2012 Abbasi Program/AALIMS Conference Committee

Posted on February 27th, 2012 in Uncategorized

Lisa Blaydes is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. She holds degrees in Political Science (Ph.D.) from the University of California, Los Angeles and International Relations (BA, MA) from Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of Elections and Distributive Politics in Mubarak’s Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 2011). Professor Blaydes received the 2009 Gabriel Almond Award for best dissertation in the field of comparative politics from the American Political Science Association for this project. Her articles have appeared in International Organization, Middle East Journal, and World Politics. During the 2008-2010, she was an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies.


Mahmoud A. El-Gamal is Professor of Economics at Rice University, where he  holds the endowed Chair in Islamic Economics, Finance and Management. Before joining Rice in 1998, he was Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Assistant Professor at the University of Rochester and the California Institute of Technology. He also worked as an economist at the Middle East department of the International Monetary Fund (1995–96), and as the first scholar in residence on Islamic finance at the U.S. Department of Treasury (2004). He has published extensively on finance, econometrics, decision science, economics of the Middle East and Islamic transactions law. His recent books include “Islamic Finance: Law, Economics, and Practice” (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and “Oil, Dollars, Debt, and Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold” (with Amy Myers Jaffe; Cambridge University Press, 2010).


Asim Ijaz Khwaja is Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He received his B.S. in Economics, Mathematics and Computer Science from MIT, and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. His areas of interest include economic development, finance, education, political economy, institutions, and contract theory/mechanism design. His research combines extensive fieldwork, rigorous empirical analysis, and microeconomic theory to answer questions that are motivated by and engage with policy.  His work has been published in American Economic Review, and Quarterly Journal of Economics, and has received coverage in numerous media outlets such as the Economist, NY Times, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune,Al-Jazeera, BBC, and CNN. His recent work ranges from understanding market failures in emerging financial markets to examining the private education market in low-income countries. He was selected as a Carnegie Scholar in 2009 to pursue research on how religious institutions impact individual beliefs.





Murat İyigun is Professor of Economics at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Research Affiliate of the Center for International Development at Harvard University, and Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Brown University. His main research interests lie in the areas of the economics of the family, development economics, political economy and cliometrics.



Saumitra Jha is Assistant Professor of Political Economy in the Graduate School of Business and Assistant Professor of Economy and Political Science in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University. His research uses a combination of economic theory and empirical analysis to investigate the processes by which cultural and political institutions have developed historically, and to draw new strategies for contemporary development policy. He is particularly interested in formal and informal mechanisms that have been successful in fostering tolerance and cooperation among members of different social and ethnic groups.

Timur Kuran is Professor of Economics and Political Science, and Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University. He received his A.B. in Economics from Princeton University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University. His research focuses on social change, including the evolution of preferences and institutions. His recent book, The Long Divergence (Princeton University Press, 2010), explores the role that Islam played in the economic rise of the Middle East and, subsequently, in the institutional stagnation that accompanied the region’s slip into a state of underdevelopment.


Ali Yaycioglu is Assistant Professor of History at Stanford University. He received his M.A. in Ottoman History from Bilkent University, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. His research interests include the Ottoman Empire, with particular emphasis on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, history of economic and political institutions, history of empires in global context and modern Turkey. Currently, he is working on a book project that examines the rise of the provincial notables in different parts of the Ottoman World and their challenge to the imperial system, and another collaborative project on the imaginations of the imperial space in the Ottoman World and beyond.

Comments are closed.