Dr Parveen Akhtar

PositionLecturer in Sociology
LocationRichmond E37b
Department or DivisionSociology and Criminology
Feedback HoursTuesdays 16:00-17:00 Wednesdays 13:00-14:00

Research Interests (key words only)

Political Participations, British Muslims, minority politics, biraderi, Super-diversity, religious mobilisations

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

Dr Akhtar has over 10 years of teaching and supervision experience and has taught on a wide range of courses in Political Science and Sociology.  She has been an external PhD examiner for the Australian National University, Canberra.


Dr Parveen Akhtar joined the University of Bradford as a lecturer in January 2014. Prior to this she was awarded a British Academy Research Fellowship, held at the University of Bristol (2011-2013). In 2010 she was a visiting scholar at Lahore University of Management Sciences before which she was an ESRC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bristol (2008-2009).  Dr Akhtar completed her ESRC funded PhD at the University of Birmingham (2008) during which time she held research positions at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna (2007); the Institute for Migraiton and Ethnic Studies, Amsterdam (2006);  Sciences Po, Paris (2006) and the School for Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Research on Interculturalism and Transnationalism,  Aalborg (2005). 

Dr Akhtar has published widely on Political Participation, Islam, Migration and Social Change in journals including; the British Journal of Politics and International Relations, the Political Quarterly and European Political Science.  Her monograph, British Muslims Politics, was published by Palgrave in 2013.  Dr Akhtar’s work has an international audience and she has presented her research in over 40 conferences in 15 countries.  She makes regular contributions to public and media debates.

Study History

2002: BA Political Science and Sociology (Joint Honours), University of Birmingham, UK
Classification:  First Class Honours

2003: MA Political Science (Research Methods), University of Birmingham, UK (ESRC Funded)
Classification:  Distinction

2008    PhD Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham, UK (ESRC Funded)

Professional History


January 2014 - present            Lecturer, University of Bradford

Competitive Fellowships


Jan 2011- Dec 2013: British Academy Research Fellow, University of Bristol

Jan 2010-Dec 2010: Visiting Researcher, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore

Nov 2008-Dec 2009: Economic and Social Research Council Fellowship, University of Bristol

Sept 2007-Feb 2008: Junior Koerber Scholarship (PhD), Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Mensche, Vienna

Sept 2006-Oct 2006: Visiting Researcher, Science Po, Paris

Jan 2006-July 2006: ESRC (PhD) Institutional Visit, Institute for Ethnic and Migration Studies,


Feb 2005-July 2005     School for Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Research on Interculturalism and    Transnationalism, (SPIRIT) scholarship Aalborg University, Denmark


Research Assistant Positions

Aug 2008: Research Assistant – Challenge Project: Muslim in Europe and the Unites States, University of Harvard, USA and the Liverpool Hope University, UK

June 2008-July 2008: Research Assistant – British Citizens of Pakistani Origin, University of Plymouth

Jan 2004-Apr 2004: Research Assistant - Examining the Relative Absence of Women in 

                                                Academia (PSA and C-SAP funded), University of Birmingham

Other Academic Appointments

Sept 2003-July 2004: Widening Participation Student Mentor, Department of Sociology, University of Birmingham


Akhtar, P. (2015) ‘The paradox of patronage politics’ in T. Peace (ed.) Muslims and Political Participation in Britain, Routledge: London

Akhtar, P. (2015) ‘Doubly Disillusioned? Young Muslims and Mainstream British Politics’ in N. Mannings (ed.) Political (dis)engagement and the changing nature of politics, Policy Press


Akhtar, P. and Peace T. (2015) De-Mystifying biraderi in Bradford, Political Studies Association Blog:



Peace, T., & Akhtar, P. (2014). Biraderi, Bloc Votes and Bradford: Investigating the Respect Party's Campaign Strategy. The British Journal of Politics & International Relations.


Näre, L., & Akhtar, P. (2014). Gendered mobilities and social change—An introduction to the Special Issue on Gender, Mobility and Social Change. In Women's Studies International Forum. Pergamon.


Akhtar, P. (2014). ‘We were Muslims but we didn't know Islam’: Migration, Pakistani Muslim women and changing religious practices in the UK. In Women's Studies International Forum (Vol. 47, pp. 232-238). Pergamon.


Akhtar, P. (2013). British Muslim Politics: Examining Pakistani Biraderi Networks. Palgrave Macmillan.


Akhtar, P. (2012). British Muslim Political Participation: After Bradford. The Political Quarterly, 83(4), 762-766.


