Robert R. Bianchi
Publish time: 2016-09-17 Browsing times: 10



Professor, author, and program director in international law, political science, and global political economy with special interests in the Islamic world, China, and the Middle East, 1977-Present

·Fulbright U.S. Scholar in China, 2015-2016

Research on China’s expanding relations with the Islamic world through transcontinental and transoceanic connections of the New Silk Road. Hosted by the Middle East Studies Institute of the Shanghai International Studies University.

·University of Chicago Law School, Lecturer in Law, 2003-present

Teach seminars on international and comparative law, including “China and International Law,” “Islam and International Law,” “The Crisis in American-Islamic Relations: Its Impact on International and Constitutional Law,” and “Islamic Law in the Modern World.”

·National University of Singapore, Middle East Institute, Visiting Research Professor, 2011-2014 

Research and writing on China’s growing influence in Middle Eastern and Islamic countries. Writing and lecturing on international politics and security, global economics and business, and the role of religion in social and cultural change.

·Qatar University, Department of International Affairs, Doha, Qatar, Visiting Professor, 2009-2010

Taught international relations and Islamic studies to women from Gulf and Middle Eastern countries in Qatar’s leading national university. Course titles: “Islam and the West” and “Global Dimensions of Comparative Politics.”

·Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies, Nanjing, China, Professor of Law, 2006-2009

Taught international law, comparative law, and American law to Chinese and American students in a two-year master’s program in international relations jointly offered by Nanjing University and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Seminars and courses included “International Law,” “The American Constitution,” “China and International Law,” “Comparative Legal Systems: the U.S. and China,” and “Legal Reasoning and Interpretation.”

·University of Chicago, Associate Professor of Political Science, 1986-1992

Chairman, Undergraduate Program in Political Science Executive Committee, Graduate Program on International Relations

·University of Pennsylvania, Assistant Professor of Political Science, 1984-1986

·American University in Cairo, Egypt, Associate Professor of Political Science, 1980-1984

Chairman, Graduate Program in International Political Economy

·Monterey Institute of International Studies, Assistant Professor of Political Science, 1978-1979

Director, Graduate Program in Middle Eastern Studies

·University of Illinois at Chicago, Assistant Professor of Political Science, 1977-1978


Attorney-at-law in private practice. Member of the Illinois Bar and of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Bar, 1995-Present

·Collaborated on several high-profile commercial litigations that tested new standards in anti-bribery laws, corporate governance, antitrust, and drug safety. Major cases have included corruption charges against the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program in Iraq, a S.E.C. investigation of securities fraud by an international newspaper conglomerate, a Justice Department review of the largest merger in electronic commerce, and a class action product liability claim against a global pharmaceutical firm.

·Advisor on immigration and asylum law to attorneys representing asylum seekers fleeing persecution because of political opinion, religious belief, and ethnic origin. Represented clients from Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

·Expert and author on Islamic Finance and Investment. Advised financial professionals, government regulators, and legal scholars in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia on developing financial products and institutions that comply with both Islamic and national legal requirements.

·Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, Litigating Intern, 1994

Represented patients in state mental hospitals in federal and state litigation that won recognition of their right of access to the courts. Represented two criminal defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Consulting      Consultant to government agencies and international organizations, 1975-Present

Clients include the World Bank, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the National Intelligence Council, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Agency for International Development, the Peace Corps, the American Bar Association, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense, and the Government of Afghanistan.

Typical projects concern managing political and military alliances with Asian and Middle Eastern states, strengthening civil society and democracy movements, building economic reform coalitions in developing countries, and reconstructing the legal and constitutional systems of war-torn nations.


University of Chicago Law School, Juris Doctor, 1995

University of Chicago, Ph.D. in Political Science, 1977

University of Chicago, M.A. in Social Sciences, 1968

University of Chicago, B.A. in Political Science, 1966

The Laboratory School of the University of Chicago



·The Crescent and the Dragon: Islamic Dimensions of China’s Great Leap Outward. Work in progress. Examining China’s deepening relations with the Islamic World and their impact on the shifting balance of power in Eurasia and Africa with particular attention to Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, Central Asia, the Arab Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa.

