Islamic studies, history, political thought, political anthropology, economic anthropology, economic sociology, political economy
Southeast Asian Studies, Philippine Studies, Malaysian Studies
Fauwaz Abdul Aziz holds an MA degree in Muslim World Issues from the Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). After completing his bachelor’s degree in political science and Islamic studies at IIUM in 2001, Abdul Aziz taught history and geography at the secondary school level at a private religious school in Kuala Lumpur. He then worked with the independent news organization Malaysiakini for a total of six years, first as a journalist and then as assistant news editor, during which time he covered a range of issues of social and political importance. Abdul Aziz left Malaysiakini in 2011.
In between his stints as a reporter and an editor, Abdul Aziz also worked in a research capacity for a number of non-governmental organizations, including the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), Monitoring the Sustainability of Globalization (MSN), the Penang Research Centre in Socio-Economy (Precise), Citizens International (CI), and the Malay Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Penang and national levels).
In 2012 he joined Third World Network (TWN), an international research and advocacy NGO, as a researcher specializing in trade and investment agreements. He was also involved in a number of environmental issues, including climate change-related topics. In 2014 and 2015, Abdul Aziz also worked with the Malay Economic Action Council as its head of research on range of political-economic and socio-economic issues.
Abdul Aziz’s MA thesis, ‘Islamic Economic Thought in Malaysia (1900–1980): Ideas, Setting, Interaction’, looked at the economic ideas of religious scholars and intellectuals within the social, political and cultural context of their times. He was awarded Best Overall Student in the 2013 graduating cohort of the Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization.
Abdul Aziz’s current research within the Emmy Noether research project ‘The Bureaucratization of Islam and its Socio-Legal Dimensions in Southeast Asia’ investigates the National Commission of Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) – a state institution mandated to administer the affairs of the Muslims of the Philippines and to advise the government on matters pertaining to its Muslim population – and how it is bureaucratizing the discourse on Islam and Muslims. Focusing on the governance (including certification, standards and enforcement) and development (promotion and institutionalization) of the country’s halal (‘permissible’ according to Islamic teachings) food industry, Abdul Aziz’s research examines the ‘everyday politics’ of the Commission’s bureaucrats as the government and private sector aspire to promote, develop and institutionalize that industry in face of the growing domestic and global Muslim markets.