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Peter Mandaville

Senior Research Fellow

George Mason University

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January 12, 2019

How Saudi Arabia and Iran Use Islam in Foreign Policy

In a Brookings Institution podcast, Berkley Center Senior Research Fellow Peter Mandaville and Shadi Hamid discuss their new paper, which focuses largely on how both Saudi Arabia and Iran employ Islam as a soft power tool in the conduct of their foreign policy, and also touches on case studies including Morocco, Jordan, Turkey, and Indonesia.


Peter Mandaville is a professor of international affairs at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, where he previously served as co-director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies and of the Center for Global Studies. Mandaville is a Berkley Center senior research fellow and a Brookings Institution nonresident senior fellow. From 2015 to 2016 he was a senior advisor in the U.S. Department of State's Office of Religion and Global Affairs. He has also been a visiting senior fellow at the Pew Research Center. His research focuses on the comparative study of religious authority and social movements in the Muslim world, with an emphasis on youth groups, transnational networks, and new media. His publications include, among others, Islam and Politics (2014), Global Political Islam (2007, 2011), and Transnational Muslim Politics: Reimagining the Umma (2001). He holds degrees from the University of St. Andrews and the University of Kent and has studied at the American University in Cairo.