Choose which site to search

Hussein Banai

Hussein Banai

Assistant Professor
GISB 1011, (812) 856-9111

Educational Background

  • B.A., York University, 2003
  • M.Sc., London School of Economics and Political Science, 2005
  • Ph.D., Brown University, 2012

Region(S) of Interest

  • Iran
  • Middle East

Research Topics

  • Political Thought (Liberalism and Democratic Thought)
  • International Relations (English School of IR)
  • Diplomatic History and Theory
  • Modern Iran
  • US-Iran Relations

Research Summary

My research interests lie at the intersection of political thought and international relations, with special focus on topics in liberalism, democratic theory, diplomatic history and theory, US-Iran relations, and Iran’s political development. I have published on these topics in academic, policy, and popular periodicals. I am currently working on a book manuscript on the tortuous path of liberal thought-practices in modern Iran, provisionally titled Hidden Liberalism: Burdened Visions of Progress in Modern Iran (under contract with Cambridge University Press). Additionally, for the past decade I have been a co-convener of a critical oral history project on US-Iran relations. The project brings together former Iranian and American officials, scholars, journalists, and other interested parties to explore missed opportunities and breakthroughs in US-Iran relations since the Iranian Revolution in 1979. As part of this project, I have been a co-author of Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012), and am currently completing work on another volume (with Malcolm Byrne and John Tirman), provisionally titled The Narrative Trap: U.S.-Iran Relations Since 1979. I am a Research Affiliate of the Center for International Studies at MIT and currently serve as Associate Editor (for Social Sciences) of Iranian Studies, the flagship journal of the Association for Iranian Studies.

Representative Publications

  • Co-author, Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War (Rowman & Littlefield), 2012.‚Äč
  • “Political Legitimacy and Democratic Rights in the Middle East,” in The Routledge Handbook of Human Rights in the Middle East, edited by Anthony T. Chase, Routledge, 2016.
  • “The Wages of Enmity: On U.S.-Iran Relations,” International Politics Reviews, Vol. 1, No. 3: June 2014.
  • “Democratic Solidarity: Rethinking Democracy Promotion in the New Middle East,” Security Dialogue, 44(5-6) October-December 2013.
  • “Diplomatic Imaginations: Mediating Estrangement in World Society,” Cambridge Review of International Affairs, February 2013.
  • “Pariah Diplomacy,” in SAGE Handbook on Diplomacy, edited by Pauline Kerr, Paul Sharp and Costas Constantinou, SAGE Publications, 2015.
  • “Reflexive Diplomacy,” in Reflexivity and International Relations, edited by Jack L. Amoureux and Brent J. Steele, Routledge Press, 2016.
  • “The Future of US-Iran Relations,” in US-Iran Misperceptions: A Critical Dialogue, edited by John Tirman and Abbas Maleki, Bloomsbury, 2014.