Dr. Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar is an assistant professor in the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School. He is also a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and a scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC.
His areas of research include religion and politics as well as Middle East politics. Dr. Tabaar’s book, provisionally entitled From Womb to Tomb: The Politics of Religion in Iran (Columbia University Press, 2017), examines the state and religion in Iran against the background of domestic and international politics. In a revisionist micro-level analysis, he argues that political elites develop and deploy Islamic ideology strategically and according to their threat perceptions.
His current research lies at the intersection of comparative politics and international relations and focuses on religion, factional politics, and foreign policy. He uses the media as a source for studying authoritarian regimes.
Dr. Tabaar has been a visiting scholar at George Washington, Cambridge, Harvard, and Columbia Universities. He has previously taught undergraduate and graduate courses at George Mason, Georgetown, and George Washington Universities. Currently, he teaches International Politics of the Middle East, Contemporary Politics of the Middle East, Religion and Politics in Iran, and US Foreign Policy in the Persian Gulf at the Bush School.
His commentaries have appeared on Foreign Policy’s Middle East Channel, Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, Foreign Affairs, BBC, and the New York Times.
He received his PhD in government from Georgetown University, MA in international relations from the University of Chicago, MA in sociology from the New School for Social Research in New York City, and BA in social sciences from the University of Tehran.