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Dr Michael Farquhar

Farquhar Profile Image

Lecturer in Middle East Politics

Tel: 0207 848 2656
Room number: 7.16 Bush House (North East Wing)

Michael Farquhar 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.

Research interests
  • 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)

I am interested in supervising PhD theses that stand to make an original contribution in any of these areas.



Farquhar, Michael. 2016. Circuits of Faith: Migration, Education, and the Wahhabi Mission. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Farquhar, Michael. 2015. “Saudi Petrodollars, Spiritual Capital, and the Islamic University of Medina: A Wahhabi Missionary Project in Transnational Perspective.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 47 (4): 701–21.

Book chapters

Farquhar, Michael. 2018. "Transnational Religious Community and the Salafi Mission." In Salman's Legacy: The Dilemmas of a New Era in Saudi Arabia, edited by Madawi Al-Rasheed, 165-182. Hurst & Co./Oxford University Press.

Farquhar, Michael. 2015. “The Islamic University of Medina since 1961: The Politics of Religious Mission and the Making of a Modern Salafi Pedagogy.” In Shaping Global Islamic Discourses: The Role of Al-Azhar, Al-Medina, and Al-Mustafa, edited by Keiko Sakurai and Masooda Bano, 21-40. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Book reviews and review essays

Farquhar, Michael (2018). "Salafism After the Arab Awakening: Contending with People Power, edited by Francesco Cavatorta and Fabio Merone." Journal of Islamic Studies.

2015. “Joyriding in Riyadh: Oil, Urbanism, and Road Revolt, by Pascal Menoret.” London School of Economics Middle East Centre Blog. September 24.

2014. “The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia: Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought, by Cemil Aydin.” Journal of Global History 7 (2): 326–28.

2013. “Situating Salafism: Between the Local, the National, and the Global.” Arab Studies Journal 21 (1): 270–78.

2012. “From Mission to Modernity: Evangelicals, Reformers and Education in Nineteenth-Century Egypt, by Paul Sedra.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 39 (1): 149–51.

2011. “The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History: From the mid–19th Century to the Present Day, edited by Akira Iriye and Pierre-Yves Saunier.” Journal of Global History 6 (2): 155–56.

Teaching Term-time office hours


Tuesdays 2-4pm



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