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Madawi Al-Rasheed

Visiting Professor

Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed is Visiting Professor at the Middle East Centre at LSE and Research Fellow at the Open Society Foundation.  She was Professor of Anthropology of Religion at King’s College, London  between 1994 and 2013. Previously, she was Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. She also taught at Goldsmith College (University of London) and the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford. 


Contact Details

Email: m.al-rasheed@lse.ac.uk
Twitter: @MadawiDr

Current Research

Since joining the MEC, Madawi Al-Rasheed has been conducting research on mutations among Saudi Islamists after the 2011 Arab Uprisings. This research focuses on the new reinterpretations of Islamic texts prevalent among a small minority of Saudi reformers and the activism in the pursuit of democratic governance and civil society. The result of this research project, sponsored by the Open Society Foundation Fellowship Programme, will appear in a monograph entitled Muted Modernists: The Struggle Over Divine Politics in Saudi Arabia (2015, Hurst & OUP). 

In addition, Al-Rasheed published several articles in academic journals and edited volumes on Saudi Arabia’s political development since the Arab uprisings, gender policies, and current affairs. She regularly contributed to international television and print media, for example the GuardianShe appeared on Newshour (BBC), Radio 4 (Documentary on Saudi Arabia: Sand of Time),  and interviewed by CNN, BBC World Service, CCTV, and al-Hura Arabic television. She continued to write op-ed in Al-Monitor  and other media.

Al-Rasheed attended and presented papers on her current research at several international conferences in Europe, the USA and the Middle East. She also gave seminars at Harvard University, the Kennedy School Middle East Initiative. She will be contributing to the 2015 Summer School Teaching at Alpbach, Austria organised by the European Forum. She will be running a one week seminar on Religion: Inequality and Equality.  She continued to do consultancy work for governments, non-government international organisations and business in the UK and elsewhere.   

Research Interests

  • Anthropology of Muslim societies
  • Religion, politics and state in Saudi Arabia
  • Islamist movements, civil society and mobilisation
  • Gender, religion and politics
  • Transnational connections and the Arab Gulf
  • Human development

Selected Publications


  • Al-Rasheed, M. A Most Masculine State: Gender, Politics and Religion in Saudi Arabia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2013.
  • Al-Rasheed, M. A History of Saudi Arabia, Second Edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2010.
  • Al-Rasheed, M.  Contesting the Saudi State: Islamic Voices from a New Generation,  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2007.
  • Al-Rasheed, M. Mazaq Al-islah fi al-Saudiyyah fi al-Qarn al-Wahid wa al-Ishrin, London: al-Saqi 2005.
  • Al-Rasheed, M. A History of Saudi Arabia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2002..  Also in Arabic, Spanish and Polish.
  • Al-Rasheed, M. Iraqi Assyrian Christians in London: the Construction of Ethnicity, New York: the Edwin Mellen Press 1998.
  • Al-Rasheed M. Politics in an Arabian Oasis: the Rashidi Tribal Dynasty, London: I.B. Tauris 1991.

Edited Books

Working Papers 

  • Al-Rasheed, Divine Politics Reconsidered: Saudi Islamists on Peaceful Revolution, LSE MEC Paper Series 2015. 
Muted Modernists, Hurst & OUP, 2015