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.
In the News
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.