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Shiraz Maher – Senior Research Fellow

Shiraz Maher is a Senior Research Fellow and is currently coordinating the Centre’s research on the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts. He also researches the development of Salafi-Jihadi ideology, and jihadist organisations in the broader Middle East. As a result of this research he has been invited to give evidence before three parliamentary committees.

Maher is also an adjunct at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches a course on radicalisation (along with Peter Neumann), and was a visiting lecturer at Washington College during the Spring Semester of 2012.

He was also awarded the first Konrad Adenauer Foundation Fellowship in Energy Security (2012-2013) based at the European Centre for Energy and Resource Security (EUCERS) where he explored the impact of political unrest in the Middle East on energy markets.

Maher has previously worked for Policy Exchange, writing on Security and Foreign Policy. He published a series of influential studies there which attracted widespread attention across government. His report on reforming the government’s counter-terrorism strategy was described by Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, as ‘brilliant’, while Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, former Chief of the Defence Staff, called it ‘remarkable’.

Maher has published widely and his research is frequently cited in the media. He has conducted fieldwork across the world and has interviewed members of the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusrah, and Egyptian revolutionaries in Tahrir Square.

Selected Publications

Greenbirds: Measuring Importance and Influence in Syrian Foreign Fighter Networks, ICSR (April 2014; co-authored with Joseph Carter and Peter Neumann)

The Arab Spring and its impact on supply and production in global markets, European Centre for Energy and Resource Security, (October 2013)

Between ‘engagement’ and a ‘values-led’ approach: Britain and the Muslim Brotherhood from 9/11 to the Arab Spring, in Western reactions to the rise of Islamists in the MENA (Al-Mesbar, January 2013; co-authored with Martyn Frampton)

Change and Continuity: Hizb ut Tahrir’s strategy and ideology in Britain, in Revisionism and Diversification in New Religious Movements (Ashgate, October 2013)

‘What Jihadists Thought About Boston,’ Foreign Affairs, (May, 2013)

Al-Qaeda at the crossroads: how the terror group is responding to the loss of its leaders and the Arab Spring, ICSR (August 2012; co-authored with Peter Neumann)

Lights, Camera, Jihad: Al-Shabaab’s Western media strategy, ICSR (November 2012; co-authored with Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens and James Sheehan)

‘Jihadis React to Bin Laden’s Death: Islamist websites and the future of al-Qaeda,’ Foreign Affairs, (May 2011)

Preventing Violent Extremism: Lessons from the Government’s revised ‘Prevent’ Strategy, World Defence Systems (September 2011)

Ties that Bind: How the story of Muslim soldiers can forge a national identity, Policy Exchange (September 2011)

Choosing our friends wisely: criteria for engagement with Muslim groups, Policy Exchange (April 2009; co-authored with Martyn Frampton)