Michigan State University

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Ayoob, Mohammed

University Distinguished Professor Emeritus
International Relations

Office Hours: By appointment


AYOOB, MOHAMMED (Ph.D., University of Hawaii; Political Science), University Distinguished Professor of International Relations. He holds a joint appointment in James Madison College and the Department of Political Science. He is also the Coordinator of the Muslim Studies Program housed in International Studies and Programs. A specialist on conflict and security in the Third World, his publications on the subject have included conceptual essays as well as case studies dealing with South Asia, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, and Southeast Asia. He has also researched, taught and published on the intersection of religion and politics in the Muslim world. He has been awarded fellowships and research grants from the Ford, Rockefeller, MacArthur, and MSU Foundations, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, and the East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. He has acted as a consultant to the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change appointed by the UN Secretary General, and the Ford Foundation. He has held faculty appointments at the Australian National University and Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, and visiting appointments at Columbia, Sydney, Princeton, Oxford, and Brown Universities and at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. He has authored, co-authored, or edited 13 books and published over 90 research papers and scholarly articles in leading journals such as World Politics, International Studies Quarterly, International Studies Review, Foreign Policy, International Affairs, International Journal, Survival, Orbis, Asian Survey, World Policy Journal, Global Governance, Alternatives, Third World Quarterly, Washington Quarterly, Middle East Policy, International Journal of Human Rights, Australian Journal of International Affairs, and as chapters in edited volumes. His books include The Third World Security Predicament: State Making, Regional Conflict, and the International System (Lynne Rienner, 1995), India and Southeast Asia: Indian Perceptions and Policies (Routledge, 1990) and The Politics of Islamic Reassertion (St. Martins, 1981). His latest books are titled The Many Faces of Political Islam (University of Michigan Press, 2008) and Religion and Politics in Saudi Arabia (Lynne Rienner, 2009). His commentaries on world affairs have been published in the Guardian, Project Syndicate, and on the websites of Foregn Policy, CNN, and the Insitutute for Social Policy and Understanding. His latest scholarly articles include "Beyond the Democratic Wave: A Turko-Persian Future?" [Middle East Policy, Summer 2011] and “Making Sense of Global Tensions: Dominant and Subaltern Conceptions of Order and Justice in the International System” [International Studies (New Delhi), special issue 2012]


President Simon's Message to Professor Ayoob

Mohammed Ayoob's book Will the Middle East Implode? was published by Polity Press this month. It is distributed in the US by John Wiley and Sons.

Professor Ayoob's op-ed piece "Expanding Civil War: After Syria, Iraq?" appears in Yale Global online.

Professor Mohammed Ayoob's op-ed piece "Turkey's Balancing Act" appears in Project Syndicate.

Professor Mohammed Ayoob's article, "Only Iran can save Iraq," appeared in CNN Opinion on December 28, 2011.

Professor Mohammed Ayoob's recent article "Can the world live with a near-nuclear Iran?" appears in CNN Opinion.

Read Professor Mohammed Ayoob's article in The Guardian: "Turkey's stance on Israel will reverberate in Washington."

Mohammed Ayoob is Co-PI of Muslim Studies project awarded $100,000.00

The Muslim Studies Program and the Asian Studies Center at Michigan State have been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Social Science Research Council to pursue a project titled ?igrations of Islam: Muslim American Popular Culture in the 21st Century.? The MSU project will include a series of public events planned for Fall 2011 and the production of a documentary film on the topic Muslim American culture. Mohammed Ayoob, University Distinguished Professor of International Relations and Coordinator of the Muslim Studies Program, and Salah D. Hassan, Associate Professor in the Department of English and Core Faculty in Muslim Studies, are the Co-PI? on the project, which will be administered by the Asian Studies Center. This grant is the second awarded by the SSRC to the Muslim Studies Program in the past 3 years.

Read Mohammed Ayoob's recent article, "The GCC shows its true colors," in the March 16thissue of Foreign Policy.

Read Mohammed Ayoob's recent article "The tyrant is dead, long live the military," in Foreign Policy.

Read Mohammed Ayoob's article The Middle East's Turko-Persian future in the January 11, 2011 issue of "Foreign Policy."

