Abbas M. Milani

The Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies, Stanford University
Co-Director, Iran Democracy Project, Hoover Institution
FSI Fellow, by courtesy
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305
650-721-4052 (phone)
650-723-3010 (fax)

Professional Experience

2016-present Adjunct Professor, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University
2011-present Professor (by courtesy), in the Division of Stanford Global Studies
2005-present Director, Iranian Studies, Stanford University
2003-present Co-Director, Iran Democracy Project, Hoover Institution
Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
2003-2011 Visiting Professor of Political Science, Stanford University
1993-2003 Professor of History and Political Science
Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, California
1987-2003 Chair, Department of History and Political Science
Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, California
1988-2003 Research Fellow, Institute of International Studies
Center of Middle Eastern Studies
University of California, Berkeley
1979-1987 Member, Board of Directors, Center for International Studies
Tehran University
1977-1987 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law and Political Science, Tehran University
1977-1978 Research Fellow, Iranian Center for Social Research, Tehran
1975-1977 Assistant Professor, National University of Iran, Tehran


Publications (selected)

Books (Original Works)

Zahedi Archives at Hoover (co – edited with Erik Wakin, forthcoming with Hoover Press.)

Politics & Culture in Contemporary Iran: Challenging the Status Quo, coedited with Larry Diamond, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, Colorado, March 2015.

Negahi Be Shah, A political biography of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, in Persian, Persian Circle, Toronto, Canada, August 2013, second print May 2015

The Shah, A political biography of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Palgrave Macmillan, January 2011

The Myth of the Great Satan, A New Look at America’s Relations with Iran, Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University, July 2010

Eminent Persians: Men and Women Who Made Modern Iran, 1941-1979, Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, NY, 2 volumes, November, 2008.

King of Shadows: Essays on Iran’s Encounter with Modernity, Ketab Corp., Los Angeles, CA., May 2005. Persian text published in the U.S.; second print 2006, third print 2007.

Lost Wisdom: Rethinking Persian Modernity, Mage Publishers, Washington, D.C. 2004; second print, 2005.

The Persian Sphinx: Amir Abbas Hoveyda and the Riddle of the Iranian Revolution, Mage Publishers, 2000, 2002; in Britain, IB Tauris, 2000. Translated by the author into Persian as Moamay-e Hoveyda, published in Iran, Atiy-e Press, and in Washington, D.C. by Mage Publishers; (also translated by Houshang Mahdavi, Abolhol-e Irani, Tehran, 2001;) author’s translation: Book of the Year, 2002, Deutsch Radio; now in eighteenth printing in Tehran, third in Washington; English paperback, Mage Publishers, 2004.

Modernity and its Foes in Iran, Gardoon Press, Germany, 1998; Atiyeh Press, Tehran, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2004, 2005, 2007, Eighth printing 2008.

Tales of Two Cities: A Persian Memori, Mage Publishers, 1996. Paperback, Kodansha, Jan. 1997 (best-seller, San Francisco Chronicle list).

On Democracy and Socialism. (A collection of articles, written with Faramarz Tabrizi), Berkeley, CA: Pars Press, 1987.

Malraux and the Tragic Vision, Tehran: Agah Press, 1982.


Books – Translations into Persian (selected)

Kolakowski, L., Main Currents of Marxism, 3 volumes, Agah Publishers, vol. 1 and 2, (2006); 2nd & 3rd editions (2007); vol. 3, Akhtaran (2008); Third print, 2014

Bulgakov, Mikail, Master and Margarita, Tehran: Nashre-no, 1983, 1990, 1994, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

On Totalitarianism, (an edited, translated and annotated selection composed of Nechaev’s Catechism of a Revolutionary, Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor, selections from Miloz’s Captive Mind, Kolakowsky’s Totalitarianism and the Lie, Kundera’s Future of the Novel, Nisbet’s 1984 Revisited),Tehran, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

Gramsci, Antonio, State and Civil Society, Tehran: Sahar, 1980. Reprinted: Stockholm: Ketab Pishro, 1986; third print: Koln, Germany, 1998; fifth print, Tehran, 1998; sixth print 2004, 2005

Marx, Karl, Critique of the Gotha Program, Tehran: Pejvak, 1979. Reprinted 1980, 1982

Bettelheim, Charles, China Since MaD, Tehran: Ruzbehan Publisher, 1979. Reprinted Paris, 1980

Kautsky, Charles, Foundations of Christianity, Tehran: Arnir Kabir, 1978. Reprinted in 1980


Books – Translations into English (selected)

Ganji, Akbar, The Road to Democracy in Iran, forward by Abbas Milani and Joshua Cohen, MIT University Press, April 2008

Golshiri, H., King of the Benighted (into English). Washington, D.C.: Mage Publishing, January, 1990; paperback edition, 1995; German translation, Surkamp Verlag, 1998



Beyond Incrementalism: A New Strategy for Dealing with Iran, coauthored with Michael McFaul and Larry Diamond, Hoover Institution, May 2005

A catalogue for Creating an Islamic Republic: Iranian Collections from the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, with Cissy Hill, Hoover Institution, May 2004

Reagan and the Social Bases of His Power, Tehran: Katibeh Publishers, 1982

When Revisionists Write History, (an extended critique of Soviet historiography on the history and politics of modern Iran), Tehran: Roozbehan Press, 1979


Articles (selected)

“Democracy in Iran: Why It Failed and How It Might Succeed” By Misagh Parsa, American Journal of Sociology, July 2018

“Veil and Modernity in Iran,” BBC Persian (in Persian), February 14, 2018

“Iran’s 2017 Election: The Opposition Inches Forward”, with Ladan Boroumand, Journal of Democracy, October 2017

