Cyrus Schayegh


Spoken languages
Arabic, English, French, German, Hebrew, Persian, Spanish
Areas of expertise
  • Global history
  • Historiography
  • Decolonization
  • Cold War
  • Empire
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Middle East


PhD, Columbia University, New York City (2004)

Cyrus Schayegh joined the Geneva Graduate Institute in 2017. Before, he was Associate Professor at Princeton University and, in 2005-2008, Assistant Professor at the American University of Beirut. He is currently working on transimperial history (including an introductory book to that field and two edited volumes resulting from a IHEID conference), and on two primary source collections and a series of article-length case studies that bring 20th-century Middle Eastern history to bear on global and imperial history. His most recent books are the monograph The Middle East and the Making of the Modern World (Harvard UP, 2017) and the edited volume Globalizing the U.S. Presidency: Postcolonial Views of John F. Kennedy (Bloomsbury, 2020). 




  • The Middle East and the Making of the Modern World (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2017). Turkish translation: Ortadoğu ve Modern Dünyanın Inşası (Istanbul: Iletisim Yayincilik Press, 2021).
  • Who Is Knowledgeable Is Strong: Science, Class, and the Formation of Modern Iranian Society, 1900-1950 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009). Persian translation: Tavana bovad hark eh dana bovad: ‘elm, tabaqeh, wa-takwin-e jame‘eh-ye modern-e irani, 1280-1330 (Shiraz: Shirazeh, 2022).

Primary Source Collections:

Edited volumes and special journal issues:

  • The Oxford Handbook of Modern Transimperial History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, under contract, forthcoming circa 2026), Cyrus Schayegh, Daniel Hedinger, Nadin Heé, Damiano Matasci, and Shellen Wu.
  • "Empire and cities," Special issue of Urban History 51 (2024) (forthcoming)
  • “Eastern European/Russian-Middle Eastern Relations,” special issue of Contemporary European History, co-edited with Sandrine Kott (2021).
  • Globalizing the U.S. Presidency: Postcolonial Views of John F. Kennedy (London: Bloomsbury Press, 2020) 
  • “A Roundtable on Decolonization,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, co-edited with Yoav Di-Capua (2020).
  • The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates (London and New York: Routledge, 2015), co-editored with Andrew Arsan.
  • A Global Middle East: Mobility, Materiality and Culture in the Modern Age, 1880–1940 (London: Tauris, 2014), co-edited with Liat Kozma and Avner Wishnitzer. 

Peer-reviewed articles and book chapters:

  • "Foreword" to 'Empire and Cities' special issue, Urban History 51 (2024) (forthcoming)
  • "Were postcolonial cities US imperial cities?" Urban History 51 (2024) (forthcoming)
  • "Settler Colonial Studies: A Historical Critique," in Settler Colonial Studies (forthcoming/2024).
  • “A Late/Post-Imperial Region of Difference: The Ottoman Empire and its Successor Polities in Southeastern Europe, Turkey, and the Arab East, c. 1850s-1940s,” Journal of World History 35:4 (forthcoming/2024).
  • "Regions and global history: an Arab-Iranian case study and three observations,” Journal of Levantine Studies 10:1 (2020): 25-44.
  • "Afterword: Non/State Actors, timelines, border and/versus territory, global contexts,” in Regimes of Mobility: Borders and State Formation in the Middle East, 1918-1946, ed. Ramazan Oztan and Jordi Tejel (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2021), 351-362.
  • “Conclusion: Third Parties, Non/State Actors, and the Ambiguities of U.S. Imperial Power,” in American-Iranian Dialogues: From Constitution to White Revolution, ed. Matthew Shannon (London: Bloomsbury, 2021), 203-220.
  • “Introduction and a note on the US imperial-postcolonial field,” in Globalizing the U.S. Presidency, 1-17.
  • “Foreign Gifts and US Imperial Ambiguities: The Kennedy Years,” in Globalizing the U.S. Presidency, 130-149.
  • “Turning Up In Tehran:” Differential Acceleration and the U.S. International Empire,” Passport (September 2019).
  • “A reflection on Sebastian Conrad’s What Is Global History,” sehepunkte 19 (2019), Nr. 7/8 [15.07.2019].
  • “Mohammad Reza Shah’s Autocracy: Governmental Constraints,” Iranian Studies 51:6 (2018): 889-904.
  • “Postwar Societies (Middle East),” in 1914-1918-online: International Encyclopedia of the First World War (May 2018).
  • “The Expanding Overlap of Imperial, International and Transnational Political Activities, 1920s-1930s: a Belgian Case Study,” International Politics  55:6 (2017): 782-802.
  • “Imperial and Transnational Developmentalisms: Middle Eastern Interplays, 1880s-1960s,” in Global Development, ed. Erez Manela and Stephen Macekura (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 61-82.
  • “Iran’s Global Long 1970s: An Empire Project, Civilizational Developmentalism, and the Crisis of the Global North” in Age of Aryamehr: Late Pahlavi Iran and its Global Entanglements, ed. Roham Alvandi (London: Gingko Library, 2018), 262-291.
  • "The Many Worlds of Abud Yasin; or, What Narcotics Trafficking in the Interwar Middle East Can Tell Us about Territorialization," American Historical Review 116 (2011): 273–306.
  • "The Karaj Dam Affair: Emerging Mass Consumerism, the Politics of Promise, and the Cold War in the Early Post-war Third World," Comparative Studies in Society and History 54:3 (2012): 612–43.
  • "1958 Reconsidered: State Formation and the Cold War in the Early Postcolonial Arab Middle East," International Journal of Middle East Studies 45 (2013): 421–43.
  • “The Interwar Germination of Development and Modernization Theory and Practice: Politics, Institution Building, and Knowledge Production between the Rockefeller Foundation and the American University of Beirut,” Geschichte und Gesellschaft 41 (2015): 649–84.
  • "The Mandates and/as Decolonization," in The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates, ed. Cyrus Schayegh and Andrew Arsan (London and New York: Routledge, 2015), 412–19.
  • “‘Seeing Like a State.’ An Essay on the Historiography of Modern Iran,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 42 (2010): 37–61.



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