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Dr. Mohammed M. Hafez

Mohammed HafezStatus


Research Interests 
Politics of the Middle East and North Africa; Islamic Social Movements; Jihadism and Foreign Fighters; Terrorism and Suicide Bombings; Radicalization


Mohammed M. Hafez earned his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2000. He is now an Associate Professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.  Previously, he served as a counterterrorism consultant to the U.S. government and Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

A specialist in Islamic movements and political violence, his books include Why Muslims Rebel: Repression and Resistance in the Islamic World (2003); Manufacturing Human Bombs: The Making of Palestinian Suicide Bombers (2006); and Suicide Bombers in Iraq: The Strategy and Ideology of Martyrdom (2007).

Dr. Hafez is also the author of numerous book chapters and journal articles on Islamic movements, political radicalization, foreign fighters and jihadist ideologies. He regularly briefs government and military analysts on issues related to terrorism, war of ideas, and countering radicalization. Dr. Hafez has made several appearances on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, NPR, C-SPAN, and other national and international media outlets.


Recent Publications

Hafez, Mohammed M. “The Origins of Sectarian Terrorism in Iraq,” in Bruce Hoffman and Fernando Reinares, eds. The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat: From 9/11 to Osama bin Laden’s Death (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2014), pp. 436-460.

Hafez, Mohammed M. “Illegitimate Governance: The Roots of Islamist Radicalization in the MENA,” in Abbas Kadhim, ed. Governance in the Middle East and North Africa: A Handbook (New York, NY: Routledge, 2013), pp. 85-98.

Hafez, Mohammed M. “Martyrs Without Borders: The Puzzle of Transnational Suicide Bombers,” in Marie Breen-Smyth, ed. The Ashgate Companion to Political Violence (Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2012), pp. 185-204.


Previous Publications

Hafez, Mohammed M. and Andre-Walther, “Hamas between Pragmatism and Radicalism,” in Shahram Akbarzadeh, ed. Handbook of Political Islam (New York, NY: Routledge, 2011), pp. 62-73.

Hafez, Mohammed M. “Debating Takfir and Muslim-on-Muslim Violence,” in Assaf Moghadam and Brian Fishman, eds. Fault Lines in Global Jihad: Organizational, Strategic and Ideological Fissures (New York, NY: Routledge, 2011), pp. 25-46.

Hafez, Mohammed M. review of Katrina Dalacoura, Islamist Terrorism and Democracy in the Middle East (2011). Reviewed in Peace Review 25, 1 (2013).

Hafez, Mohammed M. review of Stephen Vertigans, Militant Islam: A Sociology of Characteristics, Causes and Consequences (2009). Reviewed in the Journal of Islamic Studies 22, 1 (2011), pp. 117-118.

Hafez, Mohammed M. review of Thomas Hegghammer, Jihad in Saudi Arabia: Violence and Pan-Islamism since 1979 (2010). Reviewed in The Journal of Politics 73, 02 (2011), pp. 625-626.

Hafez, Mohammed M., review of John Horgan, Walking Away from Terrorism: Accounts of Disengagement from Radical and Extremist Movements. Reviewed in Perspectives on Politics, 8, 4 (December 2010), pp. 1271-1273.

Hafez, Mohammed M. “The Alchemy of Martyrdom: Jihadi Salafism and Debates over Suicide Bombings in the Muslim World,” Asian Journal of Social Science 38, 3 (2010), pp. 362-376.

Hafez, Mohammed M. “Jihad after Iraq: Lessons from the Arab-Afghans” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 32, 2 (2009), pp. 73-94.

Hafez, Mohammed M. review of Kenneth M. Pollack, A Path Out of the Desert: A Grand Strategy for America in the Middle East (2008). Reviewed in The Middle East in London 5, 7 (February 2009), p. 16.

Hafez, Mohammed M. “Radicalization in the Persian Gulf: Assessing the Potential of Islamist Militancy in Saudi Arabia and Yemen” Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict 1 (2008), pp. 1-19.

Hafez, Mohammed M. review of Oliver Roy, The Politics of Chaos in the Middle East (2008); Daniel Byman, The Five Front War: The Better Way to Fight Global Jihad (2007). Reviewed in Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict 1, 2 (July 2008), pp. 194-196.

Hafez, Mohammed M. review of Elizabeth Stephens, US Policy toward Israel: Political Culture in the ‘Special Relationship (2006). Reviewed in International Affairs 84, 2 (2008).

Hafez, Mohammed M. review of Ali Allawi, The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace (2007). Reviewed in Political Science Quarterly 123, 1 (2008).

