Ali Fathollah-Nejad

Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC)& FU Berlin


Dr. Ali Fathollah-Nejad (Ph.D. SOAS) is a German–Iranian political scientist with a focus on Iran, the Middle East, the post-unipolar world order, and right-wing populism in Europe. Currently based in Berlin, he is a Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow at the Afro–Middle East Centre (AMEC), South Africa’s think-tank specialized on the Middle East. He is the author of, most recently, The Islamic Republic of Iran Four Decades On: The 2017/18 Protests Amid a Triple Crisis (Brookings Analysis Paper) and The Politics of Culture in Times of Rapprochement:European Cultural and Academic Exchange with Iran (2015–16) (Wissenschaftsverlag WeltTrends). His forthcoming book is entitled Iran in an Emerging New World Order: From Ahmadinejad to Rouhani (Palgrave Macmillan’s Studies in Iranian Politics). Ali holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Department of Development Studies at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London), with a dissertation on Iran’s international relations in the 2000s in a changing world order, and was a post-doctoral Associate with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Iran Project. Also, he had been the in-house Iran expert at the Brookings Institution’s Middle East center in Doha (BDC, 2017–20) and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP, 2015–18).

Ali is also an honorary affiliated researcher with Centre d’Études de la Coopération Internationale et du Développement (CECID) at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) as well as Freie Universität (FU) Berlin’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics. He has taught globalization and development in the Middle East, contemporary Iran, the Arab Revolts and great-power politics at the University of Tübingen (as Senior Lecturer in Middle East and Comparative Politics), in the Ph.D. program of Qatar University’s Gulf Studies Center, at FU Berlin’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, the University of Westminster, SOAS etc. Due to COVID-19, his Visiting Professorship at the Centre for International Studies of the University of Economics in Prague is postponed.

His about 200 analytical pieces in English, German, and French have been translated into a dozen languages. A frequent speaker at academic conferences and political forums, he regularly contributes to international media outlets in English, German or French. Ali is fluent in German, French, English, and Persian, and reads Dutch.