“Trump Is Strengthening Iran’s Radicals”, Project Syndicate (translated in eight languages), October 13, 2017

“Democracy, Elections, and Social Media: The Paradoxes of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Journal of Democracy, Fall Issue

“A Trench War in the Digital Age: The Case of Iran” The Caravan, June 12, 2017

“The Rouhani Factor,” Project Syndicate, May 22, 2017

“Reading Reagan in Tehran” co – authored with Michael McFaul, The Washington Quarterly, January 2017

“The Authoritarian Resurgence: Iran’s Paradoxical Regime,” Authoritarianism Goes Global: A Challenge to Democracy, John Hopkins University Press, Spring 2015

“Iran’s Paradoxical Regime,” Journal of Democracy, April 2015

“Ending the Assassination and Oppression of Iranian Nuclear Scientists,” coauthored with Siegfried S. Hecker, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, January 10, 2015

“A Little More East than West: Russia and Iran,”  IranWire, July 28, 2014

“Don’t Expect Iran and the US to Solve the Iraq Crisis Together,” The New Republic, June 18, 2014

“Thomas Jefferson Was A Muslim,” The New Republic, April 25, 2014

“Are Iran and Israel Trading Places?” The New York Times, April 11, 2014

“A Nuclear Energy Program that Benefits the Iranian People,” Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, January 21, 2014

“Two Reasons Why Iran Resumed Nuclear Negotiations,” The New Republic, November 14, 2013

“Iran’s President is Still All Talk, but He’s Saying the Right Things,” The New Republic, September 29, 2013

“More Reasons for Optimism About Iran’s New President,” The New Republic, September 19, 2013

“Iran’s New President Makes a Promising First Move,” The New Republic, August 6, 2013

“Patience with all things in Iran,” The New Republic, June 17, 2013

“The Iran Election is Proving Harder to Fix Than First Thought,” The New Republic, June 13, 2013

“The Ayatollah’s Point Man,” Foreign Policy, June 12, 2013

“Iran: The Genealogy of a Failed Transition,” in Transitions to Democracy, edited by Kathryn Stoner and Michael McFaul, The John Hopkins University Press, 2013

“An Election Foretold,” The New Republic, May 29, 2013

“An ‘Epic’ Mess in Iran,” The New Republic, May 20, 2013

“The Ayatollah in His Labyrinth,” Foreign Policy, April 4, 2013

“The American Voices of the Islamist Regime in Iran,” The New Republic, March 14, 2013

“Iran’s ‘Cyber-Jihad’ Claims Another Victim,” The New Republic, December 11, 2012

“Getting Iran Right This Time Around,” The Caravan, December 11, 2012

“Syria and Iran: Kindred Souls,” Hoover Institution, February 23, 2012

“A Tour of Egypt’s Half-Finished Revolution,” The New Republic, February 17, 2012

“Reading Machiavelli in Tehran,” Hoover Digest, 2011, No. 4

“Is Khamenei the New Putin?” The Daily Beast, September 26, 2011

“How Ahmadinejad’s Regime Tried – and Failed – to Break One Protester’s Spirit,” The New Republic, September 22, 2011

“10 Questions for Ahmadinejad,” The Daily Beast, September 18, 2011

“Desperate Dictatorship,” The New Republic, September 14, 2011

“Iranian Clerics About To Fall?” The Daily Beast, September 13, 2011

“Is Started with the Shah,” coauthored with Charlie Rose, Hoover Digest, 2011, No. 3

“The Inside Story of America’s Favorite Terrorist Group,” The National Interest, August 18, 2011

“Khamenei’s Assault on Iran,” The New Republic, July 28, 2011

“Ahmadinejad vs. The Ayatollah,” The National Interest, June 21, 2011

“The Green Movement: Two Years Later, the Iranian Regime Continues to Brutalize It’s Own People,” The New Republic, June 16, 2011

“Face-Off,” The New Republic, May 6, 2011

“Is Ahmadinejad Islamic Enough for Iran?” Foreign Policy, April 29, 2011

“Where is the Outrage?” The New Republic, March 30, 2011

“Green Day,” The New Republic, February 24, 2011

“Despots Drop the Make-Believe,” Hoover Digest, 2012, No. 1

“A Note of Warning and Encouragement for Egyptians,” The New Republic, January 30, 2011

“The Myth of Operation Ajax,” The National Interest, Jan 24, 2011

“What Iranians Really Think,” The National Interest, Jan 4, 2011

“The Shah’s Atomic Dreams,” Foreign Policy, Dec 29, 2010

“Truths in Tehran,” The New Republic, Dec 16, 2010

“Zoroaster and the Ayatollahs,” The New Republic, Dec 16, 2010

“Neither Crushed nor Co-opted,” Hoover Digest, 2010, No. 4

“Iran’s Hidden Cyberjihad,” Foreign Policy, July/August 2010

“Misreading Tehran,” Foreign Policy, June 7, 2010

“Standing Eight,” The New Republic, April 30, 2010

The Good Ayatollah,” Foreign Policy, March/April 2010

“The ‘Great Satan’ Begs to Differ,” Hoover Digest, 2010, No. 2

“Green Energy,” The New Republic, February 2, 2010

“The Mousavi Mission,” The New Republic, Feb 17, 2010

“The Greening of Islam,” The New Republic, January 13, 2010

“The State of the Opposition is Strong,” The New Republic, January 8, 2010

“Mourning Montazeri,” The New Republic, December 21, 2009

“The Great Satan Myth,” The New Republic, December 8, 2009

“Voices against the Mullahs,” Hoover Digest, 2009, No. 4

“’With Them or With Us,” The New Republic, November 5, 2009

“Exclusive: A Green Ayatollah’s Fatwa Against Nukes,” The New Republic, October 20, 2009