·Islamic Globalization: Pilgrimage, Capitalism, Democracy, and Diplomacy. Singapore and London: World Scientific Publishing Co., 2013. Examines the Muslim world's growing importance in creating a more multipolar and multicultural international system. Integrates the disciplines of religion, politics, economics, law, and international relations highlighting developments in the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Provides new insights into the rapidly growing ties between China and the Islamic world, exploring their impact on the balance of power in Eurasia and beyond. E-book available online

Reviews available at and in Chinese at伊斯兰的全球化:朝圣,资本主义,民主和外交

·Guests of God: Pilgrimage and Politics in the Islamic World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Winner of the Albert Hourani Book Prize Award of the Middle East Studies Association for the best book of 2005. Chosen as one of the outstanding books on the Middle East for 2004-2005 by Foreign Affairs magazine. Paperback edition, 2008. E-book editions, 2009 and 2013. Arabic translation as Duyuf al-Rahman: al-Hajj wa al-Siyasa fi al-‘Alam al-Islami, by Obeikan Publishing Company, Saudi Arabia, 2007. Analysis of the pilgrimage to Mecca (the Hajj) and its impact on world politics and law. Based on fieldwork in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Senegal. Reviews and sample chapter available online

Online edition at

Arabaic translation at

·Unruly Corporatism: Associational Life in Twentieth Century Egypt. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. Study of the clash between nascent civil society and authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and Asia. Examines protest movements against the Sadat and Mubarak governments in Egypt and compares them with similar revolts in Iran, South Korea, India, and the Philippines.

·Interest Groups and Political Development in Turkey. Princeton University Press, 1984. Reissued in ebook and paperback in the Princeton Legacy Library series, 2014. A comprehensive and comparative study of associational life in Turkey, including labor unions, business chambers, professional syndicates, and farmers groups as well as religious, cultural, and community organizations. Comparison of group politics in Western Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Nominated for the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award of the American Political Science Association as the best book of the year in the field of comparative politics.

Monographs, Book Chapters, and Articles

·“The Hajj and Politics in China.” In Muslim Pilgrimage in the Modern World. Edited by Babak Rahimi and Peyman Eshaghi. Durham: University of North Carolina Press, forthcomming 2016.

·“Islamic Globalization and Its Role in China’s Future.” Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (in Asia), Shanghai International Studies University, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 9, No. 3, September 2015.

·Chinese translation “伊斯兰全球化” 对中国未来的影响,published in 阿拉伯世界研究 (Arab World Studies), No. 5, October 2015.

·“China and the United States in the Middle East and the Islamic World.” In The Emerging Middle East-East Asia Nexus. Edited by Anoushiravan Ehtishami and Yukiko Miyagi. London: Routledge, 2015.

·“The Hajj and Politics in Contemporary Turkey and Indonesia.” In Hajj: Global Interactions Through Pilgrimage. Edited by Luit Mols and Marjot W. Buitelaar. Mededelingen van het Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde (Announcements of the National Museum of Ethnography). Leiden: Sidestone Press, 2015.

Chinese translation published in 宗教与美国社会 (Religion and American Society), Fudan University Center for American Religious Studies, Shanghai, vol. 11, 2015.

·“China, Islam, and New Visions of the Old World.” Middle East Institute, Middle East-Asia Project, March 3, 2015.

·“China’s Interests in Preserving the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse.” China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham, February 23, 2015.

·“Perceptions of the 2009 Ürümqi Conflict Across the Islamic World.” In Toward Well-Oiled Relations? China’s Presence in the Middle East Following the Arab Spring. Edited by Niv Horesh. London: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2015.

·“Hajj by Air.” In The Hajj: Pilgrimage in Islam. Edited by Eric Tagliacozzo and Shawkat Toorawa. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

·“Silk Roads and Great Games: Prelude to Global Governance or Great Power Conflict?” Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (in Asia), Shanghai International Studies University, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 8, No. 4, 2014.

