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Dr Edward Wastnidge

Profile summary

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Professional biography

Edward Wastnidge joined the Department of Politics and International Studies in 2013. Prior to this he held positions at Manchester Metropolitan University, Keele University and the University of Manchester. He also previously worked for the Open University as an Associate Lecturer. Edward currently leads the Open University’s International Studies programme.

Qualifications

PhD, Middle Eastern Studies, University of Manchester
MA, Middle Eastern Studies, University of Manchester
BSc (Hons), Human Geography, University of Plymouth

Research interests

Edward’s main area of research concerns the politics and international relations of the Middle East and Central Asia, with a focus on contemporary Iranian politics and foreign policy. His current research explores the intersection of ideas and foreign policy, soft power, cultural and religious diplomacy, and the role of identity in international relations. Other research interests include national identity and nationalism, political Islam, and modern Iranian history.

He has carried out research in Iran at the Institute for Political and International Studies and the National Library in Tehran. He has also studied Persian language at the Dekhoda Institute, Tehran.

Edward is currently Deputy Director of the Sectarianism, Proxies and De-sectarianisation (SEPAD) project based at Lancaster University's Richardson Institute, and co-editor of the Identites and Geopolitics in the Middle East book series with Manchester University Press. He was also a co-founder of the journal New Middle Eastern Studies, serving as politics editor from 2011 to 2018. 

Publications

Peer-reviewed books, chapters, and journal articles

'Iran's own 'War on Terror': Iranian foreign policy towards Syria and Iraq during the Rouhani Era', in Luciano Zaccara (ed) The Foreign Policy of Iran under President Hassan Rouhani (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020)

'Central Asia and the Iran-Saudi Rivalry', POMPES Studies, 38, 2020

De-securitizing through Diplomacy: De-sectarianization and the View from the Islamic Republic’, The Review of Faith & International Affairs, Vol 18, issue 1, 2020 (with Samira Nasirzadeh)

'Transnational identity claims, roles and strategic foreign policy narratives in the Middle East', Global Discourse, Vol. 9, issue 4, 2019.

'Imperial grandeur and selective memory: Re-assessing neo-Ottomanism in Turkish foreign and domestic politics', Middle East Critique, Vol 28, issue 1, 2019.

'Transnational religious networks and geopolitics in the Muslim World', Global Discourse, Vol. 9, issue 4, 2019 (with Simon Mabon).

'Iran: political history' in Christopher Matthews (ed) The Middle East and North Africa 2019 (Routledge, 2018, also updated for 2020, 2021 editions)

'Religion and Geopolitics in Iranian Foreign Policy', in Simon Mabon (ed) Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Struggle to Shape the Middle East (Foreign Policy Centre, 2018).

'Saudi misadventure in global politics'Global Affairs, Vol. 3, issue 2, 2017.

'Iran and Syria: An Enduring Axis', Middle East Policy, Vol. 24, issue 2, 2017.

'Central Asia in the Iranian Geopolitical Imagination'Cambridge Journal of Eurasian Studies, Vol.1, issue 1, 2017.

Diplomacy and Reform in Iran: Foreign Policy under Khatami (I.B Tauris, London, 2016).

'Strategic Narratives and Iranian Foreign Policy into the Rouhani Era', E-International Relations, March, 2016.

‘The Modalities of Iranian Soft Power – from Cultural Diplomacy to Soft War', Politics, Vol. 35, issue 3-4. 2015.

‘Iran, the US, and Letter Diplomacy: From Private to Public Debate’, Journal of International Affairs, July 2015.

‘Pragmatic Politics’ Iran, Central Asia and cultural foreign policy’, Central Asia and the Caucasus, Vol. 15, issue 4. 2014. Also available in Russian.

Iran and its Place among Nations’, Iranian Studies, Vol. 45, issue 1, 2012.

‘Détente and Dialogue: Iran and the Organisation of Islamic Conference’, Politics, Religion and Ideology, Vol. 12, issue 4, 2011.