“Opposite Directions,” The New Republic, October 3, 2009

“Diplomatic Circles,” The New Republic, September 26, 2009

“Mullahs on the Verge: Iran’s People, Iran’s Pulpits,” World Affairs, Fall 2009

“The Indictment,” The New Republic, August 10, 2009

“Inside the Civil War That’s Threatening the Iranian Regime,” The New Republic, August 3, 2009

“Articles on Hossein Ala,” General Pakravan and Shapour Bakhtiar, for Encyclopedia Iranica, forthcoming

“Rafsanjani’s Day of Reckoning,” The New Republic, July 16, 2009

“Ahmadinejad II,” The New Republic, July 15, 2009

“The New Democrats,” The New Republic, July 15, 2009

“Tyranny Loses in Iran,”, July 1, 2009

“Beating Bad Karma,” Boston Review,” July/August 2009

“Obama’s Existential Challenge to Ahmadinejad,” Washington Quarterly, April 2009

“Common Cause,” Boston Review, January/February 2009

“Democracy and the Politics of Parliamentary Elections in Iran,” coauthored with Michael McFaul, Brown Journal of World Affairs, Fall/Winter 2008

“Don’t Let Up,” coauthored with Michael McFaul, Hoover Digest, 2008, No.2

“Pious Populist,” Boston Review, November/December 2007

“Russia and Iran: Authoritarians Unite!” Current History, October 2007

“El-milagro del nuevo Milenio,” Vanguardia, July-September 2007

“A Third Way,” coauthored with Michael McFaul, Boston Review, May/June 2007

The Wrong Lessons,” coauthored with Michael McFaul, Hoover Digest, 2007, No. 3

How to Turn Iran Upside Down,” coauthored with Larry Diamond and Michael McFaul, Hoover Digest, 2007, No. 2

What Ahmadinejad Thinks He’s Doing, Hoover Digest, 2006, No. 4

How Iran Can Yet Be Tamed,”coauthored with Michael McFaul, Hoover Digest, 2006, No. 2

“A Win-Win U.S. Strategy for Dealing with Iran,” coauthored with Michael McFaul and Larry Diamond, The Washington Quarterly, Winter 2006

“Playing for the Long Haul in Iran: A Dual-Track Strategy for Arms Control and Democratization,” coauthored with Michael McFaul and Larry Diamond, Brown Journal of World Affairs, Winter/Spring 2006

“Iran’s Peculiar Election: A Historical Perspective,” Journal of Democracy, October 2005

“Iran’s New President,” Hoover Digest, 2005, No. 4

“The Passive Revolution,” coauthored with Jared Cohen, Hoover Digest, 2005, No. 3

“King of the Shadows: Golestan and the Question of Modernity,” Sharg, (Tehran)

“Character as Destiny,” paper presented at Oxford University conference titled, “Public Spaces, Private Lives.” Persian version, Sharg, October 2005, special issue on modernity and the state in Iran.

“U.S. Foreign Policy and the Future of Democracy in Iran,” The Washington Quarterly, Summer 2005

“Daneshkadeh and the question of Modernity in Iran,” Iranshenasi, Summer 2005

“Give Diplomacy a Chance,” coauthored with Michael McFaul, Hoover Digest, 2005, No.1

“Bahar and the Question of Modernity,” Montreal Lectures on Iranian Literature and Culture (Montreal 2005) pages 244-263

“Solidarity with Iran,” coauthored with Michael McFaul, Hoover Digest, 2004, No. 2

“Hoveyda, Amir Abbas,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XII, Fascicle 5

“Hekmat, Sardar Fakher,” Encyclopedia Iranica, Vol, XII, Faschile 2, 150-152

“Hekmat, Ali Asghar,” Encyclopedia Iranica, (with editors of EIR), Vol. XII, Fascicle 2, 145-150

“Alam and the Origins of the Revolution in Iran,” Iranshenasi, Spring, 2004

“U.S. Elections: A Survey,” Sharg, November 3, 2004

Review of a new novel by Z. Hashemi, Keyhan (London), April 2004

“Iran: A Revolution Betrayed,” Hoover Digest, 2003, No. 4

“History and Culture: Hurley’s Dream, How FDR almost brought democracy to Iran,” Hoover Digest, 2003, No. 3

“Can Iran Become a Democracy,” Hoover Digest, 2003, No. 2

“Shadman and the Question of Modernity.” Introduction to the new edition of Taskhir Tamadane Gharb, Tehran, Gameno, 2003, 1-26

“Hakimi, Ebrahim,” Encyclopedia Iranica.

