About Us​

​The Governance Programme critically assesses current thinking on governance in relation to Muslim contexts. It generates key information in clear, accessible formats to inform relevant professionals, NGOs, media, businesses, students, governments and members of the public. Watch this short video​ about the programme.

Deeply rooted religious and cultural sensitivities play a significant role in the way reforms are received and the ways in which institutions are perceived and managed. The programme aims to highlight these factors, thereby complementing the efforts of international organisations to address such matters. While focused on Muslim contexts, the programme adopts a comparative approach as the majority of Muslims face the same challenges as other communities in the developing world.

Launched in 2014, the programme was founded by Dr Abdou Filali-Ansary and is currently led by Dr Gianluca Parolin. It is supported by a Programme Manager, Dr Charlotte Whiting, as well as drawing on a network of affiliated experts.

Key goals of the programme are to improve the quality of life by promoting the public good in the developing world, with a particular interest in Muslim contexts. To achieve this, it aims to provide accessible information to a wide range of audiences beyond academia. Our programme is organised around several key activities:

Dialogues Seminar Series

The seminars ​provide a forum for a continuous, all-inclusive (East, West, South, North) dialogue involving innovative researchers and thinkers, leading actors in civil society and the public sector to share new approaches to governance, especially in Muslim contexts. The specificities of Muslim cultures and traditions are assumed by many to be a determining factor in issues related to governance. By addressing both theoretical and practical aspects, the series explores the extent to which the heritage of Muslims has an impact on questions of governance – if at all.


Annual workshops ​​on a range of themes explore how Muslim societies can develop political systems that promote public welfare, achieve popular legitimacy and recognize minority rights in a time marked by heated debates over tradition, religion and modernity.

Working Papers

Academic papers generated by the programme are published online in multiple languages relevant to Muslim contexts and are available here​


Op-eds based on the programme's workshop and seminar themes are published in the international press in multiple languages relevant to Muslim contexts and are available here​


Audio and video recordings of the Dialogues seminars and workshop papers are available he​re

ISMC does not take specific positions; accordingly, all views expressed in the papers, op-eds and recordings should be understood to be solely those of the author(s).​