BA, PhD (ANU), AM, FASSA



Political Science
2013


Amin Saikal is Adjunct Professor of Social Sciences at the Centre for Muslim States and Societies, University of Western Australia. Prior to this, he was University Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Public Policy Fellow, and Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (Middle East and Central Asia) at the Australian National University. 

He has been a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in International Relations, and Visiting Fellow/professor to Princeton University, Cambridge University; the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex; Zayed University, Nanyang Technological University (RSIS) and Indiana University. He is a Non-resident Fellow of the Lichtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, Princeton University, and member of the International Advisory Council of the Institute of Islamic Civilization and Thought, International Islamic University of Malaya, and member of the Advisory Board of the Encyclopedia Princetoniensis.

He has served as Advisor to the late Hon. Malcolm Fraser, Chairman, of the InterAction Council of Former Heads of States, and member of the Council’s Expert Advisory Group, as well as many national and international bodies, including Australia’s National Consultative Committee for International Security Issues (Ministerial appointment), Executive of Australia-Saudi Business Council, and International Commission for Cooperation and Security in West Asia.  

He is the winner of many prestigious awards, including the Order of Australia (AM) ‘for service to the international community and education through the development of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, and as an author and adviser’, and Peter Baume Award (the Australian National University’s top award) recognizing ‘eminent achievement and merit of the highest order’; and he is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

His latest books include: Iran Rising: The Survival and Future of the Islamic Republic (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019); Islam Beyond Borders: Umma in World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019) - co-author with James Piscatori; Iran at the Crossroads (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016); Zone of Crisis: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq (London: I.B. Tauris, 2014); Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012); The Rise and Fall of the Shah: Iran from Autocracy to Religious Rule (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009); Weak States, Strong Societies: Power and Authority in the New World Order (London: I.B. Tauris, 2016) – editor; The Arab World and Iran: A Turbulent Region in Transition (New York: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2016); Afghanistan and its Neighbors After the NATO Withdrawal (New York: Lexington Books, 2016); Democracy and Reform in the Middle East and Asia: Social Protest and Authoritarian Rule after the Arab Spring (London: I.B. Tauris, 2014) - co-editor. 

He is also the author of numerous articles in refereed international journals and book chapters. He has published in major international dailies and websites, including The New York Times,. International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald; and Project Syndicate. He is a frequent commentator on national and international TV and radio networks on issues pertinent to his field of specialty.

Main Teaching, Research or Administrative Posts

  • Visiting Research Fellow, Princeton University (1980 - 1981)
  • Visiting Fellow, Kings College, University of Cambridge (1981)
  • Lecturer, Department of Political Science, The Faculties, ANU (1983 - 1985)
  • Visiting Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (1985)
  • Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science, The Faculties, ANU (1986 - 1991)
  • Senior Research Fellow, Department of International Relations, RSPAS, ANU (1989)
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Center of International Studies, Princeton University (1991 - 1992)
  • Reader, Department of Political Science, The Faculties, ANU (1992 - 1993)
  • Foundation Director, Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (Middle East & Central Asia), and Professor of Political Science, ANU (1994 - 2020)
  • Visiting Professor, Zayed University, Dubai (2002)
  • Visting Distinguished Scholar, Indiana University (2014)

Key Appointments in the last ten years:

  • Advisor to the Chair of the InterAction Council of the Former Heads of State, the Hon Malcolm Fraser, and member of the Council's Expert Advisory Group (1999 - 2006)
  • Member, International Commission for Cooperation and Security in West Asia (2000 - 2006)
  • Co-Director, United Nations' Project on Peace and Democracy in the Middle East (2004)
  • Non-resident Fellow, Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, Princeton University (2002 - )
  • Peace Scholarship Board, IDP Education Australia (2003 - 2006)
  • Director, One Earth Peace Foundation Project on Weak States, Strong Societies (2013 - 2014)
  • Member, Australia-Saudi Business Council (2013 - )
  • Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in International Relations (1983 - 1988)
  • Order of Australia (AM) for service to the international community and education through the development of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (Middle East & Central Asia), and as an advisor and author (2006)
  • Delegate to the Prime Minister's 2020 Summit (2008)
  • ANU Vice-Chancellor's medal for achievement, service and contribution to the university (2008)
  • ANU International Impact Media Award (2008)
  • ANU Media and Outreach Award (2009)
  • ANU Chancellor's Award for distinguished contributions to the ANU as a teacher, researcher and academic leader (2011)
  • ANU International women's Day Certificate of Recognition for being a champion for women's employment and career advancement at the ANU (2013)

Shahram Akbarzadeh, Benjamin MacQueen, James Piscatori and Amin Saikal (eds) (2013) American Democracy Promotion in the Changing Middle East: From Bush to Obama, London: Routledge

Amin Saikal (2012) Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival, new edn, London: I B Tauris

Amin Saikal, (ed) (2011) The Afghanistan Conflict and Australia's Role, Carlton, Vic: Melbourne University Press

Amin Saikal (2009) The Rise and Fall of the Shah: Iran from Autocracy to Religious Rule, new edn, Princeton: Princeton University Press

Amin Saikal (2003) Islam and the West: Conflict or Cooperation?, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan