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

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

  April 2015  
  Sociology Brown Bag series presents Professor Ian Roxborough, Wednesday, April 22, 1:00 - 2:20 PM, SBS N403, "Human Aspects of Military Operations: Intra-Organizational Debate and Spontaneous Sociology."
IHSS will present Miriam L. Kingsberg, University of Colorado; ACLS Ryskamp Visiting Scholar, Columbia University, April 15, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM, “Fieldwork, Ethnology, and Empire: the Making of Japan's ‘Transwar Generation’ of Social Scientists” - Co-sponsored by the History Department
Sociology Brown Bag series presents Associate Professor Timothy P. Moran and Ph.D. student Sofia Boutillier, Wednesday, April 8, 1:00 - 2:20 PM, SBS N403, "Saying Happiness While Doing Inequality:  Wealth, Neoliberalism, and the New York Times."
  March 2015  
  Philip Kasinitz, Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of CUNY, March 25, 2015, 1:00 PM, SBS N403, "Immigration, Diversity and Citizenship:  The Changing Terrain of Racial Justice."
Nancy Foner, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of CUNY, March 12, 2015, 4:00 PM, SBS N403, "Immigration and the Remaking of New York."
IHSS will present Shobana Shankar, Stony Brook Department of History, March 11, 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM, SBS N320, “Curbing Religious Freedoms for State Security: The Old Cities of Northern Nigeria in the Era."
of Decolonization” - Co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Department
  February 2015  
  Sociology Brown Bag series presents Ph.D. student Carolyn Coburn, Wednesday, February 18, 1:00 - 2:20 PM, SBS N403, "Water, Sanitation, and Female Secondary School Enrollment:  A Cross-National Analysis of Sub-Saharan African Nations."  
  IHSS will present Paul Gootenberg, Stony Brook Department of History & Sociology, February 18, 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM, SBS N320, “From Teonanácatl to Miami Vice: Latin America’s Contribution to World Drug Culture” - Co-sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center  
  Sociology Brown Bag series presents Assistant Professor Kristen Shorette, Wednesday, February 4, 1:00 - 2:20 PM, SBS N403, "Global Institutions and the Persistence of Cross-National Health Disparities across the Global South."  
  December 2014  
  Florencia Arancibia has been awarded a two-year post-doctoral fellowship with the Argentine National Scientific and Technical Research Council for her research project, "Social movements and knowledge intermediaries: participatory methods for inclusive innovation."  
  October 2014
  IHSS will present Rick DesRochers, Long Island University-Post Campus, Department of Theatre, October 14, 2:30 PM, SBS N403, "The Family Act Goes to School - The Marx Brothers, Vaudeville, and Americanization."  
  September 2014  
  Michael Kimmel and Gloria Steinem co-author New York Times opinion piece on consensual sex on college campuses entitled "Yes Is Better Than No."
Kristen Shorette receives ASA Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline Award for her project, "Freedom from Discrimination as Human Right?  The Global Human Rights Regime and the Diffusion of Affirmative Action since 1965"
Carrie Shandra selected as a Fellow of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research's Switzer Research Program
Nicholas Wilson, Yale University, September 29, 2014, 1:00 PM, SBS N403, "Corruption and the Making of Modern Bureaucracy:  Evidence from the British Empire in India."
IHSS will present Steven Skiena, Stony Brook University, Department of Computer Science, September 18, 2:30 PM, SBS N403, "Who's Bigger?  Where Historical Figures Really Rank.
  June 2014
  •Suzan Walters was named a 2014 Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award Recipient by SAGE.  
  May 2014  
  Cathy Marrone receives the Sister Margareet Ann Landry Lifetime Achievement Award at the Stony Brook Student Life Awards Ceremony  
  April 2014  

•Study by Arnout van de Rijt and Michael Restivo published in PNAS and featured in The Economist
•Kenneth Pierce has received the Jean Harvey Slappy Fellowship by the Marcus Garvey Foundation
•Florencia Arancibia has been awarded an Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Field Research Fellowship
IHSS, co-sponsored with the Department of History presents Samuel Roberts, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, April 22nd, 2:30 PM, SBS N320, "Black Politics, Caught Between Criminalization and Medicalization:  Methadone Maintenance, Decriminalization, and Harm Reduction, 1965-1990."
Natalia Sarkisian, Boston College, April 17th, 4:00 PM, SBS S403,"More or Less Kin:  Economic Disparities and Kin Support"
Oyeronke Oyewumi received the Distinguished Africanist Award by the New York African Studies Association (NYASA)
•Hyang-Gi Song has been awarded the Center for Korean Studies graduate fellowship
Jennifer London, Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, April 9, 2014, 3:00 PM, Stony Brook Manhattan, "Understanding Authoritarianism as a Dynamic Category of Practice:  Ibn al-Muqaffa's Legacy for the History of Arab Political Thought:"

  March 2014  

•Brooke Ellison, Ph.D. 2012, Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy and Management at Stony Brook University, was selected by the World Economic Forum as a 2014 Global Leader.
•Oyeronke Oyewumi awarded 2014/15 Fulbright Scholar Grant for teaching and research in Harare, Zimbabwe
•Rebekah Burroway, Cathy Marrone, and Carrie Shandra awarded Dean's Funds for Excellence awards
•Sasha Rodriguez awarded the American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship
•Bethany Coston receives the Madeline Fusco Fellowship Award
•Sasha Rodriguez receives the Faculty-Staff Dissertation Fellowship
•Amanda Kennedy receives the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching
•Sociology Major Neha Kinariwalla receives Gates Cambridge University Fellowship
•Ambassador Robert Toscano, March 24, 2014, 4:00 PM, Center for Italian Studies, Library, Room E4340, "Putin's Russia: Between Soviet Nostalgia and Traditionalist Nataionalism"
Valerie Leiter, Simmons College, March 13th, 4:00 PM, Health Sciences Center,Level 2, Room 408 (School of Health Technology and Management Conference Room),"Power, Rights, and Participation among Youth with Disabilities."  Co-sponsored by the Program in Public Health
IHSS will present Lori Flores, Stony Brook University, Department of History, March 5, 12:00 Noon, SBS N320, "Battlegrounds of Masculinity:  Latino Servicemen, Zoot Suiters, and Farmworkers in World War II"

  February 2014
  •Tarun Banerjee receives Sociology Department's Judith Tanur Dissertation Research Award.
Crystal Fleming receives Career Enhancement Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.
IHSS will present Lawrence Frohman, Stony Brook University, Department of History, February 12th, 11:30 AM, SBS N320, "Surveillance, Security, Divinity"

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

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