Read Professor Ayoob's op-ed piece in CNN.com July 15, 2010: "Veil ban a symbol of hypocrisy, fear - CNN.com"

Mohammed Ayoob and Hasan Kosebalaban (Lake Forest College and former post doctoral fellow at JMC) received the Outstanding Book Award by “Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries”, the premier source for reviews of academic books, for their book “Religion and Politics in Saudi Arabia: Wahhabism and the State."

Mohammed Ayoob will be visiting Baku, Azerbaijan, for five weeks fall 2009 to act as consultant to the newly established Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy in order to help structure the Master of Arts Program in Diplomacy and International Affairs at the Academy.

Mohammed Ayoob published "The United States and Political Islam: The Dialectic of Hegemony and Resistance", Middle East Insights No. 3, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore, June 2009.

Professor Ayoob published his book The Many Faces of Political Islam (National University of Singapore Press) in July 2008. He made presentations in Singapore and Bangkok in July 2008 in connection with the release of the Asian edition of the book "The Many Faces of Political Islam."

Mohammed Ayoob presented a paper in June 2008, "The American Security Umbrella: Strategies, Effectiveness, and Consequences" at a conference on "The International Relations of the Persian Gulf" organized by the Center for International and Regional Studies, Georgetown University, in Doha, Qatar. In May 2008 he made a keynote presentation on "Religion and Politics in the Muslim World" at the 9th annual conference of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy in Washington, D.C

Mohammed Ayoob presented a paper in March 2008 in London on "Democracy, Development, and Political Islam: Comparing Iran and Turkey at a conference on "Governance and Development" organized by the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations of the Aga Khan University and the London Middle East Institute, University of London.

Religion and Politics In Saudi Arabia: Wahhabism and the State, edited by Mohammed Ayoob and Hasan Kosebalaban, was recently published.  This volume brings together papers from the First Annual Conference of the Muslim Studies Program held in April 2006.

Professor Mohammed Ayoob has been in the news this past week discussing his new book The Many Faces of Political Islam: Religion and Politics in the Muslim World published by the University of Michigan Press in December 2007. [LSJ Article - WKAR Interview - MSU News Bulletin]

Listen to the pod cast of Professor Ayoob from MSU Today on Impact Radio. He discusses his book "The Many Faces of Political Islam," and some of the assumptions and perceptions that many Westerners have of Islam

Mohammed Ayoob's The Many Faces of Political Islam: Religion and Politics in the Muslim World was published by University of Michigan Press. This book thoroughly describes the myriad manifestations of this rising ideology and analyzes its impact on global relations

Professor Bryan Ritchie will present "Is Economic Development Probable? Labor and Skills Formation in a State-Coordinated, Liberal Market Economy" on December 11th, 2007 for the Asia Pacific Journal of Management at the School of Business, Brisbane University, Australia.

Mohammed Ayoob delivered lectures during October-November 2006 at the London School of Economics; the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; and the Center for Muslim States and Societies, University of Western Australia, Perth; laying out the major arguments of his forthcoming book The Many Faces of Political Islam to be published by the University of Michigan Press in 2007.  The book challenges other commonly held views that create what Ayoob calls “a highly distorted overall perception” of the Muslim world. 

Mohammed Ayoob published “State Making, State Breaking and State Failure", in Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson, and Pamela Aall, Leashing the Dogs of War: Conflict Management in a Divided World, United States Institute of Peace Press, Washington, DC, 2007.

Professor Mohammed Ayoob will be delivering lectures during October-November 2006 at the London School of Economics; the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; and the Center for Muslim States and Societies, University of Western Australia, Perth; laying out the major arguements of his forthcoming book The Many Faces of Political Islam to be published by the University of Michigan Press in 2007.   In addition, he will be advising the latter two institutions regarding their newly established programs dealing with the Muslim world and exploring possibilities of cooperation between these programs and MSU's Muslim Studies Program, especially in regard to the study of political Islam in Southeast Asia.

Professor Mohammed Ayoob appears in the November 2006 issue of Research News, an MSU online publication of the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies

Mohammed Ayoob participated in IslamExpo in Alexandra Palace, London from July 6 - 9, 2006. IslamExpo is a major event aimed at promoting dialogue and understanding between Islam and the West, and is co-sponsored, among others, by the Mayor of London and the London Development Agency. During the conference, Professor Ayoob made two presentations: one on "Democratic Change in the Muslim World: Prospects and Obstacles" and the other on "Jihad: Holy War?" Several leading scholars of the Muslim world and of Islam also participated in the events associated with IslamExpo.

