Associate Professor, Political Science
Director, Middle Eastern Studies Program
Ph.D., University of Washington, 2007
Legal pluralism, informal justice systems, comparative religious law (Islamic, Jewish and Hindu), and human and women’s rights in the context of the Middle East, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2018-19, Prof.
Sezgin will be teaching PSC 768 (Fall), PSC 123 and PSC 374 (Spring).
Human Rights under State-Enforced Religious
Family Laws in Israel, Egypt, and India (Cambridge
University Press, 2013) (Winner of American Sociological Association’s Gordon
Hirabayashi Human Rights Book Prize-2014)
Further information on
Prof. Sezgin’s publications can be found on his personal website.
Currently working on a book project entitled Making
“Shari‘a” and Democracy Work: The Regulation and Application of Muslim Family
Laws in Non-Muslim Democracies (under contract with Cambridge University
Press). The book will address the question of how non-Muslim democracies (i.e.,
Israel, India, Greece, and Ghana) have tackled challenges of implementing
shari‘a within a democratic framework. Some of the challenges that reformers in
the Muslim world have to overcome are well-known. But what about the challenges
that legislators, judges and activists in non-Muslim countries need to surmount
to render shari‘a -based laws human/women’s rights- and the rule of compliant?
Has it been easier or more difficult to amend Islamic laws in non-Muslim contexts?
What strategies and tactics non-Muslim governments have adopted to curb such
practices as underage marriages, unilateral divorce or polygyny? Have they been
successful? And most importantly, in the backdrop of so-called Arab Spring,
what lessons, if any, can democratizing Muslim nations learn from experiences
of non-Muslim democracies? Making “Shari‘a” and Democracy Work will
engage these vital questions and many others and provide thought-provoking
answers based on rich archival documentation, interviews and court observations
across four “shariʿa-implementing” non-Muslim democracies.