·“Des villes en révolte contre la «tyrannie de la majorité» - ou comment empêcher l’émergence d’un pouvoir rural?” (Urban Backlash Against Democracy: Battling the Tyranny of the Majority or the Rise of Rural Power?”) In Ville et Revolution en Egypt (City and Revolution in Egypt), Egypte/Monde Arabe. Special Issue, 3ème série, n° 11, march 2014. Edited by Roman Stadnicki, Pierre-Arnaud Barthel, and Leïla Vignal, Centre d’Études et de Documentation Économiques, Juridiques et Sociales (CEDEJ). and

· “The Hajj in Everyday Life.” In Everyday Life in the Muslim Middle East. Edited by Donna Lee Bowen, Evelyn A. Early, and Becky Schulthies. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014.

·“Middle East-China Relations in Light of Obama’s Pivot to the Pacific.” China Report, 49:1 2013, 103-118. Special issue on China and the Middle East. Edited by P.R. Kumaraswamy.

·The Social and Economic Bases of Ennahdha Power: Khaldunian and Tocquevillian Reflections on the Tunisian Elections. The Singapore Middle East Papers. Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore. September, 2013.

·“On Liberty and Human Interest in the Work of Iliya Harik.” Journal of New Media Studies in MENA, July 2013. Special issue on Democracy, Culture, and the Grip of Arab History.

· “Morsy in Beijing: Implications for America’s Relations with China and the Islamic World.” Middle East Institute Insight, September 12, 2012.      

·Egypt’s Revolutionary Elections. The Singapore Middle East Papers. Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore. Summer 2012.      

·“The Revolution in Islamic Finance.” The Chicago Journal of International Law, Symposium on Islamic Business and Commercial Law, vol. 7, no. 2, January 2007, 569-580.

·“Islamic Finance and the International System: Integration without Colonialism.” In Integrating Islamic Finance into the Mainstream: Regulation, Standardization, and Transparency. Cambridge: Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, 2007.

·“The Battle for the Soul of Islamic Finance—If It Has One.” Islamic Finance, September 2007.

·“Organized Interests as Social Development Partners: Concepts and Techniques.” World Bank Social Development Papers, number 35, June 2001.

Encyclopedia Articles

·“The Hajj.” in The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. Edited by Immanuel Ness and Peter Bellwood. New York: Wiley, 2013. 

·“Hajj, Women’s Patronage of: Contemporary Practice.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women. Edited by Natana Delong-Bas. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

·“Capitalism and Islam.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

·“Hajj.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

·“Travel for Religious Purposes.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

·Additional articles and reviews have appeared in Modern Asian History, The Times Literary Supplement, Harvard Middle Eastern and Islamic Review, Middle East Journal, British Journal of Political Science, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of Development Studies, Current History, Third World Quarterly, Business Islamica, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, American Political Science Review, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Newsday.


Interviews with several national and international television and radio stations, newspapers, and magazines. Frequent commentator and analyst for the Public Broadcasting System, National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio, BBC News, The Guardian, EFE Spain, al-Jazeera, The Tehran Times, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, China Daily, Xinhua Global, China Radio International, Da Gong Bao, Bloomberg News, Channel News Asia, The Straits Times, and Times Higher Education. Speaker at professional and scholarly conferences in the U.S., China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe.


American Bar Association, Section on International Law and Practice

Chicago Bar Association, International and Foreign Law Committee

American Immigration Lawyers Association, Asylum Committee   

American Political Science Association, Middle East Studies Association of North America

Middle East Studies Association of North America


Fluent Arabic and Turkish. Advanced reading and speaking knowledge of Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian. Reading knowledge of Indonesian, Malay, Farsi, and Urdu.


Research and international travel have been funded by several competitive grants, including awards from the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Chicago Humanities Institute, and two Fulbright-Hayes Fellowships from the U.S. Department of Education.


Foreign residence, teaching, fieldwork and research in Egypt (4 years), Turkey (4 years), the People’s Republic of China (3 years), Singapore (3 years), and Qatar (5 months). Extensive research and travel in the Middle East and North Africa, China, South Asia, Southeast Asia, West Africa, and Europe.

Peace Corps. Taught English to high school students in villages and towns in Turkey, 1968-1970.


Survey research, aggregate data analysis, multiple regression, cross-national and regional comparison, mapping software and statistical packages.


Italian film and opera, Chinese calligraphy, Latin and African music, Oriental carpets and handicrafts, running, and swimming.