Hussein Banai is an Assistant Professor of International Studies in the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, and Research Affiliate at the Center for International Studies at MIT. His research interests lie at the intersection of political thought and international relations, with a special focus on topics in democratic theory, non-Western liberal thought, diplomatic history and theory, US-Iran relations, and Iran’s political development. He has published on these topics in academic, policy, and popular periodicals. He is the author of Hidden Liberalism: Burdened Visions of Progress in Modern Iran (Cambridge University Press, 2020), coauthor of Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979–1988 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012), and co-author of the forthcoming volume The Narrative Trap: U.S.-Iran Relations Since 1979 (under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press). From 2018 to 2020 he served as an Associate Editor (for Social Sciences) of Iranian Studies, the journal of the Association for Iranian Studies. In addition to his scholarly work, he frequently comments on Iran-related issues in the media. His interviews and comments on current events have appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Voice of America, Time, NPR, NBC News Online, CNN Online, BBC News, BBC Persian Service, The National Interest, Persia Digest, U.S. News & World Report, Inside Higher Ed, and The Huffington Post.
- B.A., York University, 2003
- M.Sc., London School of Economics and Political Science, 2005
- Ph.D., Brown University, 2012
Regions of Interest
- Middle East
- Political Thought (Non-Western Liberalism and Democratic Thought)
- International Relations (English School of IR)
- Diplomatic History and Theory
- Modern Iran
- US-Iran Relations
- Hidden Liberalism: Burdened Visions of Progress in Modern Iran (Cambridge University Press, 2020).
- Co-author, Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War (Rowman & Littlefield), 2012.
- “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.