I am interested in the global history of race, particularly antisemitism and Islamophobia, empire, and the genealogy of global politics. My work is focused on the systemic conflict inherent in the West-Middle East relationship, and the intersection of ideas and power that sustain it. In my effort to unearth the intellectual and political foundations of this dysfunctional system, I have been drawn into studying patterns of thought that have developed across the span of modernity and its aftermath, stretching from the Enlightenment up to, and including, Europe’s ongoing War on Terror. As part of this archaeology of the present moment, my interests include the West’s global surveillance apparatus; the relationship between antisemitism and Islamophobia; and the place of Christian theology in Western secularism and global politics. I am also interested in the significant but often neglected role of Jews (real and imagined) in global and imperial history.
My first book was a new history of the Balfour Declaration: The Zionist Masquerade: The Birth of the Anglo-Zionist Alliance, 1914-1918 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). This book re-assessed the origins and historical significance of the Declaration by locating it within the Great War’s global politics of race and nationalism.
I am currently writing a monograph on the European idea of the Middle East and its consequences, for which I was awarded an AHRC Early Career Fellowship and my current Fellowship at the EUI. In connection with this work, I am co-editing with Ben Gidley, Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Europe: A Shared Story? (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming). I am also editing a journal special-issue based on the ErRS symposium ‘Islamophobia and Surveillance: Genealogies of a Global Order‘.
In the UK, I am Reader in History and Chair of the Ethnicity, Race, and Racism Seminar at Edge Hill University. Outside of Edge Hill, I am a member of the Northern UK Jewish Studies Partnership, and the executive committee of the British Association for Jewish Studies.
With regard to policy communities, I work with both political and non-governmental organisations.