Dr Irfan Ahmad - Office of the Dean of Theology and Philosophy (Faculty of Theology and Philosophy)

Fully accredited supervisor - Can supervise as principal supervisor


Irfan Ahmad (Ph.D., cum laude, University of Amsterdam) is Associate Professor of Political Anthropology at the Institute for Religion and Critical Enquiry, Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, ACU, Melbourne. Earlier, he was a senior lecturer in politics at Monash University, Australia where he taught for nearly five years. Before moving to Australia, he taught at Utrecht University and University of Amsterdam. He was a Rubicon Postdoctoral Fellow at Leiden University, The Netherlands. Irfan is the author of Islamism and Democracy in India: The Transformation of the Jamaat-e-Islami (Princeton University Press, 2009) which was short-listed for the 2011 ICAS (International Convention of Asian Scholars) Book Prize for the best study in the field of Social Sciences. His numerous research articles have appeared in leading international/global journals such as Anthropological Theory, Citizenship Studies, Economic and Political Weekly, Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs, Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute, Modern Asian Studies, Philosophy and Social Criticism, Politics, Religion, Ideology, Seminar and The Annual of Urdu Studies.He is a contributor to the prestigious The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought. Irfan is on the Editorial Committee of South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies and Associate Editor of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. He has held visiting fellowship and other positions at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Gottingen, Germany and The Graduate Centre, CUNY, New York. Irfan contributes to debates in the media such as AL-Jazeera, BBC, The Times of India, Open Democracy and his interviews have appeared in Dutch, English, Hindi, Malayalam, Turkish and Urdu media.


Phone :3141 (Melbourne)
Email :Irfan.Ahmad@acu.edu.au
URIs : Personal Website

Research Interests

Religion, Politics, Anthropology, West, Islam ; Social Movements, India, South Asia, Democracy ; Media, Modernity, Social/Political Theories ; Violence:State & Non-State, Nation, Liberalism ;

Methods Expertise

Ethnographic, Historical, Textual ; Critical Discourse Analysis, Partly Quantitative ;

Research Projects

Current Projects

  • The Spriti of SocioPolitical Movements (PhD) (Principal Supervisor)

Selected Publications


Anthropology of Islam: History, Culture, Power. , in Indian Economic and Social History Review. 50(4): 495 - 509.

Islam and Politics in South Asia, in John L. Esposito and Emad El-Din Shahin (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics. New York: Oxford University Press: 324 - 339.

with Natalie J. Doyle. Introduction: Islamophobia, European Modernity and Contemporary Illiberalism, in Politics, Religion & Ideology. 14(2): 167- 172

In Defense of Ho(s)tel: Islamophobia, Domophilia and the West, in Politics, Religion & Ideology. 14(2): 234 - 252.


Theorizing Islamism and Democracy: Jamaat-e-Islami in India, in Citizenship Studies. 16(7): 887- 903

Cracks in the a??Mightiest Fortressa??: Jamaat-e-Islamia??s Changing Discourse on Women, in Filippo Osella and Caroline Osella (eds). Islamic Reform in South Asia. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press: 317-345 (Reproduced from Modern Asian Studies).

Modernity and Its Outcast: The Why and How of Indiaa??s Partition, in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. 35(2): 477- 494.


Immanent Critique and Islam, in Anthropological Reflections. Anthropological Theory. 11(1): 107-132.

The Categorical Revolution: Democratic Uprising in the Middle East, in Economic and Political Weekly. 46(45): 30 - 35

Democracy and Islam, in Philosophy and Social Criticism. 37(4): 459 -470


Genealogy of the Islamic State: Reflections on Maududi's Political Thought and Islamism, in Filippo Osella and Benjamin Soares (eds). Islam, Politics and Anthropology. MA: Wiley-Blackwell and Royal Anthropological Institute. 138-155. Reproduced from the JRAI.

Is There an Ethics of Terrorism? Islam, Globalization, Militancy a??Review Essay, in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. 33(3). 487- 498.


Islamism and Democracy in India: The Transformation of Jamaat-e-Islami. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press., in

The Indian Jamaat-e-Islami Reconsiders Secular Democracy, in Barbara Metcalf (ed.). Islam in South Asia in Practice: Princeton: Princeton University Press: 447-555.

The Secular State and the Geography of Radicalism, in Economic and Political Weekly. XLIV(23): 33 - 38.

Genealogy of the Islamic State: Reflections on Maududia??s Political Thought and Islamism, in Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute. 15: S145 - 162. Special Issue.