“Golestan and the Question of Modernity,” Iranshenasi, Fall 2002; republished in Iran in Mardomsalar, 2003

“Modernity and the Postmodern in Iran,” Mardomsalar, 13 Ordibehesht 1381 republished in Keyhan of London, 2003

“Qasem Qani,” Encyclopedia Iranica, Vol. X, Fascicle 3

“The Grey of History: Answer to Critics,” Iraneemrooz (Internet magazine), Nov. 2002

“Abbas-Goli Golshaiyan,” Encyclopedia Iranica, Vol. X

“Letter to a Friend,” Jahane Ketab, March 2002; reprinted, Mehregan, Fall 2002

“On Houshang Golshiri,” Iranshenasi, Summer 2000

“Remembering Goishiri,” Azadi, Summer 2000

“Iranian Studies,” Times Literary Supplement, Nov. 14, 1997

“Modernity and Political Thought in Nezami’s Chahar Magalef (The Four Discourses),” Iranshenasi, Fall 1998

“Rereading Sadigi’s Introduction to Aristotle’s Politics,” Irannameh, Fall 1998

“Rostam ol Tavarikh and the Question of Modernity,” Iranshenasi, Fall, 1996

“Narratives of Modernity: Perspectives of an Oriental Despot,” in Moving Boundaries, Ed. Michael Shapiro. University of Minnesota Press, 1995

“Shadman and the Question of Modernity,” Iranshenasi, Spring 1995

“Political Ideas and Theories in the Writings of Sa’di-Sirjani,” Iranshenasi, Winter, 1995. Reprinted in an anthology of essays on Sa’di-Sirjani, Washington, D.C. 1996

“History in Tarikh-e Beyhagi,” Iranshenasi, Spring 1994

“The Politics of Islamic Fundamentalism,” San Francisco Review of Books, April 1994>

“Nasir AI-Din Shah in Europe,” Iranshenasi. Summer 1993

“Tazkeratol Oliya and Modernity,” Iranshenasi, Spring 1992

“Art as Redemption: Mohasses and the Closed Circuit of History,” Iranshenasi, Winter 1992

“Hedayat and the Tragic Vision,” Iranshenasi, Fall 1992

“Tehran and Modernity,” Irannameh, Summer 1991. Reprinted in Katabe, Tehran, ed. Sima Kuban, Tehran, 1992

“Kundera and Modernity,” Kelk, July 1991

“The Wasteland: Millenarian Thought in Contemporary Iranian Novels,” Irannameh, Fall 1989. Reprinted in Selections on Iranian Studies, Ed. Changis Pahlavan, Tehran, 1992

“Kaveh and Modernity,” Iranshenasi, Spring 1990

“On the Islamic Revolution: An Exchange with Bernard Lewis,” New York Review of Books, April 1988

“Chamedan: Tale of Estrangement,” Ketabe Djomeha, January 1988

“Truth, Totalitarianism and the Novel: Kundera’s Perspective,” Ketabe Djomeha, August, 1988

“Two Perspectives: Further Discussions on Koestler,” Naghde Aghah, Fall 1985

“Koestler Revisited,” Naghdeh Aghah, Spring 1985

“Sylone: Return to Fontamara,” Cheraq, Summer 1983

“Historical Notes on Malraux’s ‘La Condition Humaine,’” Naghdeh Agha, Fall, 1983

“Psychoanalysis and History,” Neguine, March 1980

“Iran: Developments during the Last Fifty Years in Iran: Past, Present and Future,

Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, 1975


Editorials, Newspaper Articles and Op-ed Pieces

“How to support Iran’s protesters” New York Daily News, January 4, 2018

“Don’t Oversimplify The Protests In Iran”, NPR, January 3, 2018

“On Pargar,”, March 5, 2017

“A ‘City on a Hill’ as a Fortress in a Moat,” coauthored with Larry Diamond and Michael McFaul, The Atlantic, February 2017

“What the Iran-Deal Debate Is Like in Iran”, coauthored with Michael McFaul, The Atlantic, August 11, 2015, 2nd edition (2015)

“Iran’s Incremental Revolution”, The Atlantic, April 10, 2015

“Are Iran and Israel Trading Places?”, coauthored with Israel Waismel-Manor, The New York Times, April 11, 2014

“Iran’s Democratic Manifesto,” The Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2010

“The Tipping Point in Iran,” The Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2009

“With Them or With Us,” The New Republic, November 5, 2009

“A Green Ayatollah’s Fatwa Against Nukes,” The New Republic, October 20, 2009

“Opposite Directions,” The New Republic, October 3, 2009

“Diplomatic Circles,” The New Republic, September 26, 2009

“An Evening in Support of the Bahais of Iran,” The New Republic, August 17, 2009

“The Indictment: My bizarre role in the Iranian show trial,” The New Republic, August 10, 2009

“Internal Combustion,” The New Republic, August 3, 2009

“Neda Agha-Sultan and Iran’s Opposition,” The New Republic, July 21, 2009

“Clerical Error,” The New Republic, June 17, 2009

“Rafssanjani’s Day of Reckoning,” The New Republic, July 16, 2009

“Ahmadinejad II,” The New Republic, July 15, 2009

“The New Democrats,” The New Republic, July 15, 2009

“Lets Hear the Democracies,” The New York Times, July 6, 2009

“Tyranny Loses in Iran,”, July 1, 2009

“Iran: A Coup in Three Easy Steps,”, June 15, 2009

“Persian Politicking,” Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, Issue #10, Fall 2008

“The Right Way to Engage Iran,” coauthored with Michael McFaul, Washington Post, December 29, 2007

“What Scare’s the Mullahs,” New York Times, February 23, 2007

“Iran’s Weakened Hard-Liners Crave a U.S. Attack,” coauthored with Larry Diamond and Michael McFaul, Christian Science Monitor, February 6, 2007

“How Experts View A Strike Against Iran,” San Francisco Chronicle, October 1, 2006

“Iran President Missing Badly. Ahmadinejad’s crisis deepens as he endangers the petro-loot,” San Francisco Chronicle, July 30, 2006

“Inside Iran’s Fractured Regime,” coauthored with Michael McFaul, Washington Post, June 25, 2006

“A Checking Account for Democracy,” coauthored with Michael McFaul, Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2006

“Revealing Errors: Iran, Jews and the Holocaust: An answer to Mr. Black,”, February 23, 2006

