Darius Rejali

Darius Rejali, professor and Chair of political science at Reed College, is a nationally recognized expert on government torture and interrogation. Iranian-born, Rejali has spent his scholarly career reflecting on violence, and, specifically, reflecting on the causes, consequences, and meaning of modern torture in our world. His work spans concerns in political science, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, history, and critical social theory. He is a 2003 Carnegie Scholar, recognized for his innovative approaches to the study of violence.

Torture and Democracy (Princeton, 2007) is Rejali's most recent book. It is an unrelenting examination of the use of torture by democracies in the 20th century. It won the 2007 Human Rights Book of the Year Award from the American Political Science Association. Times Higher Education states, “"Torture and Democracy immediately lays claim to be the most compendious and most rigorous treatment of the subject yet written.” The book has been praised in the Financial Times, Harper's, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Daily Telegraph. It has placed Rejali in the international media spotlight, positioning him among the world's preeminent scholars on torture. He has been interviewed widely, from Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! to David Frost on Al Jazeera, from the BBC to the Washington Post.

Rejali is also the author of Torture and Modernity: Self, Society and State in Modern Iran (Westview, 1994) as well as many recent articles on violence including masculinity and torture, media representations of torture, the political thought of Osama bin Ladin, the history of electric torture, the practice of stoning in the Middle East, the treatment of refugees who have been tortured, and theories of ethnic rape. Rejali has been a member of the Reed faculty since 1989. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from McGill University and a B.A. in philosophy from Swarthmore College. He is a member of the editorial board of Human Rights Review.