Alireza Shomali

Associate 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 Interest: Comparative Political Theory

Teaching Interests

Pols 207; Classical Political Theory
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
First Year Seminar; On Democracy
Senior Seminar; Conservative Political Thought




Politics and the Criteria of Truth. Palgrave-Macmillan Press, 2010.

Thoughtlessness and Decadence in Iran: A Sojourn in Comparative Political Theory. SUNY Press, forthcoming, April 2019.


— “A Theoretical Component of Political Inegalitarianism in Perso-Islamicate Thought.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 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.

— “The Unfolding of Unreason: J. Tabatabai’s Idea of Political Decline in Iran.” With M. Boroujerdi. Iranian Studies 48, 6 (2015): 949-966.

— “Adorno’s Dialectical Realism.” With Linda M. Alcoff. Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy14, 2 (2010): 45-64.

Book Chapters

— “The Idea of Political Hermeneutics in Farabi’s Philosophy.” Solicited for review, the edited series inContributions to Hermeneutics. Springer.

— “A Gloss on the Mirrors: Reason and Sovereignty in Ibn al-Moqaffa’s Thought.” In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; Tension, Transmission, Transformation, edited by G. Tamer. De Gruyter (forthcoming, 2019).

— “Mirror for Princes.” Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World. Macmillan Reference (2016).

— “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 Sa`di’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.

Selected Book Reviews and Articles

— 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).

–Soroush. Abdolkarim, “Expansion of Prophetic Experience: Essays on Historicity, Contingency and Plurality in Religion,” in Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World (2014).

–Kamrava. M., “Iran’s Intellectual Revolution,” in Middle East Journal 63, 2 (2009): 327-328.

–“Feminist Epistemologies/Interview with Linda M. Alcoff,” in Madreseh (Cultural and Philosophical Quarterly-Tehran) 2, 4 (2006): 50-63.

–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.