Fred Halliday – Ireland

Update April 27, 2010: Fred Halliday, 1946-2010: a tribute, by David Hayes, 26 April 2010: The death of political analyst and international-relations scholar Fred Halliday extinguishes a voice and a light that have illuminated world politics for more than forty years. David Hayes pays tribute and presents a selection of his work for openDemocracy … (full text).

Linked with Sovereign Wealth Funds: power versus principle.

Fred Halliday is professor of international relations at the LSE, and visiting professor at the Barcelona Institute of International Studies IBEI. His many books include Islam and the Myth of Confrontation (IB Tauris, 2003), 100 Myths About the Middle East (Saqi, 2005), and The Middle East in International Relations: Power, Politics and Ideology (Cambridge University Press, 2005) Fred Halliday’s “global politics” column on openDemocracy surveys the national histories, geopolitical currents, and dominant ideas across the world. (OpenDemocracy).

He says: “When you get Muslim groups in Europe saying in higher education colleges that Muslim women should not train to be engineers or doctors, that is going against Islam. The problem with groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir is that they say ‘this and only this is Islam’. Let’s take the Caliphate. I always tell Hizb ut-Tahrir to get on the plane and go to Tehran on Mecca and start talking about the Caliphate in those places – they wouldn’t come back. Most Muslims do not believe in the Caliphate as applicable to the contemporary world … ” (full long interview).

His official homepage.


Fred Halliday – Ireland

Sharia Subjects VII: Beattie & Halliday in OpenDemocracy.

Fred Halliday studied at Queen’s College, Oxford, the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the London School of Economics. Halliday wrote his PhD on South Yemen, and despite his prolific output it famously took him 17 years to complete and then publish (Sale, 2002). A one-time member of the International Marxist Group and writer for The Black Dwarf newspaper, since 1983 he has been lecturing at the London School of Economics, and he remains one of Britain’s leading experts on Middle Eastern politics. And a consultant to BP on the region.

At the LSE, Halliday is Professor of International Relations, and a member of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights. He is also a former Convener of the Department of International Relations of the LSE, and a former Chairman of the Research Committee of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). He sits on the advisory council of the Foreign Policy Centre. He is also associated with the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), and appears regularly on ABC, BBC and CBC radio and TV broadcasts. He has lectured widely on superpower relations, development issues, the Middle East and international-relations theory. He is the author of numerous books, including The World at 2000, World Politics, and Two Hours That Shook the World. Six of his books have been translated into Arabic … (full long text).

A panel of human rights experts, including Professor Fred Halliday and Marion Haroff-Tavel, came together at LSE on Thursday 16 May (2002) to debate The Law of War in the Age of Terror. (full long text).

At the Kimmel, Salman Rushdie discusses Islam, fiction and the “aesthetic of dirt”.

… I am at the moment engaged in a long-term project on ways of realising the principles of cosmopolitanism in the 21st century. This involves examining how these monotheistic religions have or can (in text and tradition) be used for cosmopolitan or internationalist purposes, even as they have also been used for ends that are nationalistic, chauvinist, exclusive, not to say murderous. The key question is one of control over interpretation, ultimately of power: who decides which reading to promote. My own argument in this context is that, for much of recent decades, the predominant reading within the Muslim world – by states and opposition movements alike – has been one that sees the socialist, left, forces inside their countries as the enemy. This is not the product of some dogmatic or essentialist necessity: it is a result of politics, particularly the politics of the cold war and of the ways in which Muslim states, and their supporters in the United States, have used Islamic politics to counter the left, in a whole range of countries … (full long text).

It’s time to bin the past.

He says also: “Much of my research career has, however, been concerned with the Middle East, an association I have, for all its travails and turmoil, greatly enjoyed: it certainly beats the Northern Line on a Monday morning. Some of my researching experience has been quite unorthodox, not exactly the paradigm of what we teach as ‘Research Methods’. In the 1970s I stayed in caves with Omani guerrillas, cows and goats and was then banned from that country for many years – Arabia without Sultans, published in 1974, did not go down well there. But at the end of the 1990s I was asked to do some lectures there. When I met the Minister of Information, he said ‘the British’ had stopped them inviting me but made me welcome with a question: ‘is communism really finished?’, and I said, ‘yes, you can relax!’. Then he asked me if I wanted tea or coffee.

Another research project that I really liked was talking with Yemeni immigrants in Britain in the 1970s, staying with them in Cardiff, Liverpool, Sheffield and other places where they had settled over the last 100 years. Most didn’t speak English. This experience led me to conclude that in order to write about immigrant communities in the UK you need to know their country and language first. That was my Orwellian bit, getting to know a Britain I would not otherwise have seen.

And another project which I recall vividly was a series of radio interviews organised in 1995 by the BBC with the people who had most influence on American policy in the Cold War – Henry Kissinger, Robert Gates, George Kennan, Robert McNamara and Paul Nitze, they were all very courteous and informative. We tried to do the same with the Russians but there were not enough senior people who could interview in English”. (full interview text).

In time of war: reason amid rockets.

Find him and his publications on amazon; in his articles on OpenDemocracy; and in his “global politics column” (the right column of the OpenDemocracy-page); on Prospect Magazine; on wikipedia; on Transnational Institute; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.


Centre for Study and Human Rights;

Borders Exist To Be Crossed: Maryam Namazie;

Strange love between the far left and Hizbullah;

The bilious Fred Halliday.

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