This research cluster investigates how Islam plays a significant role in affecting political and social change today.


How is Islam being used by social movements and interest groups to affect political and social change in Muslim-majority states and in Muslim-minority contexts? What causes the increasing intersectionality of religion, politics, and political economy in the region?

From the Middle East to Southeast Asia, Islam has had a growing role in politics, governance, and political economy. The rise of Sharia-inspired legislation and Islamic banking practices, as well as the emergence of Islamist populist political parties show the growing intersectionality between religion and politics. This increasing presence of Islam in public life is posing important questions to politicians and policy-makers particularly on matters of identity, religious expression, tolerance, and the changing role of religious institutions.

This research cluster investigates how the growing role of Islam in the politics of Muslim-majority and minority contexts in the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia is impacting economic and social policy. It brings together Asian and Middle Eastern specialists and scholars working in the fields of Islamic thought, Islamic law, political science, sociology, and gender and identity to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration on one of the most important political trends in the region.

Image: Madiha Naqsh Siddiqui. Ornate details of the roof representative of the classic Mughal style - Shah Jahan Mosque, Thatta 2014 CC BY-SA 3.0


Professor Abdullah Saeed, Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies talks about his research in the area of contemporary Islamic thought at the University of Melbourne.

The current members of the Islam and Politics Research Cluster are:

Dr David Tittensor (Lead)
Professor Abdullah Saeed
Professor Vedi Hadiz
Associate Professor Maila Stivens
Dr Rachel Woodlock
Dr Muhammad Kamal
Dr Abdul-Samad Abdullah
Dr Ali Akbar (AI Associate)
Dr Shakira Hussein (AI Associate)
Sahar Alshehri (RHD)
Hasan Shoaib (RHD)
Alyssa Moohin (RHD)
Muhammad Tariq (RHD)