Akhtar, P. (2012) British Muslims give David Cameron and abject Lesson in Democracy, Guardian



Akhtar, P. (2012) British Muslims and Local Democracy: After Bradford, Opendomocracy



Akhtar, P. (2012) Lessons for Labour After the Elections, Prospect



Akhtar, P. (2010) British Pakistanis and Political Participation, School for Economics paper series, LUMS University


Akhtar, P. (2008) Politics of Expectation: Pakistani Muslims in the UK, IWM online paper series


Akhtar, P. (2005). “(Re) turn to religion” and radical Islam. Muslim Britain: communities under pressure. Zed Books: London; New York, 164.


Abbas, T., & Akhtar, P. (2005). The new sociology of British ethnic and cultural relations: The experience of British South Asian Muslims in the post-September 11 Climate. Crossing Over: Comparing Recent Migration in Europe and the United States, 130-146.


Akhtar, P., Fawcett, P., Legrand. T., Marsh, D., Taylor, C., ‘Women in the Political Science Profession’ (2005) European Political Science, 4 (3) 242-255. 


Akhtar, Parveen, Paul Fawcett, Tim Legrand, David Marsh and Chloe Taylor (2005), 'Where are the Women?' Political Studies Association News, 16 (1).


Grants and Prizes

December 2014: University of Bradford Funding for the International Studies Association Conference, New Orleans

November 2013: Nominated for the BSA Philip Abrams 2014 Prize for published monograph

Jan 2011: British Academy Research Grant, University of Bristol

March 2010: LUMS Research Grant for oversees research

Nov 2008-Oct 2009: ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow ship, University of Bristol, UK

Aug 2006-Sept 2006: Affiliation: Sciences-Po, Paris

March 2005: EUROFOR Scholarship to present at the “From Immigration Politics to Migration Management – Changes in Migration Governance, Athens

September 2005: ECPR Conference Scholarship to present at the ECPR annual conference, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary

July 2004: Institut für Politikwissenschaft Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg Travel Grant to present at the Transforma 2 conference, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Germany

Oct 2003-Oct 2007: ESRC studentship, PhD, University of Birmingham, UK

Oct 2002-Oct 2003: ESRC studentship, Masters in Political Science Research Methods, University of Birmingham, UK

November 1999: Bryant Prize for best Student in Government and Politics

Public/Academic/Stakeholder Engagement


November 2014: Guest editor (with Lena Nare, University of Helsinki) Special Issue on Gender, Mobility and Social Change for the  Women's Studies International Forum

October 2014: Coordinator, Identity and Diversity Reading Group, University of Bradford

August 2012: Co-organiser (with Lena Nare, University of Helsinki) Gender, Migration and Social Change panel for the ETU and Nordic Migration Research Conference

March 2011: Co-organiser (with Lamia Irfan, London School of Economics) LUMS International Conference

November 2007: Co-organiser the IWM Junior Researcher Conference, 2007

Oct  2004: Organiser, Political Participation panel for PSA 2005

Sept 2003 – July 2004: Organiser and chair of the POLSIS graduate colloquium



Akhtar, P (2015) European Muslim Politicians, International Studies Association Conference, New Orleans

Akhtar, P (2015) Muslim Super-diversity in British Cities, International Studies Association Conference, New Orleans

Akhtar, P (2015) British Muslim Political Participation, invited lecture, Oxford-Brookes University

Akhtar, P (2014) Muslim Super-Diversity, Identity and Diversity Reading Group, University of Bradford

Akhtar, P (2014) Immigration: Social Consequences, Elite Level Workshop, British Academy and the Guardian at the Conservative Party Conference, September, 2014

Akhtar, P (2013) Transnational Migration Flows: UK and Pakistan, British Academy, London

Akhtar, P (2013) Changing Gendered Subjectivities and Experiences of Muslim Women in the West, ESA, Torino

Akhtar, P (2012) Marriage Migration Flows: Continuity and Change, Nordic Migration Conference, Finland

Akhtar, P (2012) Gender, Migration and Social Change: A theoretical Introduction, Nordic Migration Conference, Finland

Akhtar, P (2012) Biraderi after Bradford West, Muslims and Political Participation Conference, University of Edinburgh

Akhtar, P (2012) Muslim Women and British Politics, PSA Conference, Belfast

Akhtar, P (2012) British Muslim Politics, PSA Conference, Belfast

Akhtar, P (2012) Invited Lecture, Al-Waleed Center University of Edinburgh

Akhtar, P (2011) Transnational Migrants in Transnational Families: A Kashmiri Case study, ESA conference, Geneva

Akhtar, P (2011) Transnational Migration Flows Between the UK and Pakistan, Ethnicity Center Seminar, Bristol

Akhtar, P (2011) Biraderi in Birmingham: A Case Study, LUMS conference, Pakistan

Akhtar, P (2010) Political Participation and Muslims in the UK, LUMS lecture, Pakistan

Akhtar, P (2009) Bidarerism and British Politics, presented at the ESA conference, Lisbon

Akhtar, P (2009) Representation and Identity, presented at the ESA conference, Lisbon (forthcoming)

