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Dr Afshin Shahi

PositionSenior Lecturer in International Relations & Middle East Politics and Director of Undergraduate Studies
DepartmentPeace Studies and International Development
Telephone0044 (0)1274 234199

Research Interests (key words only)

Middle East politics & security, political Islam and religious sectarianism

PhD Supervision

  • Victoria Araj
  • Hossain Mehrabinejad
  • Ikutaro Morita
  • Ilham Shabari 

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) 

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

  • 2016- Present Senior Lecturer in International Relations and the Middle East Politics, University of Bradford, Division of Peace Studies
  • 2013– 2016 Lecturer in International Relations and the Middle East Politics, University of Bradford, Division of Peace Studies
  • 2012– 2013 Lecturer in International Relations and the 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


Selected Publications 


Afshin Shahi & Ehsan Abdoh-Tabrizi, Iran, the Shia State and the Sunni Minority (Forthcoming, 2018)

Afshin Shahi, The Politics of Truth Management in Saudi Arabia’ (Routledge, 2013)


Peer reviewed articles

Afshin Shahi & Maya Vachkova, Ecology and the Rise of Sectarian Violence in the Middle East (forthcoming, 2017)

Hesam Forozan & Afshin Shahi  ‘ The Military and the State in Post-Revolutionary Iran: The Economic Rise of the Revolutionary Guards, The Middle East Journal,  Volume 71, January 2017

Afshin Shahi & Alam Saleh, ‘Andalusiasation: Is Iran on the Trajectory of De-Islamisation?’ The British Journal of Middle East Studies, Volume 42, Issue 4, 2015

Afshin Shahi, ‘The Paradoxes of Iranian Messianic Politics’, Digest of Middle East Studies, Volume 22 (Spring 2012)

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 & Ehsan Abdoh-Tabrizi, Iran, Sectarian Politics and the economic challenges of the Sunni Minority, in Ahmend Mistafa (ed) Community and Pluralism in the Middle East, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge , 2018


Commissioned Reports

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

Afshin Shahi, ‘Regional Implications of the Political Change in Egypt’, (Al-Sharq: Centre for Strategic Studies, May 2012)


Other Publications

Saudi Arabia campaign in Yemen masks widening domestic unrest, The Conversation, 13/04/ 2015

The Middle East prepares for meltdown as Sunni states bomb Yemen, The Conversation, 27/ 03/ 2015

Why it's time to give up on the idea of an Iraqi nation, The Conversation, 16/07/ 2015

Al- Qaedarization of the Islamic State, Forbes Magazine, 17/04/15

Erotic Republic, Foreign Policy Magazine, 29/05/2013

Should the US join forces with the Baathist regime in Syria? openDemocracy, 19/12/ 2013

So what keeps Iran’s Supreme Leader awake at night? openDemocracy, 02/ 2013

Islamist political narratives flourish in opposition but will suffer in the long term, openDemocracy, 6/01/ 2012

Ahmadinejad’s Messianism, openDemocracy, 30/04/ 2011

The Dictator is Dead, God Save the Dictator!, LSE ideas, 24/01/2011

Soft Power and the Persian Gulf, E-International Relations,15/04/2009

Iran's new wave of social engineering, openDemocracy, 29/09/10

Iran shaken by electoral earthquake, Daily News Egypt, 17/06/2009

How will personal freedom play out in Iran’s election?, Daily Star Lebanon, 01/05/ 09

Iranian Nationalism, a theoretical dilemma, E- International Relations, 26/01/2009

Iran’s Digital War, Daily News Egypt, 27/07/2008

The consequences of war against Iran, Daily News Egypt, 13/07/2008

State of Emergency, Egypt and Syria, Daily News Egypt, 06/06/2008

In the News/Media

Afshin Shahi is a  regular contributor to the local, national and global media. In 2015 alone, he had over 130 TV, radio and press interviews with many leading outlets including BBC, France 24, Sky News, ITV News, Bloomberg Business, and The Daily Telegraph. As well as commenting on breaking news in programmes such as BBC Breakfast, BBC News at Ten, BBC News at Six, BBC News at One, BBC Radio Four PM, BBC Five Live.

He has  been invited to high profile national and global panel discussions such as ‘Inside Story’ (Al Jazeera) and ‘Beyond Belief’ (BBC Radio Four). He has also contributed to ‘File on Four’ Documentaries. He has published commentaries in outlets including Forbes, Foreign Policy and the Conversation, disseminating academic perspectives to a wider audience. One of his articles which was published in Foreign Policy magazine topped the Huffington Post's chart of 'Best World Reads Of The Week'  in 2013 and was translated into many languages reaching a global audience.    

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