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 the Oxford University’s Diplomatic Studies Programme, Chair of the Exam Board for 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 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 Discourse Analysis, Ethics, Political Philosophy, Security Studies and Political Theology. He also has extensive experience in other professional domains such as Journalism, IT and Healthcare Policy.
Vahid’s initial higher education was in the field of Linguistics where, since 1998, 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 the 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 completed his two-year obligatory national military service in the central command brigade of the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guard Corps with the military rank of Captain. Subsequently, he completed one year of obligatory national conscription service in Italy in the special unit of the Italian army corps Bersaglieri. He was also in charge of refugees’ auditions at Canton Ticino’s federal office of refugees in Lugano Switzerland. 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 2017-2018.
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 recent 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.
In the quality of 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.
Vahid also lectures at The Oxford Experience course and public and short courses on topics such as 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 Politics.