“Iran, Jews and the Holocaust: The beneficent legacy of Persia remembered, San Francisco Chronicle, February 19, 2006

“To Tame Tehran,” coauthored with Michael McFaul, The Washington Post, January 28, 2006

“For Jews, there have always been two Irans,” International Herald Tribune, November 10, 2005

“Regime Change,” The Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2005. An Italian translation published in Corriere della Ser

“Silver Lining,” New York Times, June 30, 2005; reprinted in International Herald Tribune, Friday July 2005

“Cracks in the Land of the Ayatollahs,” coauthored with Michael McFaul, International Herald Tribune, June 17, 2005

“Iranshenasi,” Encyclopedia Iranica, Spring 2005, (article on the history of the Iranshenasi journal)

“Irannameh,” Encyclopedia Iranica, Spring 2005, (article on the history of the Irannameh journal)

“How the U.S. Should take on Iran,” coauthored with Michael McFaul, San Jose Mercury News, November 28, 2004

“Solidarity with Iran,” coauthored with Michael McFaul, Wall Street Journal, Monday, Feb. 23, 2004

“US-Iranian Relations at a Crossroad,” San Francisco Chronicle, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2004

“A Revolution Betrayed,” San Jose Mercury, August 3, 2003

“Blurred Vision,” coauthored with Larry Diamond and Michael McFaul, LA Times, July 20, 2003


Articles and Short-stories – Translations from Persian into English (selected)

“The Executions,” (a selection from Shahrnoush Parsipur’s A Prison Memoir, in The Prison where I Live: The Pen Anthology of Imprisoned Writers, Ed. Siobahn Dowd, New York, Cassell, 1996, pp. 138-142. The article has since been reprinted in several other anthologies)

“Sketching,” a short story by Houshang Golshiri, Literary Review, Vol. 40, No.1, Fall 1996

Short Pieces (For Broadcast on BBC Persian Program, 1995-2004)

“Brief  History of the Iranian Revolution”

“Iranian Artists and the Revolution”

“Khatami and his Place in History”

“On the Perils of Biography: A Discussion of The Persian Sphinx

“Golshiri, An Appraisal”

“US-Iranian Relations: Some Historical Remarks.”

“Karl Popper: a Eulogy”

“Saidi-Sirjani: a Profile”


Introductory Prefaces and Chapters

“Scripting a Revolution: Fate or Fortuna in the 1979 Revolution in Iran”, Scripting Revolution: A Historical Approach to the Comparative Study of Revolutions. Ed. Keith Michael Baker and Dan Edelstein. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015. 307-324.

“Iran: The Genealogy of a Failed Transition”, Transitions to Democracy: A Comparative Perspective. Ed. Michael McFaul and Kathryn Stoner. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

Ganji, Akbar, The Road to Democracy in Iran, forward by Abbas Milani and Joshua Cohen, Cambridge, Massachusetts, A Boston Review Book, The MIT Press, 2008

“Introduction” to Shahrnoush Parsipur’s Blue Logos. San Jose, 1994


Book Reviews

Dr. Misagh Parsa, Democracy in Iran: Why It Failed and How It Might Succeed (forthcoming in American Journal of Sociology, July 2018)

Andrew Scott Cooper, The Fall of Heaven (2016)

BBC Persian Program 


Ohram Pamuk, The Black Book (1995)

Reza Daneshvar, Khosro Khouban (1995)

Dr. Li Zhisui, The Private Life of Chairman Mao (1996)

Isaiah Berlin, The Magus of the North (1996)

San Francisco Chronicle

The following are a selection from approximately 150 book reviews published in the San Francisco Chronicle from 1991 to the 1998:

Huntington, Samuel, Clash of Civilizations
Lewis, Bernar, Islam and the West
Lewis, Bernard, The History of the Middle East
Fukuyama, F., The End of History and the Last Man
Said, Edward, Culture and Imperialism
Said, Edward, Peace and Its Discontents
Eco, Umberto, Misreadings
Eco, Umberto, Six Walks in the Fictional Wood
Eco, Umberto, How to Travel with Salmom
Perez, Shimon, The Future of the Middle East
Glenny, Misha, The Fall of Yugoslavia
Mernissi, Fatima, The Veil and the Male Elite
Zonis, Marvin, Majestic Failure
Armstrong, Karen, A History of God
Mahfouz, Naguib, Arabian Nights and Days
Mahfouz, Naguib. Children of the Alley
Pamuk, Ohran, The Black Book
Akbar, Allah O, A Journey through Militant Islam
Viorst, Milton, The Arabs in Search of the Modern World
Alam, Asadollah, The Shah and I
Ahmed, Leila, Women and Gender in Islam
Makiya, Kanan, Cruelty and Silence
Kadare, Ismail, The Pyramid
Kadare, Ismail, The Three-arched Bridge
Bloom, Harold, Omens of Millenium
Netanyahu, Benjamin, A Place among the Nations
Breytenbach, Breyten, The Memory of Birds in Times of Revolution
Miller, Judith, God Has Ninety-Nine Names



“Democracy, Elections, and Social Media: The Paradoxes of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Journal of Democracy, fall 2007

“An Islamic Utopian: Ali Shariati, A Political Biography,” Ali Rahnema, lranshenasi, Autumn, 2000

“Iranian Intellectuals and the West,” Boroujerd, The Journal of the Middle East, Spring 1998

“Pivot of the Universe,” Abbas Amanat, Iranshenasi, Summer 1997

“The Safavid Roundtable,” (A discussion of aspects of the Safavid era in light of Calmar’s Etudes Safavides and Melville’s Safavid Persia), Iranshenasi, Summer 1997

