Saïd Arjomand


Distinguished Service Professor
Director of Institute for Global Studies
Ph.D. 1980, University of Chicago

Areas of Interest

Comparative; historical; political; law; religion; global studies


Saïd Amir Arjomand (Ph.D, University of Chicago, 1980) has been at Stony Brook since 1978, and is currently the Editor of the Journal of Persianate Studies. Arjomand is the author of The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam: Religion, Political Organization and Societal Change in Shi'ite Iran from the Beginning to l890, the University of Chicago Press, l984; The Turban for the Crown. The Islamic revolution in Iran, Oxford University Press, 1988; and After Khomeini, Iran under his Successors, Oxford University Press, 2009. His article, "Constitutions and the Struggle for Political Order: A Study in the Modernization of Political Traditions," European Journal of Sociology/Archives européennes de sociologie,, 33.4 (1992), won the Section’s Award for the Best Essay in Comparative and Historical Sociology in 1993. This was followed by "The Law, Agency and Policy in Medieval Islamic Society: Development of the Institutions of Learning from the Tenth to the Fifteenth Century," Comparative Studies in Society and History, 41.2 (1999). He had recently edited two books on comparative constitutionalism: Constitutionalism and Political Reconstruction, Brill, 2007, and Constitutional Politics in the Middle East, Hart Publishing, 2008. Professor Arjomand was the Crane Inaugural Fellow in Law and Public Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, and a Carnegie Scholar (2006 - 2008). Arjomand is concurrently Director of the Stony Brook Institute for Global Studies, guiding its project on the integration of social theory and regional studies. The studies so far edited by him and published in the Institute Pangaea II: Global/Local Studies SUNY Press Series are The Rule of Law, Islam, and Constitutional Politics in Egypt and Iran (edited with Nathan J. Brown, 2013), Social Theory and Regional Studies in the Global Age(2014), and The Arab Revolution of 2011:A Comparative Perspective (forthcoming). He also helped organized the Thematic Plenaries at the World Congress of Sociology in Gothenburg, Sweden, in July 2010, and is the co-editor (with Elisa Reis) of a volume of their selected papers, Worlds of Difference (Sage, 2013).

Graduate Courses

“Theory and method in Historical Sociology”
“Sociology of Max Weber”
“Comparative Cultural Sociology”
“Development and Modernization”

Selected Publications

Sociology of Shiʿite Islam, Collected Essays, Brill, 2016

The Rule of Law, Islam and Constitutional Politics in Egypt and Iran
, edited with Nathan J. Brown, State University of New York Press, 2013 (in press).

“Axial civilizations, multiple modernities, and Islam,” Journal of Classical Sociology, 11.3 ( 2011) pp. 327 - 335.

“Islamic Resurgence and Its Aftermaths,” being Ch. 4 of The New Cambridge History of Islam, vol. 6 (R. Heffner, ed.; M. Cook, ed.-in-chief), 2010, pp. 173-197.

“Legitimacy and Political Organisation: Caliphs, Kings and Regimes,” being Ch. 7 of The New Cambridge History of Islam, vol. 4 (R. Irwin, ed.; M. Cook, ed.-in-chief), 2010, pp. 225-73.

“Developmental Patterns and Processes in Islamicate Civilization and the Impact of Modernization,” in Hans Joas & Barbro Klein, eds., The Benefit Of Broad Horizons: Intellectual And Institutional Preconditions For A Global Social Science,Leiden: Brill, 2010, pp. 205-26.

“Three Generations of Comparative Sociologies,” Archives européennes de sociologie/European Journal of Sociology, 51.3 (2010), pp. 363-99.

After Khomeini, Iran under his Successors, Oxford University Press, 2009.

Constitutional Politics in the Middle East, edited with an introduction, London: Hart Publishers, 2008.

Constitutionalism and Political Reconstruction, edited with an introduction, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2007 .

Rethinking Civilizational Analysis, edited with Edward A. Tiryakian, London: Sage Publishers, 2004.

"Rationalization, the Constitution of Meaning and Institutional Development," in C. Camic & H. Joas, eds., The Dialogical Turn. New Roles for Sociology in the Post-Disciplinary Age, Rowman & Littlefield, 2004, pp. 247-74.

“The Constitution of Medina: A Socio-legal Interpretation of Muhammad’s Acts of Foundation of the Umma,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, 41.4 (2009), pp. 555-75.

“The Salience of Political Ethic in the Spread of Persianate Islam,” Journal of Persianate Studies, 1.1 (2008), pp. 5-29.

“Has Iran’s Islamic Revolution ended?” Radical History Review, 105.10 (2009), pp. 132-38. (Turkish translation in press)

“Islamic Constitutionalism,” Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 3 (2007), pp. 115-40.

"Islam, Political Change and Globalization," Thesis Eleven, 76 (2004), pp. 5-24.

"Coffeehouses, Guilds & Oriental Despotism: Government & Civil Society in late-17th-early 18th Century Istanbul and Isfahan, and as seen from Paris & London," Archives européennes de sociologie/European Journal of Sociology, 45.1 (2004), pp. 23-42.

"Social Theory and the Changing World: Mass Democracy, Development, Modernization and Globalization," International Sociology, 19.3 (2004), pp. 321-53.

"Modernita, tradizione e la riforma schi`ita nell 'Iran contemporanea", Sociologia del diritto, XXVIII.2 (2001-2), pp. 99-114.