Hafez, Mohammed M. “Martyrdom Mythologies in Iraq: How Jihadists Frame Suicide Terrorism in Videos and Biographies” Terrorism and Political Violence 19 (Spring 2007), pp. 95-115.

Hafez, Mohammed M. “Radical Islam” in Robert Wuthnow, ed. Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2006).

Hafez, Mohammed M. “Moral Agents, Immoral Violence: Mechanisms of Moral Disengagement in Palestinian Suicide Terrorism,” Jeffrey Victoroff, ed. Tangled Roots: Social and Psychological Factors in the Genesis of Terrorism (Amsterdam, Netherlands: IOS Press, 2006), pp. 292-307.

Hafez, Mohammed M. “Dying to be Martyrs: The Symbolic Dimension of Suicide Terrorism” in Ami Pedahzur, ed. Root Causes of Suicide Terrorism: The Globalization of Martyrdom (NY and Oxford: Routledge, 2006), pp. 54-80.

Hafez, Mohammed M. “Suicide Terrorism in Iraq: A Preliminary Assessment of the Quantitative Data and Documentary Evidence” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 29, 8 (2006), pp. 591-619.

Hafez, Mohammed M. and Joseph M Hatfield, “Do Targeted Assassinations Work? A Multivariate Analysis of Israel’s Controversial Tactic during Al-Aqsa Uprising” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 29, 4 (June 2006), pp. 359-382.

Hafez, Mohammed M. “Rationality, Culture, and Structure in the Making of Suicide Bombers: A Preliminary Theoretical Synthesis and Illustrative Case Study” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 29, 2 (March-April 2006), pp. 165-185.

Hafez, Mohammed M. “Political Repression and Violent Rebellion in the Muslim World” in James JF Forest, ed. The Making of a Terrorist: Recruitment, Training, and Root Causes (Westport, CT: Greenwood/Praeger: 2005); pp. 74-91.

Hafez, Mohammed M. “A Tragedy of Errors: Thwarted Democratization and Islamist Violence in Algeria” in William Crotty, ed. Democratic Development and Political Terrorism (Northeastern University Press, 2005), pp. 301-331.

Hafez, Mohammed M. “From Marginalization to Massacres: Explaining GIA Violence in Algeria” in Qunitan Wiktorowicz, ed. Islamic Activism: A Social Movement Theory Approach (Indiana University Press, 2004), pp.37-60.

Hafez, Mohammed M. and Quintan Wiktorowicz, “Violence as Contention in the Egyptian Islamic Movement” in Quintan Wiktorowicz, ed. Islamic Activism: A Social Movement Theory Approach (Indiana University Press, 2004), pp.61-88.

Hafez, Mohammed M. review of Camille al-Tawil, The Armed Islamic Movement in Algeria: From the FIS to the GIA (Arabic, 1998); Khaled Haroub, Hamas: Political Thought and Practice (2000); Quintan Wiktorowicz, The Management of Islamic Activism (2001). Reviewed in International Journal of Middle East Studies XXXV, 1 (2003).

Hafez, Mohammed M. review of Andrea Nusse, Muslim Palestine: The Ideology of Hamas (1998). Reviewed in International Journal of Middle East Studies XXXIII, 1 (2001).

Hafez, Mohammed M. “Armed Islamist Movements and Political Violence in Algeria” Middle East Journal 54 (Autumn 2000), pp. 572-591.

Hafez, Mohammed M. review of Yezid Sayigh, Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian National Movement (1997); Avraham Sela and Moshe Ma’oz, The PLO and Israel: From Armed Conflict to Political Solution (1997). Reviewed in Millennium - Journal of International Studies 27, 3 (1998).

Hafez, Mohammed M. review of Yagil Levy, Trial and Error: Israel's Route from War to De-escalation (1997). Reviewed in Millennium - Journal of International Studies 27, 1 (1998).

Hafez, Mohammed M. “Explaining the Origins of Islamic Resurgence: Islamic Revivalism in Egypt and Indonesia” The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies 22, 3 (Fall 1997)

Hafez, Mohammed M. review of Andrew Pierre and William B. Quandt, The Algerian Crisis: Policy Options for the West (1996); Scott Hibbard and David Little, Islamic Activism and US Foreign Policy (1997); Magnus Ranstrope, Hizb’allah in Lebanon: The Politics of the Western Hostage Crisis (1997). Reviewed in Millennium - Journal of Interational Studies 26, 3 (1997).

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