“Omens of Millennium,” Harold Bloom, Iranshenasi, Autumn, 1996

“Under the Cloak of Hypocrisy,” by Sa’di-Sirjani, Middle East Journal, Winter 1996

“Amin Malout’s Samarkand,” Irannameh, Fall, 1996

“Edward Said and the Peace Process,” Mehregan, Fall 1996

“On Encyclopedia Iranica,” Keyvan, Thurs. Feb. 15, 1996

“A Critique of Modernity,” Babak Ahmadi, Iranshenasi, Fall 1994. Reprinted in Kelk, Tehran, Spring 1996

“Fragile Resistance,” John Foran, Iranshenasi, Summer 1995

“Hedayat’s Blind Owl as a Western Novel,” Michael Beard, Iran Narneh, Summer 1992

“Iranian Culture: A Persianist View,” Michael Hillman, lranshenasi, Summer 1992

“Revising Revisionism,” Anvar Khamenei, Neguine, 1979

“History and Science,” Journal of the Iranian Association of Librarians, Summer 1978


Invited Lectures (selected)

Mar 2018  Panelist, The Islamic Republic of Iran: Continuity or Change?, Stanford University, Stanford, California


Mar 2018 US-Iran relations: Perils and Prospects, Hoover Policy Briefing Dinner, Scottsdale, Arizona


Feb 2018  Whither Iran: The Ebb and Flow of Protests, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona


Feb 2018  Why is Iran Protesting?, World Affairs Council, San Francisco, California


Feb 2018  Faculty Fellow Dialogue speaker, Distinguished Careers Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, California


Nov 2017 U.S.-Iran Relations: Perils or Promises?, Hoover Policy Briefing Dinner, Miami, Florida


Nov 2017 Participant, Striving for Human Rights in Iran, Los Angeles, California


Oct 2017 The Future of US-Iran Relations, Hoover National Security Fellows Program, Washington DC


Oct 2017 Religion and Islamic Fundamentalism, Hoover Retreat Breakout Session


Oct 2016 ISIS, Iran and the Future of the Middle East, Marin Alumni Association


Sept 2017 Democratic Trends and the Middle East Today, Omidyar Network Leadership Forum Global Workshop, Tunisia


Aug 2017 Authoritarian Resurgence in the Middle East, panel for Draper Hills Program, CDDRL


July 2017 Iranian Revolution and the Fall of the Shah, Tirgan Festival, Toronto


July 2017 New Foreign Relations of the US and Mossadeq, Parya Trillium Foundation


June 2017 Radical Islam and US Foreign Policy, Bohemian Grove


June 2017 Iran, Russia, Trump, and ISIS: What is on the Horizon? Policy Briefing luncheon, Midland, Texas


April 2017 From Sayyad Qutb to Seyyed Khamenei: Islamist Challenge of Modernity, Lund University


April 2017 Domestic Politics and Nuclear Negotiations in Iran, presentation at Congressional Fellowship Program, Stanford


Mar 2017 Discussion on Relationship/Persistent Conflict between U.S. and Iran, Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation Graduate Fellows Program


Mar 2017 Confronting the Trump Administration, Stanford Continuing Studies


Nov 2016 Participant, Sir Bani Yas Forum, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Oct 2016 Panelist, Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next President, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, California


Oct 2016 Religion and Islamic Fundamentalism, Hoover Retreat Breakout Session, Stanford University, California


Sep 2016 The Challenge of Radical Islam, Pebble Beach Authors and Ideas Festival


Sep 2016 From Sayyid Qutb to Sayyed Khamenei: A Common Islamist Narrative Against Modernity, Pitzer College, Claremont, California


Sep 2016 Iran, ISIS, and the Future of the Middle East, Hoover Policy Briefing Dinner, Denver, Colorado


Aug 2016 Domestic Politics and Nuclear Negotiations: a Fraught Dialectic in Islamic Iran, Hoover Congressional Fellowship Program, Stanford University, California


Jul 2016 Domestic Politics and Nuclear Negotiations: a Fraught Dialectic in Islamic Iran, Hoover Policy Briefing Luncheon, Washington, D.C.


Mar 2016 Iran, ISIS, and the Future of the Middle East, Hoover Policy Briefing Luncheon, Palm Beach, Florida


Mar 2016 Iran, ISIS, and the Future of the Middle East, Hoover Policy Briefing Luncheon, Palm Beach, Florida


Feb 2016 ISIS, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Future, Hoover Institution Southern California Conference, Pasadena, California


Oct 2015 Iran, ISIS and Sectarian Divides in the Muslim Middle East, Stanford Alumni Association talk, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


April 2015 Culture Wars in Iran: Repressive Tolerance or a New Modernity?, Center for Persian Studies & Culture, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California


April 2015 Keynote Speech at the First Annual Iranian Gala, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts


April 2015 “Culture wars” and democracy in Iran: A new politics?, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts


March 2015 The Future of Modernity in Iran: Culture Wars, The Middle East Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Nov 2014 The Rise of ISIS and the Changing Landscape of the Middle East, The Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, California


June 2013 Iranian Presidential Elections: Implications for Iran, the Region, and the World, World Affairs Council of Northern California


March 2013 Panelist, The Iran Nuclear Crisis: A Roundtable Discussion, World Affairs Council of Northern California


May 2012 Commencement Speaker, Notre Dame de Namur University, CA


Sept 2011 Hoover Institution: Ask the Expert, Hoover Institution, Stanford University CA


March 2011 The Shah and the Ayatollahs: Ruptures and Continuities in Iranian Politics, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, University of Michigan


Feb 2011 What a Nuclear Iran Means, World Affairs Council, Dallas TX


Jan 2011 The Shah, the Ayatollahs, and Iran’s Nuclear Program: Double Talk or Double Standards? California Commonwealth


Jan 2011 The Enduring Influence of Iran’s Last Shah, World Affairs Council of Northern California


July 2009 Hearings on Iran: Recent Developments and Implications for U.S. Policy, Testimony before Committee of Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives


June 2009 Iran’s Clenched Fist Election: What Next for U.S. Foreign Policy?, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington D.C.