Policy briefings

'Iran's Shia Diplomacy: Religious Identity and Foreign Policy in the Islamic Republic', Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, September 2020: https://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/publications/iran-s-shia-diplomacy-religious-identity-and-foreign-policy-in-the-islamic-republic

'Saudi Arabia and Iran: Resilient Rivalries and Pragmatic Possibilities', in SEPAD Report Saudi Arabia, Iran and De-escalation in the Persian Gulf, June 2020 (with Simon Mabon):  https://www.sepad.org.uk/announcement/saudi-arabia-iran-resilient-rivalries-and-pragmatic-possibilities​

'The Death of a General: What’s next for Iran, Iraq and the wider Middle East?', written contribution to article published by the Foreign Policy Centre, Januray 2020: https://fpc.org.uk/the-death-of-a-general/

'Religion and Geopolitics in Iranian Foreign Policy', in Simon Mabon (ed) Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Struggle to Shape the Middle East (Foreign Policy Centre, 2018)

Analysis, interviews, commentaries and blog pieces

Interview with Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) on assassination of Qassem Soleimani (in Persian)​, February 2020: https://www.ilna.news/fa/tiny/news-870660   

Interview with Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) on regional developments (in Persian), November 2019: https://www.ilna.news/fa/tiny/news-836136 

'US-Iran Crisis: a misleading narrative makes conflict more likely' Middle East Eye. May 2019: https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/us-iran-crisis-how-we-got-here

'Britain's ban on Hezbollah is hypocritical and unhelpful' Middle East Eye. February 2019: https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/britains-ban-hezbollah-hypocritical-and-unhelpful​ 

Interview with Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) on regional developments (in Persian). February 2019: https://t.co/xN0iqF8WIG 

'The U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA was a short-sighted, political move'. Interview with Organization for Defending Victims of Violence, January 2019: http://www.odvv.org/blog-2542-ODVV-interview-The-U-S-withdrawal-from-the-JCPOA-was-a-short-sighted-political-move

'Flawed Policy': US Actions Toward Tehran Will Unify Iranians - Lecturer', article based on interview with Sputnik News World Service Radio, August 2018:  https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201808021066873167-iran-usa-policy-sanctions-deal/ 

Article based on interview with Sputnik News World Service Radio, May 2018:  https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201805121064397982-irgc-commander-prominent-in-iran/   

'Syria: who’s involved, and what do they want?', written contribution to article in The Conversation, April 2018: https://theconversation.com/syria-whos-involved-and-what-do-they-want-95002

'Challenging the Narrative' . Part of the OU's Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG) 'Methods in Motion' blog series. September 2017: http://www.open.ac.uk/ccig/blogs/methods-in-motion-30-edward-wastnidge-challenging-the-narrative 

'Iran's foreign policy under its diplomat par excellence' -  a profile of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Aftab-e Yazd, August 2017 (in Persian): http://aftabeyazd.ir 

'Why Iran's Abandoning Its Nuclear Deal Would Play Into Washington's Hands', article based on interview given to Sputnik News World Service Radio, August 2017: https://sputniknews.com/politics/201708151056489487-us-iran-nuclear-deal/ 

'Obama’s Iran legacy is noble, complicated – and endangered', The Conversation, January 2017: https://theconversation.com/obamas-iran-legacy-is-noble-complicated-and-endangered-65928 

'Methods in Motion: The magpie'. Part of the OU's Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG) 'Methods in Motion' blog series. October 2016: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/people-politics-law/politics-policy-people/social-policy/methods-motion-the-magpie

'Saudi Arabia is paying price of Iran’s global rehabilitation', The Conversation, January, 2016. https://theconversation.com/saudi-arabia-is-paying-price-of-irans-global-rehabilitation-52718

'Stability and cooperation is an asset for Iran, as tough sanctions are lifted', OU News, January, 2016. http://ounews.co/arts-social-sciences/society-politics/stability-and-cooperation-is-an-asset-for-iran-as-tough-sanctions-are-lifted/

‘A cautious Iran ratifies the nuclear deal and starts to re-assert itself’, The Conversation, October, 2015. https://theconversation.com/a-cautious-iran-ratifies-the-nuclear-deal-and-starts-to-re-assert-itself-48398

‘What Iran nuclear framework deal could mean for the region – and the world’, The Conversation, April, 2015. https://theconversation.com/what-iran-nuclear-framework-deal-could-mean-for-the-region-and-the-world-39730

