People sections

Letter from the Chair

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi

Associate Professor of Sociology
Associate Professor of History
Associate Professor of LAS Global Studies
Center for African Studies
Center for Global Studies
Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

User Photo

Contact Info

Areas of Specialization

Global History

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • Global History/Iranian Revolution/Islamist Social Movements

Research Description

  • Currently, I am completing a book manuscript called Foucault, the Iranian Revolution, and Enlightenment. The main question that motivates this book is the possibility of revolutionary politics outside the emancipatory frame of theproject of Enlightenment. In the book, I advance a novel reading of Foucault’swritings on the Iranian revolution and further show how his encounter with therevolution informs his later lectures on ethics, spirituality, andenlightenment.

    I am also working on a long-term project on the conception of trauma. This is as study of how revolutionary guards and other volunteer militiajustified the violence and trauma of the war with references to religious symbols and allegories, how they coped with thepredicaments of reintegration into society, and how they reconcile theirwartime sacred, messianic aspiration with the mundane concerns of everydaylife.


  • PhD, University of California


  • Global Histories
  • Social Theory
  • Postcoloniality and Postcolonial Theory
  • Orientalism and Its Critics
  • Historical Sociology
  • Modern Iran
  • Comparative Revolutions



  • Islam and Dissent in Postrevolutionary Iran. . London, New York: I.B.Tauris, 2008.

Publication Photo

Book Contributions

  • "The Divine, the People, and the Faqih: On Khomeini’s Theory of Sovereignty." A Critical Introduction to Khomeini. . Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

  • "The Political Hermeneutics of Abdolkarim Soroush." Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics. . Oxford, London: Oxford University Press, 2013.

  • "“’When Life Will No Longer Barter Itself:’ In Defense of Foucault on the Iranina Revolution,” ." A Foucault for the 21st Century: Governmentality, Biopolitics and Discipline in the New Millennium. . Ed. Sam Binkley. New Castle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.

  • "Iran as a Solution Rather than a Problem: The Politics of Reform." Social Change and Dissent in Iran. . Washington, DC: CNA, 2003.

  • "Between the Shah and the Imam, the Students of the Left in Iran." Student Protest. . New York: Addison Wesley Longman, 1998.

Edited Books

Publication Photo

Journal Articles

  • "Political Spirituality and the Dream of Emancipation: What Foucault Learned in Iran.." Andisheh-ye Puyā 1.5 (2013):
  • "Women's Right, Shari'a Law, and the Secularization of Islam in Iran." International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society 26.3 (2013):
  • Ghamari-Tabrizi, Behrooz. "Introduction: The Iranian Revolution Turns 30." Radical History Review Fall.105 (2009):
  • "Mourning, Memory and Memorializing: The Iranian Veterans of Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)." Radical History Review Fall.105 (2009):
  • "Michael Burawoy and the Construction of Public Sociology." Critical Sociology 31.3 (2005):
  • "Contentious Public Religion: Two Conceptions of Islam in Revolutionary Iran." International Sociology 19.4 (2004):
  • "Loving America and Longing for Home: Isma`il al-Faruqi and the Emergence of Muslim Diaspora in the United States." International Migration 42.2 (2004):
  • "Islam and High-Technology: Global Communications and Cultural Re-Inventions." Arab World 1.1 (2001):
  • "Islam, Globalization, and Human Rights: The Case of Iran." Political and Legal Anthropology Review 23.1 (2001):
  • "Postmodernity and the Emergence of Islamist Movements." International Review of Social History 42.1 (1997):
  • "Is Islamic Science Possible?." Social Epistemology Fall.2-3 (1996):

Website Articles

  • "“Whose Justice Does Saddam’s Trial Serve?” ." Counterpunch. 22 Oct. 2005.
  • "“Can Obama Transcend the Iron Cage of the White House?” ." Counterpunch. 19 Nov. 2008.
  • "“Disturbing Opportunism: Change in Iran ought to flourish without external threats of violence and invasion” ." 23 May 2003.
  • "“What’s the Matter with Iran? How the Reformists Lost the Presidency” ." 28 Jun. 2005.
  • "“Thomas Friedman’s Muslim Problem” ." Counterpunch. 10 Jul. 2005.
  • "“When a Cartoon Is Not a Cartoon: What Is Funny about a Demonized Prophet and His Terrorist Followers?” ." 4 Feb. 2006.
  • "“The World is not Florida and the US Isn’t Its Supreme Leader” ." Counterpunch. 18 Dec. 2007.
  • "“The Donkey and the Date: On the Iranian Municipal Elections” ." Counterpunch. 10 Dec. 2006.
  • "“Lost Muslim Voices of Dissent” ." Counterpunch. 6 Dec. 2004.
  • "“Playing Politics with Nukes, Is the U.S. on a Collision Course with Iran?” ." Commondreams. 30 Aug. 2004.
  • "Six Simple Proposals to Solve the Iranian Nuclear ‘Crisis’” ." Counterpunch (print edition). 20 Apr. 2006.

Encyclopedia Entries

  • "Westernization." Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought. Princeton University Press, 2012.
  • "Abdolkarim Soroush." Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World. Macmillan Reference, 2004.
  • "Ali Shari'ati." Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World. MacMillan Reference, 2004.
  • "Mojtahed-Shabestari, Mohammad." Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World. Macmillan Reference, 2004.
  • "Mortaza Motahhari." Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World. MacMillan, 2004.


  • Rev. of Ali Mirsepassi, Political Islam, Iran, and the Enlightenment: Philosophies of Hope and Despair International Journal of Middle East Studies 45.1 (2013):
  • Rev. of Cyrus Schayegh, Who Is Knowledgeable Is Strong: Science, Class, and the Formation of Modern Iranian Society, 1900-1950 Culture and Social History 8.2 (2011):
  • Rev. of Peyman Vahabzadeh, A Guerrilla Odyssey: Modernization, Secularism, Democracy, and the Fadai Period of National Liberation in Iran, 1971–1979 The American Historical Review 116.5 (2011):
  • Rev. of Ervand Abrahamian, A History of Modern Iran American Historical Review 32.3 (2010):
  • Rev. of Berna Turam, Between Islam and the State: The Politics of EngagementContemporary Sociology 37.1 (2008):
  • Rev. of Social Change in Iran, by Behzad Yaghmaian Middle East Journal 56.4 (2002):
  • Rev. of States, Ideologies, and Social Revolutions, by Misagh ParsaSocial Forces 81.2 (2002):
  • Rev. of An Islamic Utopian: Political Biography of Ali Shari’ati, by Ali RahnemaCritique Spring.16 (2001):