Aug 2008 Nuke, Kooks and Democracy in Iran, Authors@Google talk, Goggle, Inc., Mt. View, CA
June 2008 Failed Transitions from Monarchy in the Middle East, Monarchies in Transition Conference, Center on Democracy Development and the Rule of Law, Stanford University, Stanford, California
Apr 2008 Red Sea Cruise Lecturer, Stanford Travel Study Program, Stanford University, Stanford, California
Mar 2008 Leading Matters, Stanford University Alumni Association, La Jolla, California
Feb 2008 Inside Iran: Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies, Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, California
Feb 2008 Intellectuals & the Issue of Modernity: Several Narratives, SUGIA (Study Group for Iranian Affairs) Conference, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Aug 2007 Stanford Executive Program, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Stanford, California
May 2007 Confronting The Iranian Threat: The Way Forward, The Foundation for Defense of Democracies Workshop, Freeport, Bahamas
May 2007 Islam and Science, Muslim Scholar and Entrepreneur Awards, Stanford University, Stanford, California
May 2007 Center for the Study of Democracy, School of Social Sciences
Dialogue on Democracy & Islam Lecture Series, University of California  Irvine, Irvine, California
May 2007 Pacific Union Club, San Francisco, California
May 2007 Bohemian Club Special Programs Committee Conference, Hoover Institution, Stanford, California
Apr 2007 China Influence on Iran’s Foreign and Domestic Policies, On Common Ground, Forum for American/Chinese Exchange at Stanford, Stanford University, Stanford, California
Apr 2007 Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Advisory Board meeting, Stanford University, Stanford, California
Apr 2007 Iran and the Rise of Radical Islam, Stanford Alumni Association,
Los Angeles, California
Mar 2007 Iran – The Emerging Challenge in Mulitple Perspectives, Tel Aviv University, Los Angeles, California
Mar 2007 Civil Resistance and Power Politics, University of Oxford, England
Mar 2007 Nuclear Weapons in A New Century: Facing the Emerging Challenges, Ronald W. Burkle Center for International Relations, UCLA, Los Angeles, California
Feb 2007 Iran’s Foreign and Security Policies, Global Research, University of Rome, Centre for Iranian Studies, University of Durham, Rome, Italy
Feb 2007 The Rise of Political Islam: A Historical Perspective, World Affairs Council of Northern California, San Francisco, California
Sept 2006 Prospects for Democracy in Iran and the Role of the U.S, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
Sept 2006 Iran’s Constitutional Revolution: A One Hundred Year Retrospective Conference, University of Maryland
July 2006 Crises and Change in the Middle East, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
June 2006 Intercultural Exchange and Global Cooperation 9th Cultural Conference, Anaheim, California
April 2006 23rd International Workshop on Global Security, Center for Strategic Decision Research, Berlin, Germany
March 2006 Stabilizing Iraq: Regional Perspectives, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Stanford University, Stanford, California
March 2006 Prospects for Democracy in Iran, Shiraz University School of Medical Sciences, Mahwah, New Jersey
March 2006 Iran and Modernity, Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, California
Feb 2006 The U.S. and Iran, World Affairs Council, San Francisco, California
Nov 2005 Iran & the Engima of Modernity, Canadian Iranian Foundation, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Nov 2005 Lost Wisdom, Persian Poetry & Literature Club, Calgary, Canada
Oct 2005 Iran’s Presidential Election: Implications for Reform and International Security,International Security Forum, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Oct 2005 U.S. Foreign Policy and It’s Choices in Iran, World Trade Club, San Francisco, CA
Oct 2005 Iran’s Nuclear Program:  Past and Present, Hoover Institution Retreat, Stanford, CA
Sept 2005 Iran Democracy: Problems & Prospects, Hoover Institution Breakfast Briefing, Los Angeles, CA
Sept 2005 Iranian Identity, Mehregan Foundation, San Diego, CA
July 2005 Tradition and Modernity in Iran: A Historical Perspective, The Society of Iranian Professionals, Sunnyvale, CA
July 2005 St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, Private Lives and Public Spaces in Modern Iran, Oxford, England
March 2005 Iran’s Future Path, The Ditchley Foundation, Oxfordshire, England
April 2004 The History of the Iranian Revolution, Pluralism Fund, Palo Alto
April 2004 Democracy in Middle East, Woodrow Wilson/Hoover conference, Hoover Institution, Stanford, CA
March 2004 Future of Democracy in Iran, World Affairs Council, Peninsula chapter
July 2003 Iran and the Crisis in Central Asia, World Affairs Council workshop, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
July 2003 Prospects for Democracy in Iran, CISAC, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
July 2003 Democracy and Rule of Law in Iran, Center for Democracy and the Rule of Law, Stanford University
June 2003 Rethinking Persian Modernity, in panel discussion on “Unraveling Iran,” Stanford University
June 2003 The Current Situation in Iran, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Nov 2002 Rethinking Persian Modernity, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nov 2002 Hoveyda and the Question of Modernity, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
April 2002 Democracy in Iran and the Role of U.S. Foreign Policy in its Evolution, World Affairs Council, Marin County Chapter
Feb 2002 Hoveyda and the Question of Modernity in Iran, Yale University
June 2001 The King of the Benighted, and the Poetics of Persian Culture, Princeton University
May 2001 The Genesis of The King of the Benighted, School of Asian and Oriental Studies, University of London
March 2001 Taming the Shrew, Unveiling the Prince: Women in Golshiri’s Prince Ehtejab, Conference on Iranian Women in Cinema, University of Virginia
Oct 27, 2000 Hoveyda and Modern Iranian Politics, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Nov 3, 2000 Rethinking Iranian Modernity, Stockholm International Center for Cultural Exchange
Jun 15, 2000 Purgatory of Exile: Persian Writers in America, Meinz International Conference on the Experience of Exile, Germany
May 25, 2000 Tehran and Modernity: Shahri’s Personal Journey, Conference of Iranian Studies Association, Washington, D.C.
April 27, 2000 US-Iranian Relations and the Question of Democracy, University of Southern Florida
April 22, 1999 Perils of Persian Biography, Center for South East Asia Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
May 28, 1999 Bahar and the Question of Modernity, Iranian Cultural Center, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Nov 18, 1999 Iran and the Prospects of Democracy, World Affairs Council of San Francisco
Nov. 24, 1999 Iran and the Question of Modernity: New Perspectives, Department of Asian and African Affairs, University of Uppsala, Sweden
June 2, 1998 New Historicism and the Persian Context, Dehkhoda Foundation, Berlin, Germany
April 2, 1998 Iran and the West, Symposium on Iran, World Affairs Council of Orange County
Mar 28, 1998 Khatami and the Future of Iran-American Relations, World Affairs Council of Northern California
Jun 21, 1997 Sarkuhi, A symposium, with Robert Hass et al in support of Sarkulli, University of California, Berkeley
Apr 14, 1996 Tales of Two Cities: a Persian Memoir, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Virginia
May 11, 1996 Jafar Shahri and the Question of Modernity, Iranian Professional Society of Portland, Oregon
July 10, 1996 Tehran and Modernity, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
Mar 18, 1996 Rustamol- Tavarikh and the Question of Modernity, University of California, Davis
Oct 14, 1994 Islam: A Historical Perspective, World Affairs Council of San Francisco, CA
Nov 1994 Modernity and the Politics of Identity, MESA Convention, Phoenix, AZ
Mar 23, 1993 Narratives of Modernity: Perspectives of an Oriental Despot, International Studies Association Conference, Acapulco, Mexico
Oct 2, 1992 Borders within Borders, World Affairs Council, San Francisco, CA
Jan 21, 1992 Sufism: A Textual Genealogy, Society of Iranian Professionals, Berkeley, CA
Jan 17, 1991 Hedayat and the Problem of Modernity, Conference on Hedayat, University of Texas, Austin
Aug 30, 1989 Shii Fundamentalism: A Historical Perspective, Society of Iranian Professionals, Berkeley, CA
Aug 15, 1988 Iranian Intellectuals, UCLA Conference on Iranian Intellectuals: 1910-1925
Jun 3, 1988 Hedayat: A Post-Modernist?, Berkeley Society for Iranian Art and Culture
Mar 1988 Shii Fundamentalism: A Textual Genealogy, Society for Iranian Cultural Studies, Washington D.C.
Nov 1987 A Portrait of Contemporary Iranian Intellectuals, Center for Middle East Studies, University of California, Berkeley


