Madawi Al-Rasheed

Professor of Anthropology of Religion


Welcome to the personal website of Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed. I hope that you will find the information published here of interest. The views expressed are my personal views and do not represent any organisation. Madawi
  • Female
  • LSE
  • Anthropology, Religion, Islamic Movements, Politics, History, Gender and Human Development



University of Salford


BSc in Sociology & Anthropology

University of Cambridge


MPhil in Social Anthropology

University of Cambridge


PhD in Social Anthropology


Goldsmith College, London


Part-time Tutor, Refugee Studies Programme

Nuffield College, Oxford


Prize Research Fellow

University of Oxford


Lecturer in Social Anthropology

King's College London


Professor in Anthropology of Religion, Department of Theology and Religious Studies



Visiting Professor at the Middle East Centre at LSE and Research Fellow at the Open Society Foundation

Academic Activities

Research and Conferences

RESEARCH: 1-History, society and politics in Saudi Arabia. I written several books and articles in academic journals on nineteenth century history in the Arabian Peninsula and contemporary twentieth century issues related to the formation of the modern state, social and economic development, and engagement with modernity. 2-In addition to my interest in Saudi Arabia, I conducted research on Arab migration with special focus on the Iraqi community in London. My research focuses on the complexity of Arab migration, the difference between economically and politically motivated human flows. Also I have special interest in the experience of religious and ethnic minorities in the context of migration. 3-More recently, I conducted research on Gulf Transnationalism and heritage, drawing special attention to forces of globalisation and the incorporation of the Arab Gulf in global flows. The main issues raised relate to the diversity of the population of the Gulf and its ancient links with the outside world, especially with Africa and the Indian subcontinent. 4-Currently I am involved in a research project examining the transformation of religious discourse in Saudi Arabia, especially after the events of 11 September 2001. This project will result in the publication of a monograph on religio-political debate in Saudi Arabia. CONFERENCES (2004-2005): I participated and presented papers at the following conferences/workshops/ seminars: Islamists and Liberals in Saudi Arabia (Gulf Cultural Centre, London) The Prospect for Reform in Saudi Arabia (SOAS, London) Saudi Responses to the Iraq Crisis (Muslim Institute, London) Circles of Power: State and Society in Saudi Arabia (University of Leiden) Rituals of Rebellion: Celebrations of Life and Death on the Internet The Prospect for Democracy in the Arab World (Institute for International Relations, Paris Religion, Politics and Violence in Saudi Arabia (Chatham House, London) OTHER ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES: External examiner (Mphil, PhD) at several UK universities (Cardiff and London) Referee for several academic journals (BRISMES, IJMES, Maghrib-Machriq, JRS) Manuscript reviews for several UK and international publishers (CUP, I.B. Tauris, Palgrave) Editorial Board of Journal of Refugee Studies and the London Middle East Institute Research papers on the Contemporary Middle East .

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Princely power to test succession plans

The shepherd whose guidance and leadership Saudi religious scholars in the past called upon the population to follow, is no more. It is not the case that nobody is fulfilling this role. Instead, a leadership which was once identifiable in the person of a single individual is now diffuse, having been divided between the five  Continue reading…