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Amin Saikal

Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, Australian National University

September 29th, 2010

Area of Expertise: Religion, Terrorism, War and Conflict
Geographical Expertise - Region: North Africa and Middle East, Oceania
Languages: English, Farsi, Pashto
Field of Work: Author/Novelist, Think tank/Research center
City: Canberra
Country: Australia
Continent: Australia


Amin Saikal Amin SaikalAmin Saikal is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies  at Australian National University. He is a leading authority on Afghanistan, and author of Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival (2006).

Professor Saikal is a specialist in the politics, history, political economy and international relations of the Middle East and Central Asia. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University, Cambridge University and the Institute of Development Studies (University of Sussex), as well as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in International Relations (1983-1988). In April 2006, he was appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to the international community and to education, and as an author and adviser.

He is also a member of many national and international academic organisations, and the author of numerous works on the Middle East, Central Asia, and Russia. His major works include The Rise and Fall of the Shah: Iran from Autocracy to Religious Rule (Princeton University Press, 2009); Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival (I.B. Tauris, 2006); Islam and the West: Conflict or Co-operation? (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003); (co-author) Regime Change in Afghanistan: Foreign Intervention and the Politics of Legitimacy (Westview Press, 1991); (co-editor) Islamic Perspectives on the New Millennium (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2004); (co-editor) Democratization in the Middle East: Experiences, Struggles, Challenges (New York: United Nations University Press, 2003); (co-editor) The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Cambridge University Press, 1989); (co-editor) Russia: In Search of its Future (Cambridge University Press, 1995).

Professor Saikal has also published many articles in international journals, as well as numerous feature articles in major international newspapers, including the International Herald Tribune. He is a frequent commentator on radio and television. He has a long association with ANU and brings to the Centre a rich source of knowledge and experience in the University’s operations.

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