Ph.D. University of Washington, Department of Political Science
B.A. University of California, San Diego, Department of Political Science
Areas of Specialization
• Law and society
• Religion and politics
• Politics of the Middle East
Research and Teaching
Tamir Moustafa is Associate Professor of International Studies and Stephen Jarislowsky Chair at Simon Fraser University. Prior to coming to SFU, Moustafa taught at the University of Wisconsin as well as Princeton University and U.C. Berkeley, where he held post-doctoral fellowships. His research stands at the intersection of comparative law and courts, religion and politics, and state-society relations, all with a regional focus on the Middle East. Moustafa’s first major project focused on the politics of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court, the most important experiment in constitutionalism in the Arab World to date. This project culminated in the publication of The Struggle for Constitutional Power: Law, Politics, and Economic Development in Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and Rule by Law: The Politics of Courts in Authoritarian Regimes (Cambridge University Press, 2008, with Tom Ginsburg).
Moustafa’s current project explores the public debates that are generated as a result of dual constitutional commitments to Islamic law and liberal rights in Egypt and Malaysia. In both countries, constitutional provisions enshrining Islamic law and liberal rights lay the seeds for legal friction, and courtrooms serve as important sites of contention between groups with competing visions for their states and societies. The project explores how litigation provokes and shapes competing conceptions of national and religious identity, resolves or exacerbates contending visions of Islamic law, and ultimately bolsters or undermines public perceptions of government legitimacy.
Rule by Law: The Politics of Courts in Authoritarian Regimes (Cambridge University Press, 2008, with Tom Ginsburg).
The Struggle for Constitutional Power: Law, Politics, and Economic Development in Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 2007).
Selected Articles and Book Chapters
“Islamic Law, Women’s Rights, and Popular Legal Consciousness in Malaysia,” Law and Social Inquiry, vol. 38 (2013) 168-188.
“The Political Role of the Supreme Constitutional Court” in Judges and Political Reform in Egypt, edited by Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron (American University in Cairo Press, 2008).
“The Legal Complex in Contemporary Egypt” in Fighting for Political Freedom: Comparative Studies of the Legal Complex and Political Liberalism, edited by Terence Halliday, Malcolm Feeley, and Lucian Karpik (Hart Publishing, 2007).
“Human Rights and Public Interest Litigation in Egypt” in Anthony Tirado Chase and Amr Hamzawy (eds.), Human Rights in the Arab World: Independent Voices, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.
“Law versus the State: The Judicialization of Politics in Egypt” in Law and Social Inquiry, vol. 28 (2003), 883-930.
“The Dilemmas of Decentralization and Community Development in Authoritarian Contexts” Journal of Public and International Affairs, vol. 13 (2002), 123-144.
“Conflict and Cooperation between the State and Religious Institutions in Contemporary Egypt” The International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 32 (2000), 3-22.
Please see CV for a full list of publications.
• American Political Science Association 2004 Edward S. Corwin Award for the best dissertation in the field of public law.
• Western Political Science Association 2004 Best Doctoral Dissertation Award.
• Middle East Studies Association 2003 Malcolm Kerr Dissertation Award, honorable mention.
• Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Grant for the project “Islamic Law and Women’s Rights in Egypt, Indonesia, and Pakistan” 2012-2015
• Carnegie Scholars Program grant for fieldwork in Egypt and Malaysia, 2009-2011
• National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant, Law and Social Sciences Program, 2000-2001
• Social Science Research Council Dissertation Fieldwork Fellowship, 2000-2001
• American Research Center in Egypt Dissertation Fieldwork Fellowship, 2000-2001
• Fulbright Scholar, Cairo, Egypt, 1997-98 Academic Year
• Harvard University, Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School, 2011-2012
• Princeton University, Law and Public Affairs Fellow, 2005-2006
• UC Berkeley, Institute for International Studies Post-Doctoral Fellow 2002-2003