Sohrab Behdad

Sohrab Behdad

Professor Emeritus
Position Type

Previous Employment: In 1972 I took a lecturer position at the Economics Department of Syracuse University. In the following year I left the United States for Iran and joined the Faculty of Economics of Tehran University. I was a member of the Faculty of Economics until 1983, when I left Iran for France and left the university to the gang of hezbullah and Islamic Cultural Revolution aiming to “purify” the university and “reform” economics to its Islamic form (see my “Islamization of Economics in Iranian Universities,” International Journal of Middle East Studies,1995.

While I was at Tehran University, I was also the chief editor of Economics Division of Tehran Technological University Press, 1976-79, and a founding member of National Association of University Professors, formed in fall of 1979. When the universities opened after the revolutionary upheaval, I was Director of Program of Faculty of Economics, and Director of Institute of Economic Development Studies. I was an elected faculty representative to Council of Faculty of Economics (composed of representatives of faculty, staff and students, responsible for the management of Faculty of Economics) from the time that the university was opened in March 1979.

At Denison University: In the fall of 1984 I returned to the United States. I began as a visiting professor at the Department of Economics of Western Michigan University and in the following year began teaching at Denison University. Over the years I have gone trough the rank at Denison: Tenure and promotion to associate professor 1991, professor 1996. Since 2002 I have been the holder John E. Harris Chair in Economics.

Ph.D., Economics, Michigan State University, 1973. M.A., Economics, Michigan State University, 1971. B.S., Electrical Engineering, Michigan State University, 1967

Learning & Teaching


At Denison I have taught courses in Principles of Economics, Introduction to Microeconomics, International Finance, International Banking, Political Economy of Sanctions, Political Economy of the Middle East, and History of Economic Thought.



Selected Publications:

  • Class and Labor in Iran: Did the Revolution Matter? Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, June 2006 (with F. Nomani.)
  • Islam and the Everyday World: Public Policy Dilemmas, London: Routledge, 2006, (with F. N.)
  • Iran after the Revolution: Crisis of an Islamic State, London: I.B. Tauris, 1995 (coedited with S. Rahnema)
  • “Women’s Labour in the Islamic Republic of Iran: Losers and Survivors,” Middle Eastern Studies, 48 (5) 2012 (With F.N.)
  • “Labor Rights and Democracy Movement in Iran; Building a Social Democracy” Northwestern University International Journal of Human Rights, 10(4) 2012 (with F.N.)
  • “What a Revolution! Thirty Years of Class Reconfiguration in Iran,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 29 (1) 2009 (with F.N.)
  • “A Disputed Utopia: Islamic Economics in Revolutionary Iran,” Comparative Studies in Society and History: An International Quarterly, 36 (4) 1994


Professional Memberships

I was a member of the committees that developed the PPE major and International Studies. I have been elected to serve on several committees and boards, and took part in a number of administrative searches. In 1986 I began (with the help of my colleague Paul King) Global Studies Seminars, which for three decades has been going strong. I coordinated it until 2003. Among other responsibilities, I was Executive Secretary and President of Middle East Economic Association (1990-1995) and (founding) member of Board of Directors of International Irania Economic Association since 2012.


Student Collaborations

I have served as supervisor of several honors projects, Summer Scholar projects, Directed Studies, and Senior Research projects.


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