Olivier Roy (professor)

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Olivier Roy (born 1949) is professor at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He was previously a research director at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and a lecturer for both the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) and the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (IEP). From 1984 to 2008, he acted as a consultant to the French Foreign Ministry. In 1988, Roy served as a United Nations Office for Coordinating Relief in Afghanistan (UNOCA) consultant. Beginning in August 1993, Roy served as special OSCE representative to Tajikistan until February 1994, at which time he was selected as head of the OSCE mission to Tajikistan, a position he held until October 1994.

Roy received an "Agrégation" in Philosophy and a Master's in Persian language and civilization in 1972 from the French Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales. In 1996, he received his PhD in Political Science from the IEP.

Roy is the author of numerous books on subjects including Iran, Islam, Asian politics. These works include Globalized Islam: The search for a new ummah, Today's Turkey: A European State? and The Illusions of September 11. He also serves on the editorial board of the academic journal Central Asian Survey.

His best-known book, L'Echec de l'Islam politique (1992) (The Failure of Political Islam) (1994), is a standard text for students of political Islam.

Roy wrote widely on the 2005 civil unrest in France, rebutting the suggestion that the violence was religiously inspired.

His book Secularism Confronts Islam (Columbia, 2007) offers a perspective on the place of Islam in secular society and looks at the diverse experiences of Muslim immigrants in the West. Roy examines how Muslim intellectuals have made it possible for Muslims to live in a secularized world while maintaining the identity of a "true believer."

In 2010 he published "Holy Ignorance, When Religion and Culture Part Ways" an analysis of religion, ethnicity and culture and the results when these part ways.


  • [1]Mathieu Perreault, February 2nd, Journal La Presse, Montreal

Major publications[edit]

  • Leibniz et la Chine Vrin, 1972
  • Afghanistan, Islam et modernité politique Le Seuil, 1985.
  • L'Echec de l'Islam politique Le Seuil, 1992
  • The Failure of Political Islam Harvard, 1994
  • Généalogie de l'islamisme, Paris Hachette, 1995
  • Iran : comment sortir d'une révolution religieuse? (avec Farhad Khosrokhavar) Le Seuil, 1999
  • The New Central Asia: the creation of nations NYU Press, 2000
  • Les illusions du 11 septembre, Paris Le Seuil, 2002
  • La Turquie aujourd’hui, un pays européen? (dir.) Universalis, 2004
  • Islamist Networks: The Afghan-Pakistan Connection (with Mariam Abou Zahab) Columbia, 2004
  • Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah Columbia, 2004
  • Secularism Confronts Islam Columbia, 2007
  • La Sainte Ignorance Le Seuil, 2008

External links[edit]