Matthew Zierler and Mohammed Ayoob published "The Unipolar Concert: North-South Divide Trumps Translatlantic Differences?" in World Policy Journal (Spring 2005).

Mohammed Ayoob will be organizing a major conference under the auspices of the Muslim Studies Program on "Understanding Wahhabism" on April 7-8, 2006, with support from the Office of the Provost, JMC, CSS, CAL, CERS, CIBER, and the Le Frak Forum. The conference will bring together leading scholars of the subject from the fields of religion, history and political science.  He will convene and chair a roundtable on "Political Islam and the North-South Divide: Resistance Ideology or Terrorist Creed?" at the International Studies Association's Annual convention in San Diego to be held from March 21 to 25, 2006. The round table is organized around the convention's principal theme this year, which focuses on the North-South Divide.

A revised and expanded version of Mohammed Ayoob’s MSU Sesquicentennial lecture on "The Middle East 2025" will be published in the summer 2006 issue of Middle East Policy, the quarterly journal of the Middle East Policy Council, Washington, DC, as the centerpiece of a forum with responses from five leading scholars of the Middle East in the US and Britain.

Mohammed Ayoob  will also participate in a conference on "Civilizations and World Orders", May 12-14 in Istanbul, Turkey. He will be presenting a paper on "The Future of Political Islam" at the conference organized by the Foundation for the Sciences and Arts, Istanbul. 

Mohammed Ayoob will be delivering two lectures in London, UK, on May 18 and 22. The first lecture on "Political Islam and the Future of the Middle East" will be delivered at University College, London University, and co-sponsored by University College and the London Middle East Institute, School of Oriental and African Studies. The second lecture on "The Many Faces of Political Islam" will be delivered at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London. 

Mohammed Ayoob will speak at a Policy Forum organized by the International Peace Academy, New York, on “Clashing Civilisations? Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Belief, and Coexistence in a Multicultural World” on April 11. The IPA Policy Forum is open to the “UN community” (consisting of diplomats at missions accredited to the UN, the UN Secretariat and its staff, NGO representatives, and journalists covering the UN). The objective of such meetings is to reach out and help inform the debate, or set the agenda, at the UN.

In celebration of MSU's sesquicentennial, Professor Mohammed Ayoob will participate in an Academic Convocation Event on Sept 9 at 8:00am, 105 Kellogg Center. His presentation "The Greater Middle East in 2025: Challenging Traditional Paradigms in US Policy" falls under the general rubric of "Challenging the Inventive Mind: Problem-solving in the 21st Century."

Mohammed Ayoob published: "Deciphering Islam's Multiple Voices: Intellectual Luxury or Strategic Necessity?", Middle East Policy , Washington, DC, Fall 2005; and, "The Future of Political Islam: The Importance of External Variables", International Affairs , London, UK, October 2005.

Mohammed Ayoob published "Why Does the Muslim World Have Such a Poor Record in Modernization and Democratization?" in Shireen Hunter and Huma Malik (eds.), Modernization, Democracy, and Islam, CSIS/Praeger, 2005; "Security in the Age of Globalization: Separating Appearance from Reality", in Ersel Aydinli and James N. Rosenau (eds.), Globalization, Security, and the Nation State: Paradigms in Transition, SUNY Press, 2005; and,with Matthew Zierler, "The Unipolar Concert: Multilateralism and Unipolarity in the Age of Globalization", World Policy Journal, Spring 2005.

Professor Mohammed Ayoob presented "Who speaks for Islam, Cacophony in the Muslim World" at the Founders Day Celebration.

Professor Mohammed Ayoob published "What trans-Atlantic crisis"? in the International Herald Tribune on Thursday, February 24, 2005. The same article also appeared on-line in YaleGlobal, 14 February 2005, with the title "Despite Rhetoric Trans-Atlantic Alliance is Alive and Well."

Professor Mohammed Ayoob was honored with an Outstanding and Inspiring Leadership Award by the Consulate General of India in Chicago. The award is in recognition of promoting greater international understanding through university education.