Politics Faculty

Yasmeen Daifallah
  • Title
    • Assistant Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Politics Department
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Office Location
    • Merrill College Faculty Office Annex, 151
  • Mail Stop Merrill/Crown Faculty Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 HIGH STREET
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Political Theory, Middle East Studies
  • Courses Shariah and Political Thinking: Law and Politics in Modern Islamic Thought, Postcolonial Visions of Liberation, Contemporary Political Thought, Women Interpret Islam

Biography, Education and Training

My areas of expertise are Arab and Islamic political thought, postcolonial theory, critical theory, comparative political theory, and Middle East politics. 

I earned my MA and Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Berkeley, and BA in Political Science from Cairo Univeristy. My research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Program, and the University of California President's Faculty Research Fellowship. 

I am interested in studying how the various constitutent parts of our lives orient us towards politics. These include our social and economic condition, our georgraphical location, and our gender, racial, sexual, ethnic, and religious affinities. I am, however, particularly interested in the formative influences that the various cultural traditions that we are raised in, and the intellectual, literary, and aesthetic trends that circulate in our time have on our dispositions towards collective life, well-being, and decision-making. 

Selected Publications


Peer-Reviewed Articles:

Daifallah, Y. 2019. “The Politics of Decolonial Interpretation: Tradition and Method in Contemporary Arab Thought.” American Political Science Review 101 (4): 701–755.


Daifallah, Y. 2019. “The Idea of an Arab-Islamic Heritage.” In Oxford Handbook of Comparative Political Theory, eds. Murad Idris, Leigh Jenco, and Megan Thomas. New York: Oxford University Press.


Book chapters:

Daifallah, Y. 2017. “Turath as Critique: Hassan Hanafi’s Critique of the Modern Muslim Subject.” In Arab Thought Against the Authoritarian Age: Towards an Intellectual History of the Present, eds. Max Weiss and Jen Hanssen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 285-310.


Daifallah, Y. 2017. “Marxism and Historicism in the Thought of Abdullah Laroui.” In Colonial Exchanges: Political Theory and the Agency of the Colonized, eds. Burke Hendrix and Deborah Baumgold. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 217-251.


Daifallah, Y. 2021. “Postcolonial Revolutions and their Afterlives: The Theory and Practice of the Lebanese New Left.” Postcolonial Studies. DOI: 10.1080/13688790.2020.1865516


Daifallah, Y. 2018. “Review of Alexander Orwin’s Redefining the Muslim Community: Ethnicity, Religion and Politics in the Thought of Al-Farabi.” Perspectives on Politics 16 (1): 223-224.


Daifallah, Y. 2014. Topics in Modern Arab Political Thought: Islamic Reformism. Oxford Islamic Studies Online.

Work in Progress:                                                      

Thinking Past Islam and the West: The Political Theory of Abdullah Laroui, Hassan Hanafi, and Mohamed ΚΏAbed Al-Jabri (Book manuscript in preparation for submission to Oxford University Press)

Teaching Interests

Modern Arab political thought; Classical and modern Islamic political and legal thought; postcolonial theory; Women's interpretations of the Islamic tradition; Middle East politics, culture, and society.