: : : : : : : : : : : tufslogo


Graduate School of Global Studies

3-11-1 Asahi-cho, Fuchu-shi

Tokyo 183-8534



Yasuyuki Matsunaga










Curriculum Vitae [PDF]



EEmail: matsunaga@tufs.ac.jp

  Please send all admissions-related queries to the universityfs admission office [gao@tufs.ac.jp]. I will not respond to admission-related email queries, including requests for supervision. You wonft need any consent from faculty members to apply for admission at TUFS.

EOffice Hours: 12:00-12:30, Wednesday and Thursday (Room 524)

EDepartmental Affiliation: Graduate Program in Peace and Conflict Studies (PCS)

EResearch Center Affiliation: Interdisciplinary Research Unit for Global Democratic Change (GDC)


Teaching Interest*

EConflict, Contentious Politics, and Political Change

EComparative Political Regimes and Democratization

EPolitics and Culture

EQualitative Social Science Theories and Methodologies


*Please send all admissions-related queries to the universityfs admission office [gao@tufs.ac.jp]. I will not respond to email queries.

*Please also note that I will not be able to supervise students who enter our doctoral programs directly.


Research Interest & Specialization

EContentious Politics and Democratization in Iran and the greater Middle East

EIslam and Politics in Iran and the greater Middle East

EDynamics of Sectarian Conflict in the greater Middle East

EPostrevivalist Reformist Islamic Trends and Thinkers

EHistorical Trajectories of Desecularization and Resecularization in Iran and the greater Middle East




EPh.D. (political science), New York University, 2006. [dissertation]

EM.A. (international studies), University of South Carolina, 1994.

EB.A. (Islamic studies), University of Tokyo, 1987.


Courses [offered in English]

<graduate seminars>

EPCS Research Methodology: An Introduction to Conflict and Contentious Politics (Fall)

EConflict and Social Change: An Advanced Seminar on Conflict and Contentious Politics (Spring) –2023 Syllabus

EThesis Seminar: Thesis Structure and Research (Fall)

EPolitics and Culture – at ICU (Spring) – Syllabus

EComparative Politics: PCS PhD Seminar (Fall)


Work in Progress

EReforming Islamist Iran: Religion, Intellectuals, and Politics in the Rafsanjani-Khatami Years. Book Manuscript.


Upcoming/Recent Conference Presentations

E  (with Sohrab Ahmadian) gAn Anatomy of Islamic Awakening in Iranian Ouramanat: the Case of Naser Sobhani,h Kurdish Studies Conference, University of Sheffield, 22-23 May 2024

E  gDissecting Ethnonational Undertones in Minority Religious Movements in Iran,h The Nation as a Sacred Communion? Religion, Legacies, Conflict, IPSA RC14 & RC43 Colloquium, Queenfs University Belfast, June 1, 2023

E  gDissecting Multilayered Insurgencies: A Relational, Genealogical and Decolonial Perspective,h Decolonizing Kurdish Studies Initiative Workshops, Brown University Center for Middle East Studies & Yale MacMillan Center Council on Middle East Studies, Online, April 8, 2022

E  (with Umut Azak) gThe State Regulations of Minority Religions in Comparative Perspective,h 35ème SISR CONFÉRENCE BIENNALE: The Politics of Religion and Spirituality, BARCELONA, July 11-12, 2019.

E  gA Processual Sociological Perspective on Sectarian Insurgency in Iran's Two Border Areas,h the gRethinking Nationalism, Sectarianism and Ethno-Religious Mobilization in the Middle Easth Conference, St. Antonyfs College and Pembroke College, University of Oxford, January 28, 2018 .

E  gReconciling Islamic Constitutionalism with Pragmatic Governance: What Does the Iranian Experience Offer?h Conference on Religion and the State, hosted by The Arab Association of Constitutional Law, Tunis, Tunisia, March 24, 2017.

E  gResisting Resecularization in Post-Khomeini Iran,h International Workshop gImagining an Alternative ePost-Secularf State: Historicizing and Comparing National Struggles over Resecularization,h Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, February 17, 2017. <program>

E  gReligion, Violence, and the Politics of Sanctified Punishment: A Case of Iranfs Islamic State,h 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Regular Session: Redefining the Public Sphere in the Middle East), Seattle, August 21, 2016.