"The Reform Movement and the Debate on Modernity and Tradition in Contemporary Iran," International Journal of Middle East Studies (forthcoming).

"Perso-Indian Statecraft, Greek Political Science and the Muslim Idea of Government," International Sociology, 16.3 (2001), pp. 461-480.

"Authority in Shi`ism and Constitutional Developments in the Islamic Republic of Iran," in W. Ende & R. Brunner, eds., The Twelver Shia in Modern Times: Religious Culture & Political History, Leiden: Brill, 2000, pp. 301-332.

"Civil Society and the Rule of Law in the Constitutional Politics of Iran under Khatami," Social Research, 76.2 (2000), pp. 283-301.

"The Law, Agency and Policy in Medieval Islamic Society: Development of the Institutions of Learning from the Tenth to the Fifteenth Century," Comparative Studies in Society and History, 41.2 (1999), pp 263-293.

"Islamic Apocalypticism in the Classical Period," in B. McGinn, ed., The Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism, New York: Continuum, vol. 2, 1998, pp. 238-283.

"Crisis of the Imamate and the Institution of Occultation in Twelver Shi`ism: a Sociohistorical Perspective," International Journal of Middle East Studies 28.4 (1996): pp. 491-515.

News & Events

      June 2017  
       Michael Schwartz, Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus. and our alumnus Josh Murray (Vanderbilt University) have won the outstanding article award for the ASA Marxist Sociology Section for their paper, "Moral Economy, Structural Leverage, and Organizational Efficacy:  Class Formation and the Great Fling Sit-Down Strike, 1936-37." Critical Historical Studies  
      Tiffany Joseph (with co-author Helen Marrow) has received the Donald W. Light Award for the Applied or Public Practice of Medical Sociology.  The award was received for their paper, "Excluded and Frozen Out: Unauthorized Immigrants' (Non) Access to Care after Healthcare Reforms." Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies
      May 2017  
      Carrie Shandra has been awarded a grant under the Department of Labor Scholars Program for a project on Job Characteristics and Job Retention of Young Workers With Disabilities  
      Jennifer Heerwig (with collaborator Brian McCabe) has been awarded a seed grant from
Georgetown's McCourt School Massive Data Institute for their project,
"The Seattle Voucher Experiment: Using Big Data to Enhance Local Democracy."
      Arnout van de Rijt with our Alumni Eran Shor (McGill University) was awarded the bests paper award from the Communication, Information Technology and Media Studies section of the ASA for their co-authored paper (Eran Shor, Arnoug van de Rijt, Alex Mitsov, Vivek Kulkarni, and Steven Skiena), "A Paper Ceiling:  Explaining the Persistent Underrepresentation of Women in Printed News." American Sociological Review
      Carrie Shandra was awarded the 2017 Outstanding Publication in the Sociology of Disability Award from the ASA Section on Disability and Society for her paper "Benefactors and Beneficiaries?  Disability and Care to Others" forthcoming in the Journal of Marriage and Family
      Rebekah Burroway has received an "Outstanding Author Contribution" from the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence for her paper "Empowering Women, Strengthening Children:  A Multi-Level Analysis of Gender Inequality and Child Malnutrition in Developing Countries" published in Advances in Gender Research  
      Amy Hsin, Queens College, Department of Sociology, May 3rd, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403,"The Effects of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on the Educational Outcomes of Undocumented Students:  Evidence from a Large Public University."
      April 2017  
      Sociology Brown Bag Series presents Assistant Professor Tiffany Joseph, Wednesday, April 19th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "The Growing Citizen-Noncitizen Divide:  Life along the Documentation Status Continuum."  
      March 2017  
      Transforming Sociology (program), Sociology Graduate Student Conference, March 31, 2017, Center for Global Studies at Stony Brook University
      Deborah Carr, Rutgers University, Department of Sociology, March 29th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "Do Marital and Kin Support Enhance (or Undermine) Older Adults' Well-Being?  New Evidence from the DUST Study."
      December 2016  
      Nicholas Hoover Wilson selected as a Faculty Fellow at the Humanities Institute of Stony Brook University for 2017-2018.  
      November 2016   
      Sociology Brown Bag Series presents Ph.D. student Helena Darwin, Wednesday, November 30th, 1:00 - 2:20 PM, SBS N403, "Doing Genderqueer"  
      Chandra Muller, University of Texas, Austin, Department of Sociology, November 14th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "Education and the Transition Through Adulthood to Midlife in the New Economy."
       Sociology Brown Bag Series presents Assistant Professor Jason Jones,
Wednesday, November 2, 1:00 - 2:20 PM, SBS N403, "An Audit Study of Public School Principals:  Evidence for Selective Response."
      October 2016  
      Mindfulness and Diversity:  Mind-Body Approaches for Enhancing Awareness and Well-Being, Friday, October 28th, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. For information and to register, please go to
IHSS will present Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University, Professor of Anthropology and of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies, October 26, 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM, SBS N318, "Governmentality in the East."
Stewart Hoover, University of Colorado-Boulder, Director of the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture, October 24th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "Does God Make the Man? Media, Religion, and the Crisis of Masculinity"
Josh Pacewicz, Brown University, Department of Sociology, October 10th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "Partisans & Partners:  The Politics of the Post-Keynesian Society."

Department of Sociology,  Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4356, tel.: +1 (631) 632-7700

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