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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge
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    Dr Evaleila Pesaran

    01223 762280
    Murray Edwards College
    New Hall
    University of Cambridge
    CB3 0DF

    Fellow in Politics and International Relations; Director of Studies; Tutor

    Human Social and Political Science (HSPS)


    At Murray Edwards, we are positively encouraged to walk on the grass. This is very different from most other Cambridge colleges, where the lawns are forbidden territories! For me, the freedom and openness that we find in the College gardens is a reflection of the welcoming and relaxed atmosphere that can be found across the College. It's a great place to teach and conduct my research.

    Degrees and honours

    • BA in Oriental Studies (Persian) from the University of Oxford (Wadham College).
    • MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
    • PhD in Politics and International Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

    Research interests 

    Her research focuses on processes of economic and political reform in the Middle East, with particular reference to Iran. In the past, she has examined Iran's post-revolutionary struggle to formulate an economic policy that would allow for economic growth while still protecting the national interest from the perceived threats of globalisation and Western imperialism. Now, she is developing the ideas that she encountered in this research by taking on a more historical perspective, looking back to the early days of the Anglo-Persian and then the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP) and trying to find out just how much and in what ways this foreign oil company shaped the growth and development of the Iranian state.


    She has been directing studies and supervising for a number of Politics and International Relations papers here at Murray Edwards ever since her arrival in 2007. She especially enjoys teaching for the Part I papers in these subjects, as they allow her to explore with students the foundations of the discipline, and she continues to get new insights from discussions with our students every year. During her time at the College, she has also served on a number of committees, including the Academic Policy, Development and Finance Committees, to mention a few. Through her participation in these committees, she has seen Murray Edwards grow from strength to strength, and is very optimistic and excited about the future of the College.


    Books and Chapters in Edited Volumes 

    Peer-Reviewed Articles

    Book Reviews

    • 'The Political Economy of Iran under the Qajars: Society, Politics, Economics and Foreign Relations, 1796-1926. Hooshang Amirahmadi. London: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd, 2012', Iranian Studies, Vol. 48, No .4, 2015, pp. 637-641.
    • 'Revolutionary Iran: a history of the Islamic Republic. By Michael Axworthy. London: Allen Lane. 2013', International Affairs, Vol. 89, No. 4, 2013, pp. 1065-1066.
    • 'Ali M Ansari, Confronting Iran: the Failure of American Policy and the roots of mistrust, London, Hurst, 2006', Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol. 20, No. 2, June 2007, pp. 345-346.
    • 'Anna Wilson, (ed.), Lebanon, Lebanon, Saqi Books, 2006', The Middle East in London, Vol. 3, No. 5, November 2006.

    Newspaper Articles

    • 'Didgah-ha-ye Raqib dar bareh-ye Sarmayeh-gozari-ye Khareji dar Iran' [Competing Views on Foreign Investment in Iran], Kargozaraan, 3 Mehr 1385 [25 September 2006].
    • 'Porsesh-e Vazir-e Siyasi az Bakhsh-e Khosusi' [The Minister’s Question for the Private Sector], Shargh, 5 Azar 1384 [26 November 2005].

    Faculty website

    Read Dr Pesaran's profile on the Department of Politics and International Studies website.