Peter Mandaville is a senior visiting expert at the U.S. Institute of Peace with the religion and inclusive societies team. He brings 25 years of academic, think tank, and government experience focused on the intersection of religion, international affairs, and the Muslim-majority world.

In addition to his role at USIP, Mandaville is also a professor of international affairs in the Schar School of Policy and Government and the director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, both at George Mason University. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and senior research fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.

From 2011-2012, he was a member of the U.S. State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, where he was involved in shaping the U.S. response to the Arab Spring. From 2015-2016 he served as a senior advisor in the Office of the Secretary of State, where he helped to set up the new Office of Religion and Global Affairs. Previous affiliations have included the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Pew Research Center.

He is the author of the books “Islam & Politics” and “Transnational Muslim Politics: Reimagining the Umma,” in addition to several co-edited books, many journal articles, book chapters, op-eds, and commentary pieces in outlets such as Foreign Affairs, the International Herald Tribune, The Guardian, The Atlantic Online, and Foreign Policy.

He has testified multiple times before Congress on topics such as political Islam, U.S. counterterrorism policy, and human rights in the Middle East. His research has been supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, the British Council, and the Henry Luce Foundation.

Publications By Peter

Four Thoughts on Advancing Religious Engagement in Diplomacy and Development

Four Thoughts on Advancing Religious Engagement in Diplomacy and Development

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

By: Peter Mandaville, Ph.D.

After nearly 20 years and across three successive U.S. administrations, it is clear that a bipartisan consensus exists among senior foreign affairs leadership that engaging religious actors to advance key American diplomatic, national security, and development objectives needs to be a priority. With some 84 percent of the world’s population expressing a faith affiliation, the role of religion as a social force around the world—and one that figures centrally in many peacebuilding contexts—cannot be ignored in our foreign relations.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Religion

Whither Islam in Afghanistan’s Political System After the Taliban Talks?

Whither Islam in Afghanistan’s Political System After the Taliban Talks?

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

By: Peter Mandaville, Ph.D.

The question of how and where Islam should fit into future legal and political frameworks has emerged as a major sticking point in the talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Qatar. How this question is resolved will be closely watched by Afghans, who want to ensure their hard-won rights are not sacrificed for the sake of a deal with the Taliban—Afghan women in particular have much at stake. The international community will similarly scrutinize the outcome, and their engagement with Afghanistan after the talks is expected to be conditioned on the contours of any political settlement.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Religion; Peace Processes

Engaging Religion and Religious Actors in Countering Violent Extremism

Engaging Religion and Religious Actors in Countering Violent Extremism

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

By: Peter Mandaville, Ph.D.; Melissa Nozell

By more fully understanding the role of religion in violent extremism and adopting a broad-based and inclusive approach to engaging religious actors, policymakers and practitioners can better advance countering violent extremism objectives. In this report, a former senior policy adviser and a USIP senior specialist explore the nexus of religion and violent extremism.

Type: Special Report

Religion; Violent Extremism

View All