About Us​

​Launched in 2014, the programme was founded by Dr Abdou Filali-Ansary.

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, we aim to provide accessible information to a wide range of audiences beyond academia.​​

Programme Staff:

Faculty Lead: Dr Gianluca Parolin

Dr Parolin previously worked in the Department of Law at the American University in Cairo, having served as a research fellow and earlier as a post-doc in the Law Department of the University of Torino (Italy), his alma mater, which awarded him an LLB/LLM (2001, with honors) and later a PhD in public law (2006). Dr Parolin has actively contributed to the debate on the constitution drafting in Egypt since early 2011, and has taught classes on the constitutional transitions in the region every semester. His research interests heavily focus on the Middle East. Within the broader field of comparative law, he explores areas that bridge the public/private law divide. Four main lines of research can be identified: Regional Governance and Constitutional Arrangements; Citizenship in the Arab World; Maslahah and Maqasid al-Shari'ah; and Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat.

Research Fellow: Dr Nancy Hawker​

Dr Nancy Hawker has a DPhil in Oriental Studies from University of Oxford and an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from SOAS. She is also a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University. She has previously worked at Amnesty International’s International Secretariat in London. Nancy will be with AKU-ISMC as a part-time Research Fellow for the Governance Programme until December 2019.

Faculty Co-ordinator: Dr Sanaa Alimia​

Dr Sanaa Alimia is a political scientist specialising in migration and urbanity in modern South Asia. She holds a PhD from SOAS, London and an MSc from the LSE. Dr Alimia was a Research Fellow at the Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin (2016-2019) and a recipient of the COFUND Dahlem Research Award, based at the Berlin Graduate School fo Muslim Cultures and Societies, Freie Universität and Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin (2014-2016). She was also been a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Peshawar (2013-2016) and a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS (2011-2014).

Dr Alimia also works as an independent consultant on the issue of forced and undocumented migration. She has worked alongside international and local nongovernmental organisations, think tanks, and government departments to provide advice, complete policy oriented publications, and/or engage in outreach programs. She is also active in the media (radio, print/online journalism) on this issue.​​

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