Professor Listing


Mojtaba Mahdavi, PhD

Professor, ECMC Chair in Islamic Studies


Political Science

About Me

Mojtaba Mahdavi is Professor of Political Science and the ECMC Chair in Islamic Studies at the University of Alberta. He is the author and editor of numerous works on post-Islamism, contemporary social movements and democratization in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), postrevolutionary Iran, and modern Islamic political thought. He is the co-editor of Towards the Dignity of Difference: Neither ‘End of History’ nor ‘Clash of Civilizations’ (2012) and the guest editor of Contemporary Social Movements in the Middle East and BeyondSociology of Islam (2014). Dr. Mahdavi is currently working on three book projects: The Myth of ‘Middle East Exceptionalism’: The Unfinished Project of MENA Social Movements; Towards a Progressive Post-Islamism: Neo-Shariati Discourse in Postrevolutionary Iran; and Rethinking China-Middle East Relations in the Age of Neoliberalism.

He is a recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Connection Grant, and the SSHRC Conference Fund, IDRC Canada Partnership Grant, Killam Research Operating Grant, Visiting Fellow Grant at the Liu Institute and Green College at University of British Columbia, among others.

Dr. Mahdavi’s research lies at the intersection of critical Middle East Studies, Political Economy, Contemporary Islamic Studies and Decolonial/Postcolonial Studies. It is primarily driven by his interest in socio-structural changes in the life of ordinary people and discursive/intellectual transformations in the MENA/Muslim context. He is interested in supervising graduate students working on the critical study of social movements, state-society relations, religion & politics, and political economy of MENA; alternative modernities and democracies in the Muslim majority polities; critical post-colonial studies; and contemporary Islamic studies.


Selected Publications:  

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. "Whither Post-Islamism: Revisiting the Discourse/Movement After the Arab Spring." In E. Mohamed and D. Fahmi, eds. Arab Spring and the Quest for New Metaphors: Modernity, Identity and Change. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, pp. 15-38. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “The Muslim Left in Iran in Three Episodes: From Nakhshab to Neo-Shariatis.” Azadiye Andisheh Journal. Vol. 6. June 2018, pp. 202-228.  

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. "Iran: Multiple Sources of a Grassroots Social Democracy?" In P. Vahabzadeh, ed. Iran's Struggles for Social Justice: Economics, Agency, Justice, Activism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, pp. 271-288.  

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. "Ali Shariati’s Legacy and our Future.” In M. Jami, Ed. The Legacy of Shariati and the Future of Iran. London: H& S Media Ltd. 2017, pp. 244-256. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. "Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place? Muslims and a Multidimensional Emancipatory Discourse." In M. Masaeli and R. Sneller, eds. The Root Causes of Terrorism: A Religious Studies Perspective. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017, pp.198-218. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “The Challenge of Democratization in Post-Revolutionary Iran: Beyond the Democratic Peace Theory.” In Y. Halabi, ed. Democratic Peace Across the Middle East: Islam and Political Modernization. London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2016, pp. 95-137. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “A Postcolonial Critique of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in the Middle East." Perceptions: Journal of International Affairs - Centre for Strategic Research, Vol. XX, No. 1, Spring 2015, pp. 7-36.  

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. Guest Editor. “Contemporary Social Movements in the Middle East and Beyond.” Sociology of Islam. Vol. 2, Issue 3-4, (2014). 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba."Introduction: East Meets West? The Unfinished Project of Contemporary Social Movements in the Middle East and Beyond." Sociology of Islam. Vol. 2, Issue 3-4 (2014), 103-110. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “One Bed and Two Dreams? Contentious Public Religion in the Discourses of Ayatollah Khomeini and Ali Shariati.” Studies in Religion, Vol. 43, No. 1, 2014, pp. 25-52. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “Postrevolutionary Iran: Resisting global and regional hegemony.” In T. Ismael and G. Perry, eds. International Relations of the Middle East Today: Subordination and After. Routledge, 2014, pp. 141-173.  

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “The Rise of Khomeinism: Problematizing the Politics of Resistance in Pre-revolutionary Iran.” In A. Adib-Moghaddam, ed. A Critical Introduction to Ayatollah Khomeini. Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 43-68. 

Mojtaba Mahdavi. "Iran, Islamic Republic of." In Emad El-Din Shahin, ed. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics. Oxford University Press, 2014. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “Muslims and Modernities: from Islamism to Post-Islamism?Religious Studies and Theology, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2013, 31-56. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “Ayatollah Khomeini” In John L. Esposito and Emad El-Din Shahin, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics. Oxford University Press, 2013. pp.180-201.

Mahdavi, Mojtaba and Andy Knight. Eds. Towards ‘The Dignity of Difference’? Neither ‘End of History’ nor ‘Clash of Civilizations.’ Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Ltd/Routledge, 2012.  

Mahdavi, Mojtaba and Andy Knight. “Introduction: Towards ‘The Dignity of Difference? Neither ‘The End of History’ nor ‘The Clash of Civilizations.’” In Mojtaba Mahdavi and Andy Knight, eds. Towards ‘The Dignity of Difference’? Neither ‘End of History’ nor ‘Clash of Civilizations.’ Ashgate Publishing Ltd/Routledge, 2012, pp. 1-23. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “Civil Society Approach to Democratization in Iran: The Case for Bring it Back in Carefully.” In R. Jahanbegloo, ed. Civil Society and Democracy in Iran. Lexington Books, 2012, pp. 79-93. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “R2P in the Middle East and North Africa” In A. Knight and F. Egerton, eds. Routledge Handbook of the Responsibility to Protect. Routledge, 2012, pp. 257-275. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “Post-Islamist Trends in Post-Revolutionary Iran.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, 31:1 2011, 94-109. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “Islam/Muslims and Political Leadership.” In J. Masciulli, M. A. Molchanov, and A. Knight, eds. The Ashgate Research Companion to Political Leadership. Ashgate Publishing Ltd/Routledge, 2009, 287-306. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “Universalism from Below: Muslims and Democracy in Context.” International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory, Vol. 2, No. 2, December 2009, 276-291. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “Rethinking Structure and Agency in Democratization: Iranian Lessons.” International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory, Vol. 1, No.2, December 2008, 142-160. 

Mahdavi, Mojtaba. “The West and the Rest.” In Janine Brodie and Sandra Rein. Eds. Critical Concepts: An Introduction to Politics. Toronto: Prentice Hall, 2008, pp. 265-275.