E  gKhomeinism: the Non-Obvious Constraints on Political Reform in Iran,h Cultures of Freedom and Contending Visions of Justice and Governance in the Muslim World Symposium, University of Sydney, Australia, April 2015 (site).

E  gTheorizing Cross-National Conflict Non-Diffusion: Why Sectarian Violence Doesn't Spread Beyond National Borders in the Greater Middle East,h Fourth World Congress for Middle East Studies, Ankara, Turkey, August 2014.


Select Publications (also visit Google Scholar, Academia.edu, SSRN, and ORCID)

EgReview Essay: (Theological and Institutional Soul-searching Aside) Will Re-problematizing Iranfs Islamic State à la eReligious Secularityf Require Another Islamic State?h Journal of Religious and Political Practice 3, 1-2 (2017): 84-87. [full text]

[Online] DOI: 10.1080/20566093.2017.1292173

EgIslamic Dissent in Iranfs full-fledged Islamic Revolutionary State,h in Between Dissent and Power: The Transformation of Islamic politics in the Middle East and Asia, ed. Khoo Boo Teik, Vedi R. Hadiz, and Yoshihiro Nakanishi (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2014), 66-88. [publisher site] [full text]

[Online] DOI: 10.1057/9781137408808_4

EgIranfs Strategic Culture and the Hegemony Question,h International Relations, 167 (2012), 42-56.

[Online] DOI: 10.11375/kokusaiseiji.167_42

EgHuman Rights and New Jurisprudence in Mohsen Kadivarfs Advocacy of eNew-Thinkerf Islam,h Die Welt des Islams, 51, 3-4 (2011), 358-381. [full text]

[Online] DOI: 10.1163/157006011X603541

EgThe Secularization of a Faqih-headed Revolutionary Islamic State of Iran: Its Mechanisms, Processes, and Prospects,h Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, 29, 3 (2009), 468-482. [full text]

[Online] DOI: 10.1215/1089201X-2009-032

EgPopular Sovereignty and Republicanism in Iranfs Postrevolutionary Electoral Democracy,h in Development of Parliamentarism in the Modern Islamic World, ed. Sato Tsugitaka (Tokyo: The Toyo Bunko, 2009), 134-153. [full text]

EgRevisiting Ayatollah Khomeinifs Doctrine of Wilayat al-Faqih (Velayat-e Faqih),h Orient, 44 (2009), 77-90. [full text] 

[Online] DOI: 10.5356/orient.44.77

EgPolitical Parties,h in Iran Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Islamic Republic, ed. Mehran Kamrava and Manochehr Dorraj (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2008), 390-394. [bookseller][full text]

EgMohsen Kadivar, an Advocate of Postrevivalist Islam in Iran,h British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 34, 3 (2007), 319-329. [full text]

[Online] DOI: 10.1080/13530190701388333

EgThe Middle East in International Relations,h International Relations, 141 (2005), 1-9.

[Online] DOI: 10.11375/kokusaiseiji1957.141_1

EgExamining the Views of eAllamah Majlisi on Legitimate Political Authority (salatanat-i mashrueah) and the Guardianship of the Jurist (wilayat-i faqih),h Orient, 35 (2000), 12-22. [full text]

[Online] DOI: 10.5356/orient1960.35.12

Reprinted in Faslnameh-ye Andisheh-ye Dini (Journal of Religious Thought), Vol. 2, Issue 5, Winter 2001, Pages 163-176.

EgLfÉtat rentier est-il réfractaire à la décmoractie?,h Critique international, 8 (2000), 45-68. [full text]

[Online] DOI: 10.3406/criti.2000.1439


Short Analytical Essays (a.k.a., blog posts)

EgIs Iran Seeking Regional Hegemony?h Atlantic Councilfs IranInsight (April 12, 2016)



EgPower is notoriously unevenly distributed,h an interview with Tehran Times (March 15, 2021) [PDF]

EgFrom Tokyo to Tehran,h an interview in Persian with the staff of The Majles Library of Iran (May 7, 2016).


Associational Affiliations

EAmerican Political Science Association (APSA) – section memberships: comparative politics, comparative democratization

EAmerican Sociological Association (ASA) – section memberships: political sociology, comparative historical sociology, sociology of culture, middle east sociology working group (MESWG)

EInternational Political Science Association (IPSA)

EMiddle East Studies Association of North America (MESA)

EAssociation for Iranian Studies (AIS)





<Back to the university website>


©2021 Yasuyuki Matsunaga. All rights reserved.