Prof Masooda Bano

Professor of Development Studies

Professor Masooda Bano’s 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).

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.

Teaching
Publications
News
In the media

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.

Research Students supervised

Zhifeng Chen
Research Student
Samuel Ritholtz
Research Student (PRS)
Zahidul Sajid
Research Student
Katie Washington
Research Student

Books and monographs

Bano, Masooda (ed) (2018) 'Modern Islamic Authority and Social Change Volume 2: Evolving Debates in the West', Edinburgh University Press
Bano, Masooda (2017) 'Female Islamic Education Movements: The Re-Democratisation of Islamic Knowledge', Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bano, Masooda (with Keiko Sakurai) (eds) (2015) 'Shaping of Global Islamic Discourses: Role of Al-Azhar, Al-Medina, and Al-Mustafa', Edinburgh University Press
Bano, Masooda (with H Kalmbach) (eds) (2012) 'Women, Leadership and Mosques: Changes in Contemporary Islamic Authority', Leiden: Brill
Bano, Masooda (2012) 'Breakdown in Pakistan: How Aid is Eroding Institutions for Collective Action', Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press. (South Asia edition published by Cambridge University Press, New Delhi, 2013)
Bano, Masooda (2012) 'The Rational Believer: Choices and Decisions in the Madrasas of Pakistan', Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. (South Asia edition published by Cambridge University Press, New Delhi, 2013)
Bano, Masooda (with S Deneulin) (2009) 'Religion in Development: Rewriting the Secular Script', Zed Books

Journal articles and special issues

Bano, Masooda (2019) 'Partnerships and the Good Governance Agenda: Improving Service Delivery Through State-NGO Collaborations', Voluntas 30 1270-83
Bano, Masooda (2018) 'Skills Development and International Development Agenda Setting: Lessons from an Intervention in Northern Nigeria', The European Journal of Development Research 30 789-808
Bano, Masooda (2018) 'At the Tipping Point?: al-Azhar’s Growing Crisis of Moral Authority', International Journal of Middle East Studies 50 (4) 715-34
Bano, Masooda (2018) 'Barriers to Primary Completion and Transition in Northern Nigeria: Evidence from a Non-formal Schooling Intervention. ', COMPARE: Journal of Comparative and International Education 5 (1)
Bano, Masooda (2018) 'Buying Consent: The Achilles' Heel of Aid-Induced Community Participation', Journal of South Asian Development 12 (3) 213-35
Bano, Masooda (2018) 'Religion and female empowerment: evidence from Pakistan and northern Nigeria', Canadian Journal of Development Studies / Revue canadienne d'études du développement
Bano, Masooda (with E Ferra) (2018) 'Family versus School Effect on Individual Religiosity: Evidence from Pakistan', International Journal of Educational Development 59 35-42
Bano, Masooda (with H Benadi) (2017) 'Regulating religious authority for political gains: al-Sisi's manipulation of al-Azhar in Egypt', Third World Quarterly 39 (8)
Bano, Masooda (2014) 'Madrasa Reforms and Islamic Modernism in Bangladesh', Modern Asian Studies 48 (4) 911-39
Bano, Masooda (2012) 'Welfare Work and Politics of Jama'at-i-Islami in Pakistan and Bangladesh', Economic and Political Weekly XLVII (01)
Bano, Masooda (2011) 'Negotiating Collaboration in Pakistan: Expertise, Networks and Community Embeddedness', Public Administration and Development 31(4) 262-72
Bano, Masooda (2011) 'Co-Producing with FBOs: Lessons from State-Madrasa Engagement in the Middle East and South Asia', Third World Quarterly 32(7) 1273-89
Bano, Masooda (2010) 'Madrasas as Partners in Education Provision: The South Asian Experience', Development in Practice 20(4&5) 554-66
Bano, Masooda (2009) 'Empowering Women: More Than One Way?', Hagar: Special Issue on Critical Perspectives on Gender and Development 9(1)
Bano, Masooda (2008) 'Contested Claims: Public Perceptions and the Decision to Join NGOs in Pakistan', Journal of South Asian Development 3(1) 87-108
Bano, Masooda (2008) 'Non-profit Education Providers vis-a-vis the Private Sector: Comparative Analysis of NGOs and Traditional Voluntary Organisations in Pakistan', Compare 38(4)
Bano, Masooda (2008) 'Dangerous Correlations: Aid's Impact on NGO's Performance and Ability to Mobilize in Pakistan', World Development 36(11) 2297-313
Bano, Masooda (2007) 'Beyond Politics: the Reality of a Deobandi Madrasa in Pakistan', Journal of Islamic Studies 18(1) 43-68

Chapters

Bano, Masooda (2018) 'Introduction'. In M Bano (ed) Modern Islamic Authorities and Social Change: Evolving Debates in Muslim Majority Countries. Vol. 1 , Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
Bano, Masooda (2018) 'Introduction'. In M Bano (ed) 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.'. In M Bano (ed) 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'. In M Bano (ed) 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'. In M Bano (ed) Modern Islamic Authorities and Social Change: Evolving Debates in Muslim Majority Countries. Vol. 1 , Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
Bano, Masooda (2018) 'Saudi Salafism Amid Rapid Social Change'. In M Bano (ed) 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'. In M Bano (ed) 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'. In M Bano, K Sakurai (eds) 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'. In M Bano, K Sakurai (eds) 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'. In M Bano, H Kalmbach (eds) Women, Leadership and Mosques: Changes in Contemporary Islamic Authority , Leiden: Brill
Bano, Masooda (2009) 'Pakistan's Security Predicament: Religion, Economics or Geopolitics?'. In V Mauer, D Cavelty (eds) 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
17 February, 2020
New book by Masooda Bano explores revival of Islamic rationalism
05 December, 2018
CSIA conference explores future of Salafism
09 August, 2018
Masooda Bano, Diego Sánchez-Ancochea awarded title of Professor
05 July, 2018
New article by Masooda Bano explores religiosity and female empowerment in Pakistan and Nigeria
02 May, 2018
Survey to explore sources of religious influence among Muslim university students in UK, US
27 February, 2018
New article co-authored by Masooda Bano explores family and school effects on religiosity in Pakistan
10 October, 2017
Female Islamic Education Movements: new book by Masooda Bano
17 April, 2015
New Book: Shaping Global Islamic Discourses Co-edited by Masooda Bano
06 November, 2013
Masooda Bano Wins EUR1.4 million ERC Starting Grant
16 March, 2012
Two New Books by Masooda Bano: The Rational Believer and Breakdown in Pakistan

Pages

03 Jun, 2013
'The young women... have heightened expectations but no means to actualise those expectations'. Masooda Bano discusses her research on a BBC The Forum show on 'Curiosity'
Research interests:

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