Musa Al-Gharbi

Musa Al-Gharbi


Musa al-Gharbi is a Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow in the Department of Sociology, and a Mellon-Sawyer Fellow on Trust and Mistrust of Experts for the Interdisciplinary Center on Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE), in partnership with the American Assembly, at Columbia University.

Musa’s research explores how knowledge is produced, transmitted, evaluated and put to use (or not) — and how people’s thinking is shaped by the social contexts they find themselves in. He applies these lenses to a range of topics including race, inequality, social movements, extremism, policing, national security, foreign policy — and more recently — U.S. political elections.

Prior to joining Columbia Sociology, Musa obtained a B.A. in Near Eastern Studies, a M.A. in Philosophy and taught classes in Political Science at the University of Arizona. His work, accordingly, draws on methods and theories from a range of disciplines -- and has been published and cited in academic journals and textbooks across a range of disciplines.

Musa is also deeply committed to engaging policymakers and the public. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, New Republic and many other popular outlets -- as well as in publications by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Army War College, the Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point (CTC), the Brookings Institute, RAND Corporation and beyond. 


Smith, Benjamin w/ Andrea Figueroa-Caballero, Musa al-Gharbi & Michael Stohl (2020). “Do You Know Your Enemy? The Role of Known Actors as Framing Devices in News Media.” International Journal of Communication 14: 4717-4738.

al-Gharbi, Musa (2019). “Resistance as Sacrifice: Towards an Ascetic Antiracism.” Sociological Forum 34(S1): 1197-1216.

Smith, Benjamin w/ Michael Stohl & Musa al-Gharbi (2019). “Discourses on Countering Violent Extremism: The Strategic Interplay Between Fear and Security After 9/11.” Critical Studies on Terrorism 12(1): 151-168.

al-Gharbi, Musa (2018). “Race and the Race for the White House: On Social Research in the Age of Trump.” The American Sociologist 49(4): 496-519.

al-Gharbi, Musa (2016). “From Political Liberalism to Para-Liberalism: Epistemological Pluralism, Cognitive Liberalism & Authentic Choice.” Comparative Philosophy 7(2).

al-Gharbi, Musa (2013). “Syria, Contextualized: The Numbers Game.” Middle East Policy 20(1): 56-67.