I am honored to join the Martin Marty Center as a Senior Fellow. This academic year I intend to further my research on the opportunities and challenges to peacebuilding in Muslim-majority contexts, focusing on the role of religion, traditional authority and the politics of mulitivocality and pluralism in post-conflict contexts. My research draws upon anticolonial and postcolonial thought to investigate broader, inclusive and more locally relevant approaches to building peace in non-western contexts, with a specific emphasis on Afghanistan. My research responds to the current crisis of liberal peacebuilding and questions why the process of rebuilding war-affected Muslim societies remains a peculiarly distant and inaccessible project for the majority of the poorest, traditional, rural, and often non-English speaking population. I argue that the current emphasis on supporting greater local control is not enough, until and unless the politics of difference, multivocality and pluralism are meaningfully addressed. I am eager to take part in discussions with other scholars based at the Marty Center and the broader Chicago community.
Maliha Chishti, Senior Fellow