Shahrough Akhavi is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at the University of South Carolina. He has the B.A. from Brown University (1962), M.A. from Harvard University (1964) and Ph.D. from Columbia University (1969). Akhavi has conducted field research in Iran and Egypt in the sociology of Islam and social theory under grants from the Ford Foundation (1975), the National Endowment for the Humanities (1980-81), Fulbright Senior Scholar Program (1991), and Social Science Research Council (1998). He has served the profession in various capacities, including President of the International Society for Iranian Studies, 2002-2003.
Akhavi is the author of Religion and Politics in Contemporary Iran (1980); and The Middle East: The Politics of the Sacred and Secular (2009). He was Editor of the Middle East Series at State University of New York Press (1980-2008); and serves as Editor of the Middle East Series in Politics, History and Law at Routledge Publishers. He was Book Review Editor of Iranian Studies (1981-1996) and served on its Editorial Board and its Advisory Council. He was Section Editor of the multi-volume, Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (1995); Senior Consultant, Oxford Dictionary of Islam (2003); Senior Editor of the multi-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam, 2008; Senior Editor of the Oxford Online Resource Center on Islam, launched, 2007. He has numerous articles published in such journals as Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Third World Quarterly, and the International Journal of Middle East Studies. He also has chapters in books published by such outlets as Yale University Press, Oxford University Press, and Stanford University Press. He has presented professional papers, public lectures, and workshop presentations at leading American, Canadian, European and Middle Eastern universities, including Harvard University, Yale University, University of California at Berkeley, UCLA, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, University of Chicago, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, McGill University, the Free University of Berlin, the American University in Cairo, and Tehran University.
Akhavi is the author of four invited Op-Ed articles on Iran for The New York Times. He has testified before Congress and was invited along with other scholars to consult with President Jimmy Carter at the time of the Iranian hostage crisis. He has also been a consultant numerous times with the Department of State and delivered presentations to its Foreign Service Institute. His current fields of research include the dialectics of scripturalist and modernist discourses in contemporary Islamic thought; and neo-patrimonialism, democratization, and secularization in Middle East politics.