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Masooda Bano

Contact

masooda.bano@qeh.ox.ac.uk
+44 (0)1865 271924

Research interests

New institutional economics; informal institutions; religion and development; madrasas; Islamic political movements; and aid's impact on NGOs in the South

Masooda Bano

Professor of Development Studies

Masooda Bano is Professor of Development Studies and Senior Researcher at ODID. Her primary area of interest rests in studying the role of ideas and beliefs in development processes and their evolution and change. Particular emphasis is on understanding the dynamic interplay between material and psycho-social incentives and the consequences of this for individual choices and collective development outcomes. Professor Bano builds large-scale comparative studies combining ethnographic and survey data.

Professor Bano has recently completed a five-year major research project — Changing Structures of Islamic Authority and Consequences for Social Change - A Transnational Review — supported by a €1.4 million European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant. Building on her earlier work where she argues that in order for beliefs to persist they must have everyday relevance, the project studied how both old and new centres of Islamic authority are responding to changed expectations of Muslim youth in Muslim-majority countries as well as those living in the West. Key publications from the project include: The Revival of Islamic Rationalism: Logic, Metaphysics and Mysticism in Modern Muslim Societies (Cambridge University Press 2020) and Female Islamic Education Movements: The Re-Democratisation of Islamic Knowledge (Cambridge University Press 2017); and two edited volumes: Modern Islamic Authority and Social Change: Evolving Debates in Muslim Majority Countries. Vol. 1. (Edinburgh University Press 2018) and Modern Islamic Authority and Social Change: Evolving Debates in the West. Vol. 2. (Edinburgh University Press 2018).

Professor Bano currently holds an ERC Advanced Grant for a major research project – Choosing Islamic Conservatism.

Prior to this Professor Bano held an ESRC/AHRC flagship Ideas and Beliefs Fellowship and an ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator for the research package on Political Economy of Implementation (PET-I) under Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) — a £36.8 million research project funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to understand the causes of learning crisis in the developing world.

Other completed major studies resulted in two book monographs, The Rational Believer: Choices and Decisions in the Madrasas of Pakistan (Cornell University Press) and Breakdown in Pakistan: How Aid is Eroding Institutions for Collective Action (Stanford University Press). 

Between 2008 and 2016, Professor Bano advised on the largest ever education sector support programme rolled out by the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) in Nigeria, leading a number of studies to understand existing education choices in the northern states of Nigeria. She has also designed specific interventions to increase children’s access to primary education under this project, one of which has been profiled by ESRC as being amongst the best examples of social science impact. She has participated in many media interviews including those for BBC World, the BBC World Service (English and Urdu), BBC Radio 4 and her research has also featured in The Guardian (UK), The New York Times (USA), the ESRC website, Oxford University publications, and the Times Education Supplement.

Professor Bano is William Golding Senior Fellow at Brasenose College.

Masooda Bano lectures on Research Methods and the core Development Studies course for the MPhil in Development Studies, supervises MPhil and DPhil theses and offers an option on Gender and Development. During the academic year 2009-10, she also taught a course on Islam and Democracy at SOAS.

  • Chapters

    Bano, Masooda (2018) 'Saudi Salafism Amid Rapid Social Change ', Modern Islamic Authorities and Social Change: Evolving Debates in Muslim Majority Countries. Vol. 1 Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
    Bano, Masooda (2018) 'al-Azhar University: A Crisis of Authority ', Modern Islamic Authorities and Social Change: Evolving Debates in Muslim Majority Countries. Vol. 1 Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
    Bano, Masooda (2018) 'Introduction ', Modern Islamic Authorities and Social Change: Evolving Debates in Muslim Majority Countries. Vol. 1 Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
    Bano, Masooda (2018) 'Diyanet: Taking Center Stage ', Modern Islamic Authorities and Social Change: Evolving Debates in Muslim Majority Countries. Vol. 1 Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
    Bano, Masooda (2018) 'Introduction ', Modern Islamic Authorities and Social Change: Evolving Debates in the West Vol 2 Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
    Bano, Masooda (with Emre Caliskan )(2018) 'Turkish Islamic Debates: Diyanet, Hayrettin Karaman, and Recep Şentürk. ', Modern Islamic Authorities and Social Change: Evolving Debates in Muslim Majority Countries. Vol. 1 Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
    Bano, Masooda (2018) 'The Deobandi Network: Steadfast in Taqlīd ', Modern Islamic Authorities and Social Change: Evolving Debates in Muslim Majority Countries. Vol. 1 Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
    Bano, Masooda (2015) 'Protector of the 'al-Wasatiyya' Islam: Cairo's al-Azhar University ', Shaping Global Islamic Discourses: The Role of Al-Azhar, Al-Medina and Al-Mustafa Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
    Bano, Masooda (with K Sakuri )(2015) 'Introduction ', Shaping Global Islamic Discourses: The Role of Al-Azhar, Al-Medina and Al-Mustafa Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
    Bano, Masooda (2012) 'Female Leadership in Mosques: An Evolving Narrative ', Women, Leadership and Mosques: Changes in Contemporary Islamic Authority Leiden: Brill
    Bano, Masooda (2009) 'Pakistan's Security Predicament: Religion, Economics or Geopolitics? ', Routledge Handbook of Security Studies London: Routledge
  • Working papers

    Bano, Masooda (2009) 'Co-Production: Do FBOs Offer a Potential? ', Non Governmental Public Action Research Programme Working Paper 41 London School of Economics
    Bano, Masooda (2008) 'Engaged yet Disengaged: Islamic Schools and the State in Kano, Nigeria ', Religions and Development Research Programme Working Paper 29 University of Birmingham
    Bano, Masooda (2008) 'Marker of Identity: Religious Parties and Welfare Work: The Case of Jama'at-i-Islami in Pakistan and Bangladesh ', Religions and Development Research Programme Working Paper 34
    Bano, Masooda (2007) 'Allowing for Diversity: State-Madrasa Relations in Bangladesh ', Religions and Development Research Programme Working Paper 13 University of Birmingham
    Bano, Masooda (2007) 'Contesting Ideologies and Struggle for Authority: State-Madrasa Engagement in Pakistan ', Religions and Development Research Programme Working Paper 14 University of Birmingham
Overview
Teaching & Supervision
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Publications
In the media