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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. He is currently on a maternal-leave position as Senior Lecturer in Middle East and Comparative Politics at the University of Tübingen’s Institute of Political Science, where he is also Coordinator of the joint Master’s program with the American University in Cairo (AUC). Before, he has been a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Doha. In the fall 2018 term, he was also an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Ph.D. program of Qatar University’s Gulf Studies Center. Before that, he was a post-doctoral Associate with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Iran Project and an Associate Fellow with the Middle East and North Africa Program of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) – acting as the latter’s in-house Iran expert. He 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. Due to COVID-19, his March 2020 Visiting Professorship at the Centre for International Studies of the University of Economics in Prague was postponed.

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. He has also taught courses on globalization and development in the Middle East, contemporary Iran and the Arab Revolts among others at FU Berlin’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, the University of Westminster and SOAS. His about 200 analytical pieces in English, German, and French have been translated into a dozen languages. A frequent speaker at political forums and academic conferences, he regularly contributes to international media outlets in English, German or French. Ali is fluent in German, French, English, and Persian and reads Dutch.

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).

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)


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).