Recommended Readings

 — Last Updated: Years ago, will update soon (Aug 4, 2019). — 


Here, I share with you my lists of recommended readings. They’re composed of readings I’ve come across in the past few years and found to be interesting, thought-provoking, and/or helpful in some way. However, this comes with two important caveats: 1) I don’t necessarily agree with all of them, 2) these are working lists, not comprehensive of the presented categories, and hopefully I’ll be updating them regularly.

Recommended Blogs: 


 Recommended Philosophy Books: 

  • “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “The Portable Nietzsche”, Friedrich Nietzsche (Walter Kaufmann)
  • “Basic Writings”, Martin Heidegger
  • “The Epicurus Reader”, Epicurus
  • “Why Socrates Died: Dispelling the Myths”, Robin Waterfield
  • “The Construction of Social Reality”, John Searle
  • “Phenomenology of Perception”, Maurice Merleau-Ponty
  • “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus”, Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • “Mind, Language, and Society: Philosophy In the Real World”, John Searle
  • “Ethics in Practice: An Anthology”, Hugh LaFollette
  • “Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals”, Immanuel Kant


 Recommended Political Philosophy Books: 

  • “Regarding the Pain of Others”, Susan Sontag
  • “On Photography”, Susan Sontag
  • “An Introduction to Nietzsche as Political Thinker”, Keith Ansell-Pearson
  • “Nietzsche’s Political Skepticism”, Tamsin Shaw
  • “Tensions of Modernity: Las Casas and His Legacy in the French Enlightenment”, Daniel Brunstetter
  • “Responsibility and Judgment”, Hannah Arendt
  • “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil”, Hannah Arendt
  • “On Violence”, Hannah Arendt
  • “On Revolution”, Hannah Arendt
  • “Politics, Philosophy, Terror: Essays on the Thought of Hannah Arendt”, Dana Villa
  • “The Ethics of Ambiguity”, Simone de Beauvoir
  • “Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison”, Michel Foucault
  • “Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977”, Michel Foucault
  • “The Republic”, Plato
  • “Leviathan”, Thomas Hobbes
  • “On Liberty”, J. S. Mill
  • “The Social Contract”, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • “Discoures on Inequality”, Jean-Jacques Rousseau


 Recommended Political Theory (Democracy, Pluralism, & Secularism) Books: 

  • “Agonistics: Thinking the World Politically”, Chantal Mouffe
  • “The Democratic Paradox”, Chantal Mouffe
  • “The Return of the Political”, Chantal Mouffe
  • “Politics and Passions: the Stakes of Democracy”, Chantal Mouffe (article)
  • “Identity/Difference: Democratic Negotiations of Political Paradox”, William Connolly
  • “Pluralism”, William Connolly
  • “Democracy and Its Critics”, Robert Dahl
  • “A Preface to Democratic Theory”, Robert Dahl
  • “The Logic of Democracy: Reconcilling Equality, Deliberation, and Minority Protection”, Anthony McGann
  • “Liberalism Against Populism: A Confrontation Between the Theory of Democracy and the Theory of Social Choice”, William Riker
  • “The Constitution of Deliberative Democracy”, Carlos Santiago Nino
  • “Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse”, Mary Ann Glendon
  • “Political Liberalism”, John Rawls
  • “Religion and Democracy in Contemporary Europe”, Yochi Fischer & Gabriel Motzkin
  • “Rethinking Secularism”, Craig Calhoun
  • “The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics”, Peter Berger
  • “The Problem of Subjectivity and the Critique of Human Rights After Foucault”, Roberto Buonamano (article)


 Recommended Philosophy of Law Books & Articles: 

  • “The Concept of Law”, H. L. A. Hart (book)
  • “Law’s Empire”, Ronald Dworkin (book)
  • “Doing and Deserving: Essays in the Theory of Responsibility”, Joel Feinberg (book)
  • “Persons and Punishment”, Herbert Morris
  • “Getting Even: The Role of the Victim”, Jeffrie Murphy
  • “What, If Anything, Justifies Legal Punishment?: The Classic Debate”, Joel Feinberg
  • “Kant’s Retributivism”, Don Scheid
  • “No Harm, No Foul? Objectivism and the Law of Attempts”, Claire Finkelstein
  • “The Decline of Cause”, Judith Thomson
  • “What Has Philosophy to Learn from Tort Law?”, Bernard Williams
  • “Moral Luck”, Thomas Nagel


 Recommended Feminist Theory Books & Articles: 

  • “Feminism, Capitalism, and the Cunning of History”, Nancy Fraser
  • “Rethinking Recognition”, Nancy Fraser
  • “Postcolonial Feminism, the Politics of Identification, and the Liberal Bargain”, Amalia Sa’ar
  • “Dependency Relations: Corporeal Vulnerability and Norms of Personhood in Hobbes and Kittay”, Shiloh Whitney
  • “Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity”, Judith Butler (book)
  • “Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity”, Chandra Talpade Mohanty (book)
  • “Gender and Nation”, Nira Yuval-Davis
  • “Women and Wars: Contested Histories, Uncertain Futures”, Carol Cohen


