Maggiolini Paolo

Paolo Maria Leo Cesare Maggiolini is a Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor in History of Islamic Asia at the Catholic University of Milan (Italy). He also teaches in the Master in Middle Eastern Studies (MIMES) at the Alta Scuola di Economia e Relazioni Internazionali (ASERI). He is an Associate Fellow at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies. He is co-editor with Kamran Matin (University of Sussex) for the Palgrave series “Minorities in West Asia and North Africa” (MiWANA). His researches are mainly focused on religion and politics in the Middle East and Mediterranean context, with particular concentration on Israel, Iraq, Jordan and Palestine, Arab Christianity in the Middle East, the relationship between religion, national identity and nationalism, and Euro-Mediterranean relations.

Among his recent works: Maggiolini P., Il Regno di Giordania. Frontiere e confini nella storia e nelle istituzioni della monarchia hashemita, Torino: Ananke, 2018. Maggiolini P., Demichelis M. (eds.), The Struggle to Define a Nation. Rethinking Religious Nationalism in the Contemporary Islamic World, Piscataway: Gorgias Press LLC, 2017.

Before joining ISPI Dr. Maggiolini earned his PhD in Institutions and Politics at the Catholic University of Milan and completed his post-doctoral research at the University of Geneva as FIIRD fellow and Levant foundation fellow. He has been also Research Fellow in Political and Social Transformations in the Arab World (Arab-Trans) for the Mediterranean and Middle East Program at ISPI (Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale).



History of Muslim societies: from the rise of Islam to the end of the Umayyad Empire
The main object is providing the necessary research tools in order to understand the historical significance and political impact of the advent of Islam (traditionally known as the “rise of Islam), the foundation of the so-called Islamic world (during the so-called Muslim or/and Arab conquests) and the development of the first Muslim societies during the Umayyad Empire. The course proposes to read such a rich historical dynamic according to the idea of “process”.


Temporalities and perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process
The course aims to provide a clear and precise overview of the Israeli – Palestinian peace process through a deep examination of the political roots of this process (during the 1970s and 1980s), of its evolution (during the 1990s), its aims, logics and setbacks (from Intifada II until today). The course adopts a historical approach and it proposes to reconsider such rich history according to the concept of different “temporalities” and “perceptions” of the issues at stake.
The Arab-Israeli peace process is a broad subject with its different agreements, endless negotiations as well as military and diplomatic crisis. This political dynamic clearly epitomizes the complexity of the history of the state- and nation-building processes within the whole Middle East. Indeed, its history and developments suggest that it is impossible to talk about one single process, but it has been more a multifarious dynamic of negotiations and conflict in the attempt of defining a stable and enduring balance of power between the different political actors of the region. It has a clear bilateral dimension (in the framework of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for territory and existence) but also an intrinsic multilateral pace both involving the international and regional dimensions.


Plurality and Minorities in the Middle East
The course aims to offer an engaged and dynamic account of the principles, policies, strategies that have distinguished the relationship between politics, plurality and diversity in contemporary Middle East. In doing so, the course adopts the perspective of “minority”. It proposes to deconstruct and reconsider the category of minority in the region, with a specific focus on its emergence and development in the history of state- and nation-building processes within the region from the fall of the Ottoman Empire until the Arab uprisings.  the course problematizes the concept of “minority” in regards to the relationship between politics, plurality and diversity in modern societies and states. The category of “minority” has an intrinsic complexity. The course maps the multi-vocal and multi-religious composition of Middle East’s contemporary societies with the aim of explaining the features of Middle East religious, socio-cultural and ethnic diversity. Finally, the course focuses on what can be considered today’s “crisis” of Middle East diversity and plurality, and its political manipulation, analysing today’s identity politics and sectarian divides within the region.


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