New grant for Middle East religious diversity study

First gift to LSE from the Henry Luce Foundation

This generous research grant will allow us to examine religiously motivated political mobilisation in newly democratised states.

Professor Toby Dodge

iraqA project examining religious diversity in the Middle East has received a significant new grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. 

The $350,000 award, the Foundation’s first gift to LSE, is in support of the project studying the underlying dynamics that drive ethnic and religious-based mobilisation across the Middle East. 

‘Managing Religious Diversity in the Middle East: The Muhasasa Ta’ifia in Iraq, 2003-2018’, will be headed by Professor Toby Dodge of LSE’s Middle East Centre. By using Iraq as a case study, the three-year project will examine the efforts of Iraq’s post-2003 ruling elite, in partnership with the United States, to build a democratic system to manage religious and ethnic diversity.

The project will also feature three international workshops, organised in Baghdad, at LSE and in Washington DC, that will bring Iraqi civil society activists, analysts and decision-makers together in discussion with academic experts on religious and ethnic identities. “This generous research grant will allow us to examine religiously motivated political mobilisation in newly democratised states.  The conclusions of the project will significantly inform our understanding of the causes and consequences of politics based on ethnic and religious rhetoric across the Middle East,” said Professor Dodge. 

The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to enrich public discourse by promoting innovative scholarship, cultivating new leaders, and fostering international understanding. Since 1936 it has awarded more than 5800 grants totalling over $1 billion. The Foundation has supported museums, colleges and universities, research institutes, seminaries and divinity schools, media organisations and other non-governmental organisations across the United States and around the world.

The research speaks to LSE’s guiding principle to understand today and influence tomorrow. Our world faces many challenges: political divisions, social transformations and economic uncertainty. By bringing together global leaders and change makers to tackle difficult issues, we will forge new connections and challenge old ways of thinking, delivering meaningful benefit to individuals and communities worldwide.

The Middle East Centre is currently recruiting for a Research Assistant to work on this project. Deadline for applications is Sunday, 15 September. Find out more here.

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