Middle Eastern Politics Expert to Speak – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Middle Eastern Politics Expert to Speak

On Tuesday, April 15, David Siddhartha Patel, one of a small handful of political scientists to conduct fieldwork in Iraq during the war, investigating the role of Islamic institutions in facilitating collective action, will deliver a lecture titled “Ayatollahs on the Pareto Frontier: Islam, Identity and Electoral Coordination in Iraq.” Patel is a faculty member in the Department of Government of Cornell University. The talk will be at 7 p.m. in Albright Auditorium.

From 2003 to 2004, he studied the role of mosques and clerical networks in creating social order, and will be speaking about his personal experiences and observations, as well as his scholarly conclusions.

Currently, he studies and teaches comparative politics with a focus on Middle Eastern politics, Islamic institutions, and political culture. His research analyzes the recurrent ability of Islamic institutions to shape patterns of collection action. Instead of analyzing Islam as shared values or ideology, Patel combines game theory and ethnography to examine how Islamic institutions and symbols can provide individuals information that facilitates powerful political coordination and enhances social solidarity.

Patel conducted field research in Iraq in 2003 through 2004 to understand how mosques and clerical organizations affect local public goods provision and national political coordination. He has also written on changes in female Islamist dress codes and ethnic divisions in the Jordanian Islamic Movement. In addition to Iraq, he has conducted research in Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, and Lebanon.

Patel’s visit is sponsored by the department of political science at HWS. Students, faculty, staff and members of the community are encouraged to attend this important event. Please come early, as space will be limited.