American Univesity of Beirut

Sari Hanafi

Academic Summary:

Sari Hanafi is currently a Professor of Sociology, A/Director of Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies and Chair of the Islamic Studies program at the American University of Beirut.  He is the President of the International Sociological Association. He is also the editor of Idafat: the Arab Journal of Sociology (Arabic) and Chair of Islamic Studies program.  Recently he created the “Portal for Social impact of scientific research in/on the Arab World" (Athar). He was the Vice President of the board of the Arab Council of Social Science (2015-2016). He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales-Paris (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences) (1994). He has also served as a visiting professor/fellow at the University of Poitiers and Migrintern and the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (France), University of Bologna and Ravenna (Italy), Chr. Michelsen Institute (Bergen-Norway), Doha Institute for Graduate Studies.  Hanafi was also a former senior researcher at the Cairo-based French research center, Centre d'études et de documentation économique juridique et sociale (1994-2000). He is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters on the sociology of religion; connection of  moral philosophy to the social sciences; the sociology of (forced) migration applied to the Palestinian refugees; politics of scientific research. Among his recent books are: Addressing the rupture between the religious and social sciences: Is the morning coming soon? (Kuwait: Nohood Center; forcoming in OUP in English)  Knowledge Production in the Arab World: The Impossible Promise. (with R. Arvanitis) (in Arabic, Beirut: CAUS and in English, Routledge -2016); The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of the Middle East (co-edited with A. Salvatore and K. Obuse); From Relief and Works to Human Development: UNRWA and Palestinian Refugees after 60 Years. (Edited with L Takkenberg and L Hilal) (Routledge- 2014). The Power of Inclusive Exclusion: Anatomy of Israeli Rule in The Occupied Palestinian Territories (Edited with A. Ophir & M. Givoni, 2009) (English and Arabic) (NY:Zone Book; Beirut:CAUS), The Emergence of A Palestinian Globalized Elite: Donors, International Organizations and Local NGOs (with L. Taber, 2005) (Arabic and English); Pouvoir et associations dans le monde arabe (Edited with S. Bennéfissa, 2002) (Paris:CNRS). He is the winner of 2014 Abdelhamid Shouman Award and 2015 Kuwait Award for social science. In 2019, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor Honoris Causa) form the National University of San Marcos (the first and the leading university in Lima- Peru – established in 1551). In 2022 he became lifetime corresponding fellow of the British Academy (His website:

RESEARCH INTERESTS (no more than 3):

Sociology of religion; moral philosophy; sociology of (forced) migration

COURSES TAUGHT (recent and regular offerings):

SOAN 201 Introduction to Sociology
SOAN 210 Social Research Methods.
SOAN 242/318 Globalization and Migration
SOAN 300 Graduate Research Methods.
SOAN 245 Transitional Justice
ISLM 304/SOAN 309 and SOAN 290BC Sociology of Islam



2021 The rupture between the religious and social sciences. (in Arabic Nohood; forthcoming in Enhlish)

2022 Armando Salvatore, Sari Hanafi and Kieko Obuse (Eds.).  The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of the Middle East. Oxford Univ. Press.

2020 Sari Hanafi and Chin-Chun Yi (Eds) Sociologies in Dialogue. London: Sage.

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1994   Ph. D.  in Sociology, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales-Paris (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences).

1989   Master's degree (D.E.A.) "Sciences et Techniques dans l'Histoire, la Culture et l'Organisation des sociétés", University of Strasbourg.

1987   BA. Sociology, Damascus University

1984   BS. Civil Engineering, Damascus University,

​Research interests: 

Sociology of science, knowledge prod​​uction, religion, migration and refugees, transitional justice, higher education, political sociology, post-authoritarianism.

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