Maziyar Ghiabi


Departmental Lecturer in Modern Iranian History

Faculty / College Address:

Oriental Institute / Wadham College


Research Interests:

Modern & Contemporary History; Ethnography (political, urban, medical, visual); drugs history; interdisciplinary methods; visual anthropology and science and technology.

Regions of interest: Iran, the Levant, Transnational Mediterranean, Global South.

Courses Taught:

Politics and Anthropology of Iran

History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Modern Historical Texts

Recent and Current Projects: 

I am an Italian/Iranian social scientist, ethnographer and historian, currently a lecturer at the University of Oxford and Titular Fellow at Wadham College. Prior to this position, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Paris School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS) and a member of the Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire des Enjeux Sociaux (IRIS). I obtained my Doctorate in Politics at the University of Oxford (St Antony’s College) where I was a Wellcome Trust Scholar in Society and Ethics (2013–2017).  I edited the Special Issue on ‘Drugs, Politics and Society in the Global South’ published by Third World Quarterly. A revised, expanded version of it has been published by Routledge under the title Power and Illicit Drugs in the Global South. My first monograph book is under contract by Cambridge University Press and will appear in Spring 2019, Drug Politics: Managing Disorder in the Islamic Republic of Iran

My interest falls at the crossroads of different disciplinary and intellectual fields, from medical anthropology (medicine and power, addiction, self-therapy), politics (state formation, informal politics), to modern social history across the Middle East and Mediterranean. In this trans-cultural space I work also on documentary making and photography as means of methodological engagement. Following my work on drugs in Iran, I am now dedicating my time to two new projects. The first is a history of prohibition in the transnational Middle East and Mediterranean, starting from Iran, using archives and oral history to see how ideas about prohibition travelled across this region. Contextual to this project, I am writing a history of cannabis in Iran in the last 100 years. My second project is investigating smartphone and internet use among rural communities in central Iran. Following a group of shepherds in the central Iranian plateau, the project unearths the impact of the internet and communication in the life of Iranians, highlighting a microcosm of human existence in contemporary times. I collaborate with numerous researchers working in the Global South or on the Global South.  My contributions come in different languages, including English, French, Italian, Persian, Arabic, and Portuguese.

Publications in 2018:

Monograph Books and Edited Volumes (2018):

Ghiabi, M. Drugs Politics: Managing Disorder in the Islamic Republic of Iran. London: Cambridge University Press, 2019.
Ghiabi, M (ed). Power and Illegal Drugs in the Global South. London: Routledge, 2018. 
Ghiabi, M. et al (ed.). الثورات العربية: عسر التحول الديمقراطي ومآلاته. (in Arabic) Beirut: Doha Institute, 2018.
Ghiabi, M. (ed.). Drugs, Politics and Society in the Global South. Special Issue of Third World Quarterly 39, 2 (2018). Forward by Philippe Bourgois (UCLA).

Articles (2018):

Ghiabi, M., ‘Le Ministère de la Crise : l’Art de Gouverner en Iran et au-delà’, Critique Internationale no. 82, 2018.
Ghiabi, M. "Under the bridge in Tehran: Addiction, Poverty and Capital.Ethnography (2018),  (Open Access)
Ghiabi, M. "Drogues illégales et gestion de l’espace dans l’Iran moderne." Hérodote 2 (2018): 133-151, (Open Access)
Ghiabi, M (corresponding author) et al., ‘Islam and Cannabis: Legalisation and Religious Debate in Iran’, International Journal of Drug Policy, Vol. 56, 2018. (Open Access)
Ghiabi, M. ‘Spirit and Being: Interdisciplinary Reflections on Drugs across History and Politics’, Third World Quarterly 39, 2 (2018). (Open Access)
Ghiabi, M. ‘Maintaining Disorder: The Micropolitics of Drug Policy in Iran’, Third World Quarterly 39, 2 (2018). (Open Access).
Ghiabi, M. 'دولة بلا شعب الدوله الاسلاميه الحرب الاهليه" in الثورات العربية: عسر التحول الديمقراطي ومآلاته. Beirut: Doha Institute, 2018.

Maziyar Ghiabi