Vanessa Martin

Vanessa Martin, Emeritus Professor of Middle Eastern History of the University of London


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Personal profile

Personal profile

 Emeritus Professor of Middle Eastern History of the University of London.

Research interests

My main area of research has been the political, religious and social development of modern Iran from the nineteenth to the late twentieth century. My current research focuses on Shi'ism, specfically the emergence of Islamic radicalism during Iran's first revolution, the Constitutional Revolution of 1906. It follows on from earlier research and publication on society and the beginnings of the divergence between Islam and secularism in that revolutioin.  I had previously worked on bargaining protest and the state, the engagement of ordinary people in the politics of Iran in the nineteenth century.  My research also relates to a study of Ayatollah Khomeini as a political leader, written primarily for university students.  The latter book emphasised not only Khomeini’s political skills, but also his engagement with Islamic mysticism.

I have wide connections with the international community of scholars who work on Iran, and am an Associate Scholar of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Mondes Iranien et Indien, Paris


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • Iran; Shiism