Hussein Banai

Assistant Professor, Diplomacy & World Affairs

Specializing in International Relations and Comparative Political Theory


  • Email: banai@oxy.edu

Education: BA York University; MSc. London School of Economics, Ph.D. Brown University

Courses | Publications | Commentary

Professor Banai joined Occidental College in the fall of 2012. He earned his BA in Political Science at York University in Canada (2003), his MSc in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the UK (2005), and his PhD in Political Science from Brown University in the United States (2011). He teaches courses on democratic theory, diplomatic history, and modern Middle Eastern politics. His research interests lie at the intersection of international relations, political theory, and comparative politics with particular focus on topics in democratic legitimacy, US-Iran relations, and diplomacy.


DWA 101 - Introduction to Diplomacy and World Affairs

DWA 241 - International Relations of the Middle East

DWA 244 - Modern Iran: Society and Politics

DWA 285 - Diplomacy, Conflict and Cooperation

DWA 305 - Peoples, States, and Wars (co-taught with Prof. Chase)

DWA 360 - Religion, Ideology, and Democracy in the Middle East

DWA 370 - Democracy in Global Politics

Recent Publications

Co-author (with James Blight, Malcolm Byrne, Janet Lang and John Tirman), Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War (Rowman & Littlefield), 2012. 

“Democratic Solidarity: A New Diplomatic Approach to Democracy Promotion in the Middle East,” Security Dialogue, 44(5-6) October-December 2013.

“Diplomatic Imaginations: Mediating Estrangement in World Society,” Cambridge Review of International Affairs, February 2013.

“The Future of US-Iran Relations,” in U.S.-Iran Misperceptions: A Dialogue (Bloomsbury), 2014.

"Politics and Democratic Consciousness in Modern Iran," in Review of Middle East Studies, 2011. 

“Diplomacy and the Public Imagination,” Chapter Four in Sustainable Diplomacies, edited by Costas Constantinou and James Der Derian, London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.


Zócalo Public Square, Enmity or Amity with Iran?

NBC News, Comments on Obama and Rouhani at the UNGA

Los Angeles Times, "A Test of Wills"

NBC News, Comments on Hassan Rouhani’s Election Victory

Los Angeles Times"Why Iran Says No"

CNN"Contain Israel, Compel Iran" (with Nina Tannenwald)

Muftah"Supreme Tragedy: The Shrinking Power of Ali Khamenei"