Research and analysis continue to influence the thinking and action of Washington’s political circles and participate in shaping policies. There is a think-tank for just about everything: war, peace, poverty, education, health, and foreign policy. There are also think-tanks whose research covers every geographical area and every demographic group. Hardly anyone is not studied or researched in Washington. If you do not present yourself, someone else is going to present you.
The Shia count for 25 percent of the 1.7 billion Muslims around the world, and constitute the majority, or a strong plurality, in several countries that stand at the heart of Washington’s concern: Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon, and Azerbaijan, among others. Yet, there has not been a research institution in Washington with a primary focus on the Shia.
To be sure, there are a few excellent scholars of Shia studies in Washington, scattered among some existing think-tanks. But their work is often confused by the greater volume of casual research by scholars who shift their focus to Shia studies, whenever the demand increases, and produce poor quality research that lacks both depth and context. One hardly needs to present any examples. The Institute of Shia Studies is the first and only Institute in the United States that shall focus exclusively on Shia studies and analysis.
The Institute of Shia Studies welcomes all opportunities of collaboration with other institutions and individual researchers and aspires to complement their efforts in this essential field of research. Our staff and non-resident fellows belong to the best class of expertise and publication track record in the field.