Jennifer London


I am a comparative political theorist who analyzes theories of autocracy, where they come from and how they have been translated into diverse contexts.  My work integrates historical, literary and political analysis to trace autocracy as an evolving concept, which spans pre-Islamic and Islamic writings. I am particularly interested in classical Arabic writings, which I have spent years studying at the University of Chicago, Middlebury College, the Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan and continue to analyze today. I currently pursue this research at UCLA, and I am also a faculty fellow in the Association for Analytic Learning about Islam and Muslim Societies. I received my Ph.D. in political science at the University of Chicago, in December 2009 and then held a Mellon postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for the Humanities at Tufts. I have published articles in History of Political Thought on classical Arabic and Persian theories of justice and on how classical Arabic authors use translation to transform the publics they inhabit.  I have a forthcoming article on how historical methods can advance scholarship in political science in the Annual Review of Political Science, and my manuscript Autocracy and the Foreigner: the Political Thought of Ibn al-Muqaffa‘ is under review.



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