Introduction: secular criticism and the politics of studying Islam


  • Peter P. Mandaville



islamic studies, public debate, research


In recent years many within the European and North American academies whose research engages topics and themes that encompass the study of Islam and Muslim societies have found not only that their subject matter has become the object of frequent and often intense public debate, but also that their scholarship—indeed their very vocation—seems likewise under considerable scrutiny. The public dimension here is important. We are not concerned with a disagreement over the finer points of social theory between otherwise amiable colleagues that plays out through the pages of an obscure academic journal. Rather, we are talking about a state of affairs that has threatened careers and livelihoods, funding streams, and the fundamental basis of academic freedom.

Author Biography

Peter P. Mandaville

Peter P. Mandaville is Associate Professor and Co-Director of Center for Global Studies, George Mason University, Washington. His publications include Global Political Islam (London: Routledge, 2007). Other books include Transnational Muslim Politics: Reimagining the Umma (London: Routledge, 2001; paperback 2003), and several co-edited volumes and anthologies such as Globalizing Religions (London: Sage, forthcoming 2007), The Zen of International Relations (London: Palgrave 2001) and Meaning and International Relations (London: Routledge, 2003).




How to Cite

Mandaville, P. P. (2008). Introduction: secular criticism and the politics of studying Islam. Scandinavian Journal of Islamic Studies, 3(2), 5–10.