‘Rouhani positions Iran as a vital partner against Islamic State’, The Conversation, September 2014. https://theconversation.com/rouhani-positions-iran-as-a-vital-partner-against-islamic-state-32192

‘Across Pakistan, Iran wields its softest power’, IranWire, July 2014. http://en.iranwire.com/features/5901/

‘EU sees hope in Ashton’s Iran visit’, Asia Times, March 2014. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-200314.html

‘Iran and Pakistan: It’s Complicated’, International Policy Digest, March 2014. http://intpolicydigest.org/2014/03/03/iran-and-pakistan-it-s-complicated/

Video and podcasts

Interview with France24 on Iran-UK tensions, July 2019:  https://www.france24.com/en/video/20190722-uk-calls-european-led-maritime-protection-force-strait-hormuz?ref=tw

'End of year reflections' Interview for the Sectarianism, Proxies and De-sectarianisation (SEPAD) podcast, SEPADPod, July 2019: https://soundcloud.com/richardsoninstitute/sepadpod-end-of-year-reflections

Interview for the Sectarianism, Proxies and De-sectarianisation (SEPAD) podcast, SEPADPod, March 2019: https://soundcloud.com/richardsoninstitute/sepadpod-with-edward-wastnidge

Interview with The East is a Podcast, March 2019: https://www.eastpodcast.com/#/episode42/

Interview given to Sputnik World Service Radio, 'Pompeo and Bolton keen on regime change', August, 2018: https://soundcloud.com/radiosputnik/mike-pompeo-and-john-bolton-are-really-quite-keen-on-regime-change-in-iran-edward-wastnidge

Interview given to Sputnik World Service Radio, 'Soleimani has been a key component building a strategy to combat Islamic State', May 2018:  https://soundcloud.com/radiosputnik/soleimani-has-been-a-key-component-in-building-a-strategy-to-combat-the-islamic-state-analyst

Interview given to Sputnik World Service Radio on Iran-US relations and the nuclear deal, August 2017: https://soundcloud.com/radiosputnik/withdrawing-from-the-nuclear-deal-is-not-in-the-interests-of-iran-edward-wastnidge 

Podcast on  the impact of Trump's election victory on intetrnational politics. 2017: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/people-politics-law/what-impact-will-trumps-victory-have-on-international-politics

Video Q&A from the 2016 PSA Conference. Dr Edward Wastnidge discusses how Soft Power influences his own research and the future of Soft Power in Iran: https://youtu.be/HpuDP_KUZxc 

'The spaces of politics', OpenLearn video. 2015: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/people-politics-law/politics-policy-people/politics/the-spaces-politics 

Audio interview with the Open University's PodMag on Edward Wastnidge's new book Diplomacy and Reform in Iran. 2016: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/people-politics-law/podmag-april-2016 

 

Teaching interests

Edward is the Qualification Director for the Open University’s International Studies programme, and the current module chair of Investigating the Social World (DD103). He wrote the global politics section in the level two politics module Understanding Politics: Ideas and Institutions in the Modern World (DD211), and has contributed to Investigating the Social World (DD103), International Relations: Continuity and Change in Global Politics (DD313) and Modern Political Ideas (DD316).

Open University teaching publications

'Change from within: The Iranian Revolution, 1979', in Andrews, G., (ed) Modern Political Ideas,  Milton Keynes: The Open University. 2019

‘Thinking Globally: The Globalisation of World Politics’, in Heffernan, R. and Wastnidge, E. (eds.) Understanding Politics: Ideas and Institutions in the Modern World, Milton Keynes: The Open University. 2015.

‘The European Union’, in Heffernan, R. and Wastnidge, E. (eds.) Understanding Politics: Ideas and Institutions in the Modern World, Milton Keynes: The Open University. 2015.

‘Culture, Rights and Justice in Global Politics’, in Heffernan, R. and Wastnidge, E. (eds.) Understanding Politics: Ideas and Institutions in the Modern World, Milton Keynes: The Open University. 2015.

‘Challenging the State: Terrorism in Global Politics’, in Heffernan, R. and Wastnidge, E. (eds.) Understanding Politics: Ideas and Institutions in the Modern World, Milton Keynes: The Open University. 2015.

