, ‘Securitisation of the Domestic Sphere: the Rise of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran’s Economy’ (Under review )
  • Afshin Shahi, ‘The Paradoxes of Iranian Messianic Politics’, Digest of Middle East Studies, Volume 22 (Spring 2012)
  • Afshin Shahi, ‘The Islamisation of Democracy or the Democratisation of Islam?’ Journal of Middle Eastern Geopolitics (Roma). 2 (October- December 2007) 10, S.79-107
  • Afshin Shahi, ‘The Islamic Cultural Revolution and the Consolidation of the Islamic Republic’, Journal of European Society for Iranian Studies (Fall 2006) N 3 year, Volume I


  • Afshin Shahi, The relations between Iran and the Egyptian Islamists (Al-Sharq: Centre for Strategic Studies, June 2012)

In the News/Media

Afshin Shahi has contributed to international media outlets including, Washington Post, Bloomberg Business, National Public Radio (US), Voice of America, ITV News, Sky News, Tehran Times, the Daily Telegraph and  various BBC radio and TV stations. He has appeared in national programmes such as BBC Breakfast. 

His opinion pieces have appeared in outlets including Foreign Policy, Forbes, openDemocracy, Courier International and the Conversation.

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