Alireza Shomali

Professor of Political Science, Jane E. Ruby Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences


Knapton 201

(508) 286-3685

(508) 286-3640


Main Interests

Comparative Political Philosophy


Ph.D., M.A. Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University

Research: Comparative Political Theory


FYS; On Democracy (First Year Seminar)
Pols 207; Classical Political Theory
Pols 217; Medieval Political Thought
Pols 227; Modern Political Theory
Pols 263; Politics of the Middle East
Pols 307; Freedom and Justice
Pols 337; Power and the State
Pols 347; Islamic Political Thought
Pols 357; Violence and Revolution
Pols 367; Politics and Religion
Pols 377; God and the Sovereign
Pols 401a; Conservative Political Thought
Pols 401b; Genuine Politics



  • Thoughtlessness and Decadence in Iran: A Sojourn in Comparative Political Theory. SUNY Press, 2019.
  • Politics and the Criteria of Truth. Palgrave-Macmillan Press, 2010.

Selected Book Chapters and Articles

  • “Political Hermeneutics; a theme in Farabi’s philosophy,” in Philosophical Hermeneutics and Islamic Thought; Contributions to Hermeneutics Series. S. Camilleri and S. Valrik (eds.). Switzerland: Springer (forthcoming 2022).
  • “A Gloss on the Mirror, and a Proposal for Understanding Ibn al-Muqaffa’s Political Theory.” Iranology, Student Journal of Iranian Studies, University of Tehran 2(2), (2020): 146-166.
  • “A Theoretical Component of Political Inegalitarianism in Perso-Islamicate Thought.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Series 3, 27/2 (2017): 225–254.
  • “Razi on Reason and Political Authority: A Study in Medieval Persian Political Thought.” Iranian Studies 49, 1 (2016): 29-56.
  • “Mirror for Princes.” Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World. Macmillan Reference (2016).
  • “The Unfolding of Unreason: J. Tabatabai’s Idea of Political Decline in Iran.” With M. Boroujerdi. Iranian Studies 48, 6 (2015): 949-966.
  • “Razi’s Egalitarian Ideas.” Power and Identity, Studies on the Persianate World. Wydawnictwo Akademickie Dialog (2015), 135-164.
  • “Metaphysics, Secularism and Cosmopolitan Democracy.” With E. K. Soltani in Iranian Identity and Cosmopolitanism; Spheres of Belonging, L. Stone (ed.). London: Bloomsbury (2014), 35-48.
  • “On Sadi’s Treatise on Advice to the Kings.” With M. Boroujerdi in Mirror for the Muslim Prince; Islam and Theory of Statecraft. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press (2013), 45-81.
  • “Adorno’s Dialectical Realism.” With Linda M. Alcoff. Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 14, 2 (2010): 45-64.


Book Reviews

  • Yavari, Neguin. “Advice for the Sultan: Prophetic Voices and Secular Politics in Medieval Islam,” in Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World: SCTIW Review (2015).
  • Abdolkarim, “Expansion of Prophetic Experience: Essays on Historicity, Contingency and Plurality in Religion,” in Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World: SCTIW Review (2014).
  • M., “Iran’s Intellectual Revolution,” in Middle East Journal 63, 2 (2009): 327-328.
  • Roxanne L. Euben, “Enemy in the Mirror: Islamic Fundamentalism and the Limits of Modern Rationalism,” in International Journal of Middle East Studies 37, 1 (2005): 109-110.