Dr. Shiraz Maher is a member of the War Studies Department at King’s College London and Deputy Director of its International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR). He currently leads the Centre’s research on the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts and also researches the political philosophy of Salafi-Jihadi movements.
Maher is widely acknowledged as one of the leading experts on the current Middle East crisis and on radical jihad. The Washington Post has called him “a respected specialist on Islamic State,” and the BBC described him as “one of the world’s leading experts on radicalisation.” At the King’s Awards in 2015 he received the prize for ‘Excellence in Research Innovation and Impact.’
He has given evidence before three parliamentary committees on the Syrian conflict, the flow of foreign fighters into the country, and the rise of Islamic State. He is an adjunct lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, and was a visiting lecturer at Washington College during the Spring Semester of 2012.
Maher is a contributing writer for the New Statesman, frequently writing on Islamic State and the broader Middle East. He has conducted fieldwork across the world, interviewing members of the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusrah, Ahrar al-Sham and the Free Syrian Army. Most recently, he has conducted interviews with more than 100 Western foreign fighters in Syria.
In 2016 he was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize in journalism for his writings on issues related to radicalisation, foreign fighter mobilisation, and the terrorist threat to Europe. His book, Salafi-Jihadism: The History of an Idea, is published by Hurst (UK) and Oxford University Press (US).