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AFN 17-07

Selected Recent Publications

Ali Fathollah-Nejad

political scientist & analyst

deutsch-iranischer politologe

politologue irano-allemand

Dr. Ali Fathollah-Nejad (Ph.D. SOAS) is a German–Iranian political scientist with a focus on Iran, the Middle East, the post-unipolar world order, and right-wing populism in Europe. Currently based in Berlin, he is a Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow at the Afro–Middle East Centre (AMEC), South Africa’s think-tank specialized on the Middle East. He is the author of, most recently, The Islamic Republic of Iran Four Decades On: The 2017/18 Protests Amid a Triple Crisis (Brookings Analysis Paper) and The Politics of Culture in Times of Rapprochement: European Cultural and Academic Exchange with Iran (2015–16) (Wissenschaftsverlag WeltTrends). His forthcoming book is entitled Iran in an Emerging New World Order: From Ahmadinejad to Rouhani (Palgrave Macmillan’s Studies in Iranian Politics). Ali holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Department of Development Studies at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London), with a dissertation on Iran’s international relations in the 2000s in a changing world order, and was a post-doctoral Associate with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Iran Project. Also, he had been the in-house Iran expert at the Brookings Institution’s Middle East center in Doha (BDC, 2017–20) and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP, 2015–18).

Ali is also an honorary affiliated researcher with Centre d’Études de la Coopération Internationale et du Développement (CECID) at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) as well as Freie Universität (FU) Berlin’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics. He has taught globalization and development in the Middle East, contemporary Iran, the Arab Revolts and great-power politics at the University of Tübingen (as Senior Lecturer in Middle East and Comparative Politics), in the Ph.D. program of Qatar University’s Gulf Studies Center, at FU Berlin’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, the University of Westminster, SOAS etc. Due to COVID-19, his Visiting Professorship at the Centre for International Studies of the University of Economics in Prague is postponed.

His about 200 analytical pieces in English, German, and French have been translated into a dozen languages. A frequent speaker at academic conferences and political forums, he regularly contributes to international media outlets in English, German or French. Ali is fluent in German, French, English, and Persian, and reads Dutch.

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Ongoing Research Project

The 2017/18 & 2019 Iran protests amid the Islamic Republic’s “triple crisis” (incl. publications & media commentary in multiple languages)

New Book

The Politics of Culture in Times of Rapprochement: European Cultural and Academic Exchange with Iran (2015–16), new forewords by Amir-Hassan Cheheltan & Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, Potsdam (Germany): Wissenschaftsverlag WeltTrends, 2020.

See the book page for more details (incl. endorsements, reviews, study-related public discussions)


14/15 Nov. • Turkey (online) • Panel »Iran and the International System«, V. Middle East Congress on Politics and Society, Middle East Institute (ORMER), Sakarya University (SAU), 14–15 Nov.

24 Sep. • Weimar • Panel 3 »Die Bedeutung der Religionsgemeinschaften für Aufarbeitung und Versöhnung in Post-Konflikt-Prozessen im Nahen Osten« [The significance of religious communities for reappraisal of the past and reconciliation in the Middle East’s post-conflict processes]  | 11. Hafis-Menschenrechtsdialog Weimar »Aufarbeitung und Sanktionierung von Religionsfeindlichkeit und Religionsverfolgung« | org. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), Weimar.

28 July • Tübingen (Zoom) • Studying Iran amid the Middle East’s »long-term revolutionary process« | Research Forum Middle East and Comparative Politics (Forschungsforum Mittlerer Osten, FFMO) | org. Research Group Middle East and Comparative Politics, Institute of Political Science, University of Tübingen.

10 June • Vienna (Zoom) • Panel »Iran – Ein Land im Wandel?« [Iran – a country in transformation?] with Prof. Heinz Gärtner & Laleh Monsef | org. International Institute for Peace (IIP) & F.I.R.E (Forum interdisziplinäre Rhetorik und Expertise).