(with Conway, D.) ‘Governing Common Resources’, in Drake, D., Morris, A., Shipman, A. & Wheeler, K. (eds.) Investigating the Social World 2, Milton Keynes: The Open University. 2015.

Publications

‘De-securitizing through Diplomacy: De-sectarianization and the View from the Islamic Republic’ (2020)
Wastnidge, Edward and Nasirzadeh, Samira
The Review of Faith & International Affairs, 18(1) (pp. 23-33)


Central Asia and the Iran-Saudi rivalry (2020)
Wastnidge, Edward
POMEPS Studies, 38


Transnational religious networks and geopolitics in the Muslim World (2019-11)
Mabon, Simon and Wastnidge, Edward
Global Discourse, 9(4) (pp. 593-603)


Transnational identity claims, roles and strategic foreign policy narratives in the Middle East (2019-11)
Wastnidge, Edward
Global Discourse, 9(4) (pp. 605-625)


Imperial Grandeur and Selective Memory: Re-assessing Neo-Ottomanism in Turkish Foreign and Domestic Politics (2019)
Wastnidge, Edward
Middle East Critique, 28(1) (pp. 7-28)


Calling out Saudi misadventure: the Trump presidency and a plea for European diplomatic nous in an ever-turbulent Middle East (2017-08-16)
Wastnidge, Edward
Global Affairs, 3(2) (pp. 165-171)


Iran and Syria: An Enduring Axis (2017-06-19)
Wastnidge, Edward
Middle East Policy, 24(2) (pp. 148-159)


Central Asia in the Iranian geopolitical imagination (2017-02-20)
Wastnidge, Edward
Cambridge Journal of Eurasian Studies, 1, Article #1YRJ04


Strategic Narratives and Iranian Foreign Policy into the Rouhani Era (2016-03-10)
Wastnidge, Edward
E-International Relations


The modalities of Iranian soft power: from cultural diplomacy to soft war (2015-11-30)
Wastnidge, Edward
Politics, 35(3-4) (pp. 364-377)


Iran, the US, and Letter Diplomacy: From Private to Public Debate (2015-07-31)
Wastnidge, Edward
Journal of International Affairs


Pragmatic politics: Iran, Central Asia and cultural foreign policy (2014)
Wastnidge, Edward
Central Asia and the Caucasus Journal, 15(4) (pp. 119-130)


Iran and its Place Among Nations (2012-01)
Wastnidge, Edward
Iranian Studies, 45(1) (pp. 149-152)


Détente and dialogue: Iran and the OIC during the Khatami era (1997–2005) (2011-12)
Wastnidge, Edward
Politics, Religion & Ideology, 12(4) (pp. 413-431)


Diplomacy and Reform in Iran: Foreign Policy Under Khatami (2016-05-30)
Wastnidge, Edward
ISBN : 9781784533281 | Publisher : I.B. Tauris


Iran’s Own ‘War on Terror’: Iranian Foreign Policy Towards Syria and Iraq During the Rouhani Era (2020)
Wastnidge, Edward
In: Zaccara, Luciano ed. Foreign Policy of Iran under President Hassan Rouhani's First Term (2013–2017) (pp. 107-129)
ISBN : 978-981-15-3924-4 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan


Religion and Geopolitics in Iranian Foreign Policy (2018-11-12)
Wastnidge, Edward
In: Mabon, Simon ed. Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Struggle to Shape the Middle East (pp. 9-10)
Publisher : The Foreign Policy Centre (FPC Think Tank Ltd)


Saudi Arabia is paying price of Iran’s global rehabilitation (2016-01-05)
Wastnidge, Edward
The Conversation


A cautious Iran ratifies the nuclear deal and starts to re-assert itself (2015-10-13)
Wastnidge, Edward
The Conversation


Rouhani positions Iran as a vital partner against Islamic State (2014-09-26)
Wastnidge, Edward
The Conversation


‘Across Pakistan, Iran wields its softest power’ (2014-07-11)
Wastnidge, Edward
IranWire


‘EU sees hope in Ashton’s Iran visit’ (2014-03-20)
Wastnidge, Edward
Asia Times


Iran and Pakistan: It’s Complicated (2014-03-03)
Wastnidge, Edward
International Policy Digest