Lecturer, King's College London

Dr. Shiraz Maher is Director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) and a member of the War Studies Department at King’s College London. He currently leads the Centre’s research on the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts and also researches Salafi-Jihadi soteriology. Maher is a recognised expert on the current Middle East crisis and jihadist movements. His book, Salafi-Jihadism: The History of an Idea (Oxford University Press; and Hurst & Co.) has been widely acknowledged as a ground-breaking exploration of the political philosophy behind contemporary jihadist movements.


Maher is also an adjunct lecturer at Johns Hopkins University (where he currently teaches separate courses on radicalisation and political Islam), and was a visiting lecturer at Washington College during the Spring Semester of 2012 (where he taught Middle East politics). He is a contributing writer for the New Statesman, frequently writing on Islamic State and the broader Middle East. He has conducted fieldwork across the world, interviewing members of the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusrah, Ahrar al-Sham and the Free Syrian Army.

Personal webpage

Recent Publications

2019. ‘Syria’s war without end.’ New Statesman, October.

2019. ‘What religious ideology is claimed and projected by jihadi terrorism? What religious traditions, if any, is it derived from?,’ in Anthony Richards editor, Jihadist Terror: New Threats, New Responses, London; IB Tauris.

2018. ‘The primacy of praxis: Clerical authority in the Syrian conflict.’ Middle East Institute.

2017. ‘Al-qadā’ wa-l-qadr: Motivational representations of divine decree and predestination in salafi-jihadi literature’, International Journal of Middle East Studies.

2016. Salafi-Jihadism: The history of an idea, (Oxford University Press; and Hurst & Co.) Second Edition later in 2017 from Penguin.

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