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Biography

Michael completed his PhD in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also holds an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge. He has been an LSE Fellow and a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS.

He is currently undertaking research on the history and politics of policing in twentieth-century Egypt, with an eye to the ways in which discourses and practices of policing have been implicated in the maintenance and refashioning of social, political and economic order.

Michael has also written on Saudi state-funded Islamic missionary work in the twentieth century, addressing themes of Salafism, Islamic education, religious transnationalism and religious economies. His book on this subject, Circuits of Faith: Migration, Education and the Wahhabi Mission (Stanford University Press, 2016), received an honourable mention in the International Studies Association's Religion and International Relations Book Award. It draws on research undertaken for his doctoral thesis, which received an honourable mention in the Middle East Studies Association Malcolm H. Kerr Award for Best Dissertation in the Social Sciences and won the Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies Dissertation Award. His work has also appeared in the International Journal of Middle East Studies.

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Research

  • Sociology of Islam (including but not limited to Salafism, Islamic education and religious transnationalism)
  • Crime, policing and prisons
  • Political violence
  • History and politics of the modern Middle East (particularly Egypt and Saudi Arabia)

Teaching

PhD Supervision

Michael is interested in supervising PhD theses that stand to make an original contribution in any of the following areas:

  • Sociology of Islam (including but not limited to Salafism, Islamic education and religious transnationalism)
  • Crime, policing and prisons
  • Political violence
  • History and politics of the modern Middle East (particularly Egypt and Saudi Arabia)