Awards, Honors and Scholarships


Richard W. Lyman Award, for extraordinary service to Stanford alumni community and Stanford Alumni Association Programs
2005 BBC profile on life of Abbas Milani as one of Iran’s leading culture makers
2002 Tuin-Winmat Research Travel Fellowship. FDR Library
2002 Eisenhower Library Research Grant
2001 John Kennedy Library Research Grant
2000 Catherine Julie Cunningham Teaching Project Award, Notre Dame de Namur University
1998 George Keller Teaching Excellence Award (first recipient), NDNU
1988 Numerous Faculty Development Research Grants, NDNU


Interviews – Radio and Television

Numerous interviews on BBC, CNN, MSNBC, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Associated Press, Fox News: The John Gibson Show, Voice of America, Radio France, Radio Free Europe, KGO, KBOO, KCSM, KUPS, KURV, Radio and Television of Iran (International Cable), Radio Farda, KQED, KCBS Channel 5, and the Stanford radio station.


Video recordings of speeches, conferences, and television, newspaper, and radio interviews available on the Media page of Abbas Milani’s website:


Magazines and Papers

Pakistan, Polish, German, Brazilian; French magazines and papers: amongst them, Foreign Policy, [Polish], Urdu


Professional Societies

American Association of Political Science

American Academy of Political and Social Science

Association of Iranian Studies


Editorial Advisory Board Memberships


2016-present FSI Middle East Initiative advisory board member
2010-present Stanford in Government Faculty Mentor
2012-present Fulbright Fellowship Selection Committee
2010-present PARS Equality Center
2008-present Knight Fellowship Selection Committee, Stanford University
2008-present Crown Papers, Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University
2004-present Mehregan Foundation
2003-present Iranian Scholarship Foundation


Educational Background

Ph.D., Political Science (1974), University of Hawaii

Dissertation title: Ideology and the Iranian Constitutional Revolution

B.A., Political Science and Economics (1970) University of California, Berkeley


Honorary Degrees

Doctor of Humanities (2012),  Notre Dame de Namur University