Mohammad Mahdi Mojahedi

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2012/2013
discipline Political Science
Senior lecturer in Political Theory, Human Rights and Methodology in the Mofid University, Qom

Research project

Secular v. Religious Political Violence: An Ambivalent Bifurcation


The first part of my research examines the religious-secular bifurcation of political violence. I argue that this bifurcation is either redundant, when analyzed at the ontological level, or futile, when construed at the normative level. It is only at the level of the rationalization, i.e. justification and legitimization, of political violence that this bifurcation seems, prima facie, to hold. However, I argue that bifurcation, even on a rationalization level, does not survive closer examination. The next two parts of my research flesh out the theoretical ambivalence of the religious-secular dichotomy discussed in the first part. I contextualize disparate religious and secular rationalizations of political violence prior to and after the Constitutional Revolution in Iran (1905-07). Finally, I investigate the contexts through which these religious and secular discourses in Iran have substantively transmuted or, at least, influenced and reproduced one another. 



Mohammad Mahdi Mojahedi is senior lecturer in Political Theory, Human Rights and Methodology in the Mofid University, Qom. He holds a Ph.D. in political theory from the Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran. 


His research areas of interest are comparative Political Theories, Human Rights, Modern Islamic and Iranian studies, new socio-political movements and Modern Middle Eastern studies.

Selected publications


‘Critical Rationalism and Educational Reform’, Curriculum Planning and Rational Education, Iranian Society of Curriculum Planning, Tehran, 2010.


‘Human Rights and Muslim Forms of Life,’ in B. Klein Goldewijk (ed.), Religion, International Relations and Development Cooperation, Wageningen Academic Publishers, Netherlands, 2007, pp.187-216.


‘Education, Politics, and Identity in Today Iran: A Pluralist Approach,’ in D. G. Zandi (ed.), Civil Institutions and Identity in Iran, Entesharat e Tamaddone Irani, Tehran, 2007.


‘Islam between Culture and Politics, a book review,’ National Studies, vol. 6, no. 21, 2006, pp.143-158.


‘Religion without God’, Madrese, Journal of the Institute for Epistemological Research, vol.1, no.1, 2005, pp.90-94.


senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2011/2012
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Literature
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2014/2015
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Cultural Studies
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2013/2014
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline History
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2018/2019
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Political Science