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Malika Zeghal is the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor in Contemporary Islamic Thought and Life at Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. She is a political scientist who studies the intersection of contemporary Islam and politics. She is particularly interested in Islamist movements and in the institutionalization of Islam in the Middle East, North Africa, and the West. Her latest book, Islamism in Morocco: Religion, Authoritarianism, and Electoral Politics (Markus Wiener Publishers, 2008), explores the relationship between a hybrid authoritarian state and Islam.
At Radcliffe, Zeghal is writing a book that illuminates the modern state’s ineluctable engagement with religion by reflecting on several varieties of authoritarian secularism in the contemporary Islamic world. Using archival and ethnographic research, she is exploring how these forms of secularism shaped movements of Islamist opposition.
Zeghal is an alumna of the École Normale Supérieure, in Paris, and holds a PhD from the Sciences Po (l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques), also in Paris. She was named a Carnegie Scholar in 2009 and was recently appointed a member of the Tunisian Academy of Sciences, Letters, and Arts (Beït al-Hikma).