Associate Fellow, Asia Programme
Farzana Shaikh
Contact information


Farzana Shaikh is a specialist on Pakistan and the regional politics of South Asia. Born in Pakistan, she has a Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York and is a former research fellow of Clare Hall Cambridge.

Her work has been published widely on Pakistan and South Asian Islam and she has held university lectureships in the UK, the US and Europe.

She has been a visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and in 2013 was elected to a fellowship at the Institut d’Etudes Avancées in Paris.

She is a frequent commentator at international events on Pakistan and has testified to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

In 2010 her book, Making Sense of Pakistan, was selected by the Guardian as one of four ‘essential books’ for Prime Minister Cameron’s government. Her current project explores the relationship between the state and the language of Sufi Islam in Pakistan.


  • Pakistan
  • South Asian Islam
  • Bangladesh: politics, history and society
  • Afghanistan: politics and humanitarian issues


2005-PresentAssociate Fellow, Chatham House
2006-07Visitor, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Associate, Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge


Guest Lecturer, University of Basle, Switzerland


Lecturer in South Asian Politics, School of Oriental and African Studies, London


Guest Lecturer, University of Pavia, Italy


Consultant on South Asia for the Emergency and Security Services (ESS) of the UNHCR


Managing editor for South Asia, Keesing's Record of World Events

1984-90Research Fellow in Politics, Clare Hall, Cambridge

PhD in Political Science, Columbia University, New York

  • Will Sufi Islam Save Pakistan? in Shahzad Bashir and Robert Crews, eds. Under the Drones: Modern Lives in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2012
  • Pakistan's Relations with Sri Lanka Serving China? ISN, ETH Zurich, March 2011
  • The Dynamics of Muslim Identity in South Asia (published in Spanish as Las dinamicas de la identitad Musulmana en el sur de Asia) Culturas (special issue on Islam in Asia), Three Cultures Foundation, Seville, No. 6, 2010
  • Pakistan's Perilous Voyage, Current History, Vol 107, No. 712, November 2008
  • The Islamic Bomb: Myth or Reality? (published in Spanish as La Bomba Islamica: Mito o realidad?) Culturas (special issue on Pakistan), Three Cultures Foundation, Seville, No. 1, 2008
  • From Islamisation to Shariatisation: Cultural Transnationalism in Pakistan, Third World Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 3, 2008
  • Pakistan's Army will Still be the Final Arbiter, The Independent on Sunday, 17 February 2008
  • Pakistan: Luck Running Out? The World Today, Vol. 63, No. 12, December 2007
  • Battered Musharraf Playing with Fire, The Times, 11 July 2007
  • The Shariatisation of Pakistani Nationalism, Occasional Paper 29, April 2007, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
  • Pakistan's Foreign Policy Under Musharraf: Between a Rock and a Hard Place with Owen Bennett Jones, Chatham House Briefing Paper, ASP BP 06/01, March 2006
  • India and Pakistan - The Earthquake: Peace Amid the Ruins The World Today, 61, 12, December 2005
  • Pakistan and Israel: Across the Divide The World Today, 61, 10, October 2005
  • Pakistan's Nuclear Bomb: Beyond the Non-Proliferation Regime International Affairs, 78, 1, January 2002


  • Making Sense of Pakistan, London and New York: Hurst and Columbia University Press, 2009
  • Islam and Islamic Groups: a Worldwide Reference Guide, ed., Harlow: Longman, 1992
  • Community and Consensus in Islam: Muslim Representation in Colonial India, 1860-1947, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989