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The Centre for the Study of Democracy, based in the Department of Politics and International Relations, has an international reputation for research excellence, with research themes in contentious politics and democracy, security and violence in global politics, gender and sexuality, as well as resilience and sustainability.


Mustapha Kamal Pasha (Aberystwyth University) 


IR’s inhospitality to religion is not sui generis; its aversion to alien forms of religiosity arises from its inability to code that religiosity into a familiar vernacular. If, indeed, the major political concepts in Western IR are secularized variants of the Christian mental landscape, IR embodies a provincial and provincializing political theology. The character of IR as a provincial discourse, therefore, rests less in ontological divergence than cosmological make-up. Naturalized as a secular discourse, a particularized form of religiosity that informs IR easily escapes cognizance. The principal implication of reading IR as political theology in this manner is neither the discovery of religious roots to the discipline nor the recognition of a spectre of religion haunting modern political concepts, but the awareness of an essential religious alterity that is produced as a constitutive basis of the discipline. The main sources of provincialism lie deeper—in the recesses of political theology. 

Mustapha Kamal Pasha is Chair in International Politics at Aberystwyth University since 2013, having been Sixth Century Chair and Head of International Relations at the University of Aberdeen. He has also previously taught at the School of International Service, American University in Washington, DC. His recent publications include: International Relations and Islam: Fractured Worlds (Routledge, 2017); “Religion and the Fabrication of Race,” in Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 45, 3 (2017): 312-334; and “Decolonizing The Anarchical Society,” in The Anarchical Society at 40: Contemporary Challenges & Prospects, edited by Hidemi Suganami, Madeline Carr and Adam Humphreys (Oxford 2017), pp. 92-108. 

Our next research seminar will be on Tuesday 20 November – with Doerthe Rosenow (Oxford Brookes University). Event details to follow.
Research seminars take place on Tuesdays 4-5.30pm at Westminster Forum, Level 5, 32-38 Wells Street, University of Westminster, W1T 3UW. Seminars are followed by drinks with the speaker.

All are welcome and there is no need to register.