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Dr Matthijs van den Bos

Lecturer in International Studies

MSc Middle East in Global Politics Programme Director



  • My research focuses on migration and integration, Shiite Islam, Sufism, geopolitics and religion, political anthropology/sociology, democratization, and new media.
  • Regionally, my interests extend to Iran, the Middle East, Tajikistan, and Europe (e.g., Shiism in Britain, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and France).
  • My PhD dissertation, Mystic Regimes, investigates the long-term socio-political development and cultural survival of Shiite Sufi orders in Iran.
  • Other research I have undertaken since concerns further work on Shiite Sufism, cultural migration, and Dutch-Iranian online and offline transnational networks.
  • My current research foci are European Shiism and (global) Shiite geopolitics, involving both its religious foreign policy formation and transnational alliances.


Areas of research supervision

  • Primary interests in supervision include Shiite politics; Iranian and Islamic foreign policy; post-migration ethnicity; European Islam; and migration and integration.
  • I am also interested in supervision involving Tajikistan; East and West relations; Iranian diasporas; democratization in the Middle East; and new media.
  • I am happy to take on the PhD supervision of serious candidates with well thought-through proposals evidencing high potential and viable projects.


Selected Publications

For an overview, see

  • van den Bos, M. 2018. The Balance of Ecumenism and Sectarianism. Rethinking Religion and Foreign Policy in Iran. Journal of Political Ideologies 23 (1): 30-53.
  • van den Bos, M. 2016. Conjectures on Solṭānᶜalīshāh, the Valāyat-nāme and Shiite Sufi Authority. Sociology of Islam 3 (3-4): 190-207.
  • van den Bos, M. 2012. European Shiism? Counterpoints from Shiites’ organization in Britain and the Netherlands. Ethnicities 12 (5): 556-80.
  • van den Bos, M. 2006. Hyperlinked Dutch-Iranian Cyberspace. International Sociology 21 (1): 83-99.
  • van den Bos, M. 2002. Mystic Regimes. Sufism and the State in Iran, from the late Qajar era to the Islamic Republic. Leiden: Brill.



  • Currently Middle East Politics (PG); Islamist Movements (PG); and International Migration and Transnationalism (UG)
  • Formerly at Birkbeck: Nationalism in International Context (PG); Politics and the Middle East (UG); Authority in Shiite Islam (UG); and Modern Iran (Cert.HE).


Previous academic functions

  • Postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES), University of Amsterdam.
  • Postdoctoral research fellow at the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM), Leiden.
  • PhD researcher at the Amsterdam School for Social Science Research (ASSR), University of Amsterdam.
  • Lecturing at the University of Amsterdam and University College Utrecht.



Membership of professional organisations

  • Middle East Studies Association (MESA) [2003-2012]

Matthijs van den Bos

Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 3926 1539

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