Vahid Nick Pay is a lecturer in International Politics at the Diplomatic Studies Programme. He is Chair of the Exam Board and a member of the Management Board at Oxford University's Diplomatic Studies Programme, Chair of the Exam Board for the Global Health Diplomacy course, member of the management committee at the Centre for International Studies (CIS - University of Oxford), member of the Senior Common Room at the Saint Antony's College University of Oxford and a Fellow of Higher Education Academy.
Dr Nick Pay is a multidisciplinary academic with expertise and interests in several fields of Social Sciences such as Political Philosophy, Security Studies and Political Theology, Linguistics and Discourse Analysis and Healthcare Policy.
Vahid's initial higher education was in the field of Linguistics where he also taught courses in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics. After some years of professional engagement with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), he switched fields to Political Science, studying first at the University of London (Master of Science in Political Theory, Birkbeck) and then University of Durham (PhD in Political Science), where he examined Republican political philosophy, particularly in relation to other sources of sovereignty and legitimacy, notably religion.
Vahid has a diverse personal background. He witnessed first-hand one of the most radical revolutions of the 20th century and its far-reaching socio-political implications. He experienced one of the greatest inter-state conflicts of the contemporary era (Iran-Iraq War) and was even a war refugee in western Iran. He was an eyewitness to the tragic aftermaths of the Halabja chemical attack and several other regional conflicts such as the First Gulf War. He was also in charge of vocational and linguistic courses for refugees at Canton Ticino's federal office of refugees in Switzerland and worked as the Director of Education for the Lombardy Region of Italy. More recently he taught Politics and International Relations at the University of Kurdistan in Iraq during the most brutal years of the ISIS campaign in that country in 2016-2018.
He held research and teaching positions in several countries such as Italy, Iraq, Iran, France and the UK, and has also extensively published and disseminated research results in prominent peer-reviewed journals and public media around the world. His first book entitled Republican Islam (London: I.B. Tauris 2016) is dedicated to a comparative study of Republican political philosophy and the role of religion, in particular Islamic political thought.
While serving as the interim director of the Diplomatic Studies Programme, Dr Nick Pay was in charge of all student recruitments for the academic year 2020-2021. This campaign resulted in achieving outstanding results such as an unprecedented milestone of gender parity among the recruited students and a significant rise in the number of students from under-represented minorities and the global south countries. He designed and launched a department of Continuing Education at the University of Kurdistan and played a key role in launching a new Master of Studies Programme at the University of Oxford in 2018. Throughout his career, he has served multiple times as Chair of Exam Boards, Academic Director, Academic Advisor and Director of Graduate and Postgraduate Studies and as a member of several academic management boards.
Vahid also lectures at The Oxford Experience course and public and short courses on topics such as Post-Conflict Education, Terrorism in the Contemporary World, Religion and Politics and Media, Public Opinion and Democracy, and tutors three short courses: Ethnic and Religious Conflicts, Political Islam and Religion and Environment.