Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy

Religion and social policy in the Middle East: Beyond the rentier state towards a new ethic of welfare

Principal Investigator: Rana Jawad

Research Team: Burcu Yakut (Kocaeli University), Ali Ashgar Saeidi (University of Tehran), Alexandra Kassir, Daniele Joly (University of Warwick), Gillian Lewando-Hundt (University of Warwick).

Funder: ESRC

Duration: January 2009 - November 2014

Project rationale and aims

Departmental themes
Institute for Policy Research themes

The research will examine what kinds of social welfare services are offered by the government in three countries in the Middle East: Iran, Turkey and Lebanon. It will also look at the social welfare services which are offered by religious welfare organisations in these three countries.

The aim of the study is to find out what social welfare and social policy mean in these three countries in order to make a more general assessment about how social policy works in the region. We are especially interested in finding out about the role of women in religious welfare practices. The research is also particularly interested in finding out about the personal points of view of policy-makers, practitioners and service-users since very little is known about them in the academic studies which already exist.

The research benefits directly from consultation with senior government official as well as directors and religious leaders of faith-based welfare organisations in Iran, Turkey and Lebanon.

The research methods will consist of:

  • Face-to-face interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Documentary analysis of policy statements
  • Participant observation in faith-based organisations and local government centres
  • A review of available data on social security legislation and expenditure in the region drawn from international donor organisations


 Find out more about this project

Name: Dr Rana Jawad
Title: Senior Lecturer
Department: Dept of Social and Policy Sciences
Location: 3 East 3.15
E-mail: rj349@bath.ac.uk
Phone: work+44 (0) 1225 385806