C.V. | Publications

Research Interests
Punishment and Violence, Middle Eastern Studies, International Relations, Civilisation and Barbarism, Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Democritization and Political Reform, Human Rights and Social Justice

Research Areas

Middle East & North Africa; Iran; Cauasus; Europe; United States


Sajjad Safaei has been a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department ‘Law & Anthropology’ since June 2020. Before that, he was a doctoral candidate in the Department, earning his PhD in Anthropology from MLU Halle-Wittenberg with a thesis on barbarism versus civilization in punishment, analysed through legal, philosophical, sociological, and historical lenses. Safaei also holds an MSc and BSc in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management. His research interests span a wide range of topics and disciplines, including but not limited to punishment, civilization and barbarism, history of violence, Middle Eastern Studies, Iranian Studies, International Relations, democratization and political reform, human rights, disarmament, and the sociology of punishment.

In recent years, Safaei has ventured beyond his PhD research topic – i.e., punishment and violence – making forays into new fields such as Middle Eastern Studies and International Relations. He has been writing regularly on Iran, the Middle East, and international security for reputable journals and outlets such as Foreign Policy, Le Monde Diplomatique, Responsible Statecraft,Al Jazeera and The Middle East Institute He has accepted invitations to provide expert testimony to the Dutch and German parliaments and has been interviewed by media platforms such as Middle East Eye and Spain‘s El Confidencial.

A notable accomplishment is Safaei’s article in the International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, which showed how one of the staples of modern intellectual life, Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, wholly misrepresented philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s ideas on punishment. He has been a peer reviewer for prestigious journals such as the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies and History of European Ideas.

Safaei is currently in the process of transforming his thesis into a book. He also plans to build on the findings of his PhD research by converting them into peer-reviewed journal articles and aims to contribute to an anthology of the Iran–Iraq war. Looking ahead, Safaei will continue to contribute to the scholarly debate on – and a better understanding of – the Middle East.

He is also the editor for CUREDI, the legal database on cultural and religious diversity in Europe. He has also contributed to other editing projects, including The Oxford Handbook of Law and Anthropology.

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