Dr Raihan Ismail

Senior Lecturer
College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Islamic Studies 220403
  • Political Science 1606



Raihan Ismail is an ARC DECRA fellow and a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, ANU. She was the co-recipient of the Max Crawford Medal in 2018, awarded by the Australian Academy of the Humanities for 'outstanding achievement in the humanities by an early-career scholar'. 

Her research interests include Political Islam, sectarianism, and the intertwining nature of religion and politics in the Middle East. She has presented at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, examining Saudi clerics and Sunni-Shia relations in the Middle East, the Crawford Australian Leadership forum 'Global Realities', discussing challenges and opportunities for the Middle East, the Canberra Writers Festival, examining the geopolitics of the Middle East, as well as other academic and non-academic events. She delivered the 8th Hancock lecture for the Australian Academy of the Humanities, titled "Hybrid Civilisation or the Clash of Civilisations: Rethinking the Muslim Other".

Raihan is the convenor of the Political Islam seminar series for various Commonwealth government agencies, including AGD and Defence. She is a regular commentator in Australian and international media on Islam and Middle East politics and appeared as a panelist on the ABC's Q&A program in 2016. In 2019, she was placed in the ABC’s Top 5 Media Residency Program for humanities scholars.

She has published in academic and non-academic outlets including the Washington PostShe is the author of Saudi Clerics and Shia Islam, published by Oxford University Press in 2016. She has completed a book project titled Rethinking Salafism, which looks at the transnational networks of Salafi clerics in Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The book is scheduled for publication later in 2021 through Oxford University Press.

She has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science, with a minor in Islamic Studies, a Masters in International Relations from the International Islamic University of Malaysia, and a PhD from the ANU. 


Researcher's projects

a) Salafi movements

b) Cross-sectarian cooperation in Iraq

c) Religious authorities in Muslim societies

Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  19 September 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers