al-Gharbi

Musa al-Gharbi

Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow in Sociology, Columbia University; Research Associate, Heterodox Academy
Areas of Expertise:
  • Policy in Other Countries
  • U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Social Movements

Connect with Musa

About Musa

Al-Gharbi's research explores how knowledge is produced, transmitted, and used. He typically applies this research to questions of national security and foreign policy. Beginning with the emergence of Black Lives Matter, al-Gharbi has developed a growing interest in domestic issues as well.

Prior to joining Columbia University, al-Gharbi was an instructor in the Department of Government in Public Service at the University of Arizona, where he taught classes on national security policy and international organizations. he also managed an academic consortium that studies Middle East conflict (SISMEC), based out of that same university. He received his MA in philosophy and BA in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona.

 

Briefs

Podcast

Publications

"Race and the Race for the White House: On Social Research in the Age of Trump" The American Sociologist (2018): 1-24.

Demonstrates how research on Trump and his supporters has been systematically distorted by researchers' own deep revulsion towards the man and what he represents to them, and by strong priors about what kind of person would vote for Trump, and what they would be motivated by. 

"Building on Nietzsche’s Prelude: Reforming Epistemology for the Philosophy of the Future," Universal Publishers, 2013.

Demonstrates that contemporary research in psychology and cognitive science seems to radically undermine popular conceptions of rationality. As a result of our faith in misguided Enlightenment-era notions of rationality, many Western systems and institutions have been designed for idealized rational actors rather than the type of beings that people really are. This is a source of many social problems. It is imperative to reform our societal and ideological architecture to better account for the way people seem to actually think and make decisions.

"Syria Contextualized: The Numbers Game" Middle East Policy 10, no. 4 (2013): 58-67.

Highlights six major claims being made about the Syrian Civil War and demonstrates that when the data underlying these claims is properly contextualized, it seems as though the reality on the ground may be diametrically opposed to the narratives being spun about the conflict. This has important implications vis a vis any potential intervention into the conflict by the U.S. or other outside powers.

"From Political Liberalism to Para-Liberalism: Cognitive Liberalism, Epistemological Pluralism & Authentic Choice" Comparative Philosophy 7, no. 2 (2016): 1-25.

Demonstrates that in these and other instances, the internal logic of (political) liberalism mandates not only tolerance, but respect for these social arrangements and ideologies, even if they transcend the bounds of liberalism, per se.

"A Lack of Ideological Diversity is Killing Social Research" Times Higher Education, no. 2298 (2017): 26-27.

Highlights the high degree of political and ideological homogeneity in most social research fields, and explores both the epistemological and material costs this trend. It argues that in order for social research to remain relevant, useful or even viable—social scientists need to do a much better job engaging with policymakers, the public, and people who do not share their ideological predispositions.

In the News

Interview on liberal bias in social scienceMusa al-Gharbi, National Review, May 2, 2018.
"If Conservative Views are Not Represented in Social Research, Leftists Will Suffer Most," Musa al-Gharbi, Times Higher Education, March 29, 2018.
"About That Blue Wave...," Musa al-Gharbi, New York Times, March 7, 2018.
"Is Trump the New Clinton?," Musa al-Gharbi, The Baffler, March 6, 2018.
Musa al-Gharbi quoted in Graham Vyse, "How Trump Wins Reelection" The New Republic, February 26, 2018.
Musa al-Gharbi quoted in Thomas B. Edsall, "Can Democrats Follow #MeToo to Victory?" New York Times, January 18, 2018.
Musa al-Gharbi quoted in Conor Brady, "A Rough Ride ahead with Trump as Default Driver" The Times, November 6, 2017.
Musa al-Gharbi's research on settling for the status quo discussed in Stacey LeascaMusa al-Gharbi, "This Behavioral Phenomenon is One of the Reasons Trump Will Probably Win Reelection in 2020," Mic, September 3, 2017.
"Why Aren’t There More Black Republicans?," Musa al-Gharbi, The American Conservative, January 18, 2016.
Musa al-Gharbi quoted in Colbert I. King, "The Decline of the Black Republican" The Washington Post, September 2, 2016.
Musa al-Gharbi quoted in Thomas B. Edsall, "Donald Trump’s Political Stew" New York Times, March 9, 2017.
Musa al-Gharbi's research on John HaltiwangerMusa al-Gharbi, "The Mexican Drug War Has Killed More Americans Than ISIS Or Ebola Ever Could," Elite Daily, October 21, 2014.
on NewsMax TV, Musa al-Gharbi, September 21, 2015.
"Mexican Drug Cartels are Worse than ISIL," Musa al-Gharbi, Al Jazeera America, September 20, 2014.
"The Case for an Unprincipled Foreign Policy," Musa al-Gharbi, Wilson Quarterly, July 26, 2015.
"A Counter-Terrorism Approach to Trump," Musa al-Gharbi, Huffington Post, April 20, 2017.
"Racial Profiling is a Bad Counterterrorism Strategy," Musa al-Gharbi, The American Conservative, September 21, 2016.
"On the Philosophy of Conservatism," Musa al-Gharbi, Philosophy Now, August 2017.
"In the Age of Trump, Thank God for James Comey," Musa al-Gharbi, Huffington Post, February 3, 2017.
"The Democratic Party is Facing a Demographic Crisis," Musa al-Gharbi, The Conversation, February 27, 2017.
"Trump Will Likely Win Reelection in 2020," Musa al-Gharbi, The Conversation, May 10, 2017.