Akhtar, P. (2009) Changes in Participation and Democracy, to be presented at ECPR Joint Session, Potsdam

Akhtar, P (2009) Perceptions and Politics, to be presented at ECPR Joint Session, Potsdam

Akhtar, P. (2009) Religion, Gender and Ethnicity, presented at the Gendering East-West Conference, University of York

Akhtar, P. (2009) Ethnographic Research With Muslim Women, Women Reading Religious Texts Symposium,  Lancaster

Akhtar, P. (2009) ‘In my dreams I see my Pir and I know everything will be OK’ An examination of the role of Pirs in the lives of Pakistani diasporas, paper presented at the 23rd Pakistan Workshop: Cumbria

Akhtar, P. (2009) Working Through Religious Difference, Gender and Ethnicity: the Experiences of British Pakistani Women in Birmingham, paper presented at the ECPR Joint Session, Lisbon

Akhtar, P. (2008) Political Participation and British Pakistani Muslims: A Birmingham Case Study, Post-Immigration Minorities, Religion and National Identities Conference, University of Bristol

Akhtar, P. (2008) Community Organisations as Spaces for Dialogue, 22nd Pakistan Workshop: Cumbria, UK

Akhtar, P. (2007) What do they Expect? Political Expectations of Muslims in the UK?, IWM guest lecture, Vienna

Akhtar, P. (2007) Conflict is a Good Thing?: Political Participation of Muslims in the UK, IWM seminar series, Vienna

Akhtar, P. (2007)Asalaam alaikum to the heart of the City’:  Participating in Politics through Radio, a case study of Muslims in Birmingham, paper to be presented at the ECPR conference, Pisa

Akhtar, P (2007) ‘Religion in the Air: A case study of a Birmingham-based Muslim Radio station’ Religion and Politics in the Construction of the European Union, London School of Economics

Akhtar, P (2007) ‘From Village Men to Gentlemen: Tracing the developments of South Asian Muslim Leadership in the UK (post 1945)’ paper presented at the Centre for European Studies (CES) University of Bradford, England

Akhtar, P (2006) Who Leads Britain’s Muslims?, paper presented at the IMES PhD Lab, University of Amsterdam

Akhtar, P (2006) Rushdie and the Mobilisation of British Muslims, British Political Studies Conference, Reading, UK

Akhtar., P and Montero-Sieburth (2006) Qualitative Research Techniques: Interviewing, IMES PhD Lab, Amsterdam

Akhtar, P., Fawcett, P., Legrand, T., Taylor, C., (2006) Beyond the PhD: Opportunities for Postgraduates, Birmingham

Akhtar, P. (2005) Political Participation through Bourdieu, ECPR conference, Corvinus University of Budapest, Akhtar, P (2005) Participation and European Muslims: An Overview of Research, Seminar Series, SPIRIT, Aalborg University

Akhtar P (2005) Did the Iraq War Politicise British Muslims? Graduate Colloquium, University of Birmingham

Akhtar, P. (2005) Explaining Muslim Political Participation, PSA conference, University of Leeds, UK

Akhtar, P. (2005) Context in Explanations of Political Participation paper presented at the European Research Forum on Akhtar, P. (2005) From Immigration Politics to Migration Management – Changes in Migration Governance, Athens,

Akhtar, P., Fawcett, P., Marsh, D., Taylor, C., (2004) Role of Women in Higher Education, PSA, University of Lincoln,

Akhtar, P. (2004) Radical Participation: British Muslim Political Participation in the United Kingdom, paper presented at the Transforma 2 conference, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Germany

Akhtar, P. (2004) Making it Explicit: Assumptions in the Political Participation CANE conference, Manchester

Akhtar, P (2004) British Muslims: A Case Study on Hizb ut Tahrir, Graduate Colloquium, University of Birmingham

Akhtar, P (2004) What’s Context got to do with it? Brown Bag seminar series, University of Birmingham

Akhtar, P. (2003) Approaches to the Study of Political Participation, presented CANE conference, Birmingham

In the News/Media


January 2015: Political Studies Association Blog

May 2012: Prospect magazine article

May 2012: Opendemocracy article

April 2012: Guardian comment piece

Featured in

2014: Asian Sunday: http://www.asiansunday.co.uk/the-common-good-the-bradford-biraderi-and-the-westminster-ugly-of-british-politics

September 2014: Asian Sunday: http://www.asiansunday.co.uk/rotherham-who-is-to-blame/

October 2014: Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/oct/08/immigration-britains-changing-identity

December 2007: 1 hour radio show on Vienna-radio, Vienna, Theories of Political Participation

January 2007: 1hour radio show on Unityfm, UK, Muslim Leadership in the UK

April 2004: Member of panel on the issue of Identity Cards with Home Secretary, David Blunkett BBC Television, UK

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