 Recommended Miscellaneous Politics Books: 

  • “Making Sense of International Relations Theory”, Jennifer Sterling-Folker
  • “The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power”, Wolfgang Sachs
  • “The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia: Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought”, Cemil Aydin
  • “The American Age: United States Foreign Policy at Home and Abroad 1750 to the Present”, Walter LaFeber
  • “Zones of Twilight: Wartime Presidential Powers and Federal Court Decision Making”, Amanda DiPaolo
  • “Witch Hunts: From Salem to Guantanamo Bay”, Robert Rapley
  • “Monster Theory: Reading Culture”, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
  • “Unthinking the Monster: Twelfth-Century Responses to Saracen Alterity”, Michael Uebel (article)


 Recommended Middle East (Politics) Books: 

  • “Why They Don’t Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil”, Mark Levine
  • “Contending Visions of the Middle East: The History and Politics of Orientalism”, Zachary Lockman
  • “The Middle East in International Relations: Power, Politics, and Ideology”, Fred Halliday
  • “Rethinking Nationalism in the Arab Middle East”, Israel Gershoni & James Jankowski
  • “Dialogues in Arab Politics: Negotiations in Regional Order”, Michael Barnett


Recommended Islam Books:

  • “Islamic Activism: A Social Movement Approach”, Quintan Wiktorowicz
  • “Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of A’isha Bint Bakr”, Denise Spellberg


Recommended Middle East (History) Books: 


  • “Biography of an Empire: Governing Ottomans in an Age of Revolution”, Christine Philliou
  • “A Movable Empire: Ottoman Nomads, Migrants, and Refugees”, Resat Kasaba
  • “The Culture of Sectarianism: Community, History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Lebanon”, Ussama Makdisi
  • “The Striking Cabbies of Cairo and Other Stories: Crafts and Guilds in Egypt, 1863-1914”, John Chalcraft
  • “Fin de Siècle Beirut: The Making of an Ottoman Provincial Capital”, Jens Hanssen
  • “Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity”, Afsaneh Najmabadi
  • “Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest”, Anne McClintock
  • “Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East”, Lila Abu-Lughod
  • “The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire”, Pierce Leslie


  • “North Africa: A History from Antiquity to the Present”, Phillip Naylor
  • “Tunisia: Stability and Reform in the Modern Maghreb”, Christopher Alexander
  • “The Algerian Civil War, 1990-98”, Luis Martinez
  • “Between Feminism and Islam: Human Rights and Sharia Law in Morocco”, Zakia Salime


  • “Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration”, Laleh Khalili
  • “Evolving Nationalism: Homeland, Identity, and Religion in Israel, 1925-2005”, Nadav Shelef
  • “Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity”, Timothy Mitchell
  • “Colonising Egypt: With a New Preface”, Timothy Mitchell
  • “The Great Social Laboratory: Subjects of Knowledge in Colonial and Postcolonial Egypt”, Omnia El Shakry
  • “Dramas of Nationhood: The Politics of Television in Egypt”, Lila Abu-Lughod & Anthony T. Carter
  • “Nurturing the Nation: The Family Politics of Modernizing, Colonizing, and Liberating Egypt 1805-1923”, Lisa Pollard
  • “Revolutionary Womanhood: Feminism, Modernity, and the State in Nasser’s Egypt”, Laura Bier
  • “Feminists, Islam, and Nation: Gender and the Making of Modern Egypt”, Margot Badran
  • “Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War”, Cynthia Enloe

Saudi Arabia

  • “Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia”, Toby Craig Jones
  • “America’s Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier”, Robert Vitalis
  • “Jihad in Saudi Arabia: Violence and Pan-Islamism since 1979”, Thomas Hegghammer
  • “Princes, Brokers, and Bureaucrats: Oil and the State in Saudi Arabia”, Steffen Hertog
  • “Shaping the Saudi State: Human Agency’s Shifting Role in Rentier-State Formation”, Steffen Hertog (article)
  • “Contesting the Saudi State: Islamic Voices from a New Generation”, Madawi al-Rasheed
  • “A Most Masculine State: Gender, Politics, and Religion in Saudi Arabia”, Madawi al-Rasheed
  • “A Society of Young Women: Opportunities of Place, Power, and Reform in Saudi Arabia”, Amelie Le Renard


 Recommended Political Novels: 

  • “1984”, George Orwell
  • “Americanah: A Novel”, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Mine!… someday 🙂


 Recommended Non-Political Novels: 

  • “My Story”, Marilyn Monroe
  • “You Learn By Living”, Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Little Women”, Louisa May Alcott




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