Dr Zahid Ahmed



Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Faculty of Arts and Education


Alfred Deakin Institute


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Dr Zahid Shahab Ahmed is a researcher focusing on peace and security in the Muslim world.

His work examines the impacts of sectarianism and violent extremism on domestic, regional and global peace and security. He is also engaged in research and educational projects on countering violent extremism.

A Pakistani citizen, Dr Ahmed brings a much needed citizen’s perspective to research on the country.  He also brings rich grassroots level experience in the development sector in Asia to his research.

He has worked on numerous research assignments with Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Commonwealth Foundation, United States Institute of Peace, Transparency International, Global Integrity, and International Centre for Nonviolent Conflict during a decade long engagement with the development sector.

Dr Ahmed has published and presented papers on a wide range of issues, such as Islam, human rights, peace and conflict, regionalism, and regional security.  His recent papers have looked at The Role of India and Pakistan in Post-2014 Afghanistan, The Political Economy of Pakistan’s ‘War on Terror’ and the application of Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA) in Pakistan.

Dr Ahmed received his PhD in the area of Political and International Studies from the University of New England (UNE) in Australia. He has an MA in Peace Education from the United Nations mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica), and an MA in Sociology from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (Pakistan).

During 2013-2015, he served as Assistant Professor at the Centre for International Peace & Stability (CIPS), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad. He has previously taught at University of New England (Australia), Charles Sturt University (Australia), Iqra University (Pakistan) and Allama Iqbal Open University (Pakistan).

In August 2014, he presented a paper at the 25th General Conference of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) in Turkey.

He has an excellent record of publications. In 2010, he co-authored with Balasubramanian R. a study entitled “Extremism in Pakistan and India: The Case of the Jamaat-e-Islami and Shiv Sena”. Among his prominent publications is a following contribution: Ahmed, Z.S. 2012, ‘Political Islam, Jamaat-e-Islami, and Pakistan’s Role in the Afghan-Soviet War, 1979-1988’, in Religion and the Cold War: A Global Perspective, P. Muehlenbeck (ed), Vanderbilt University Press, Tennessee, pp.275-296. In 2013, Ashgate Publishing Ltd published his following book: “Regionalism and Regional Security in South Asia: The Case of SAARC”.

In recognition of his research, Dr. Ahmed has received several prestigious research awards/grants, such as Mahbub ul Haq Research Award (Regional Centre for Strategic Studies, Sri Lanka); Conflict Transformation Award (WISCOMP, India).

Read more on Zahid's profile

Research interests

Peace and security in the Muslim world, Peace Education, South Asian Affairs, Asian Regionalism, South-South Cooperation, International Political Economy, Human Security, Regional & State Security, Transnational Crimes, Armed Conflicts, Political Islam, Religious Extremism, and Transnational Crimes.


1. Member, Non-Board Peace Research Grant Reviewer Group, IPRA Foundation, USA
2. Member, Board of Referees, Journal of Professional Research in Social Sciences, Pakistan
3. Member Advisory Board, Centre for Dialogue & Action, FC College University, Pakistan
4. Global Advisory Board Member, The Contact Project, USA
5. Member Advisory Board, South Asia Centre for Peace, Pakistan
6. Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Social Work and Human Services Practice, USA
7. Fellow, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, UK
8. Member, International Humanitarian Studies Association, Netherlands
9. Member, International Peace Research Association, Belgium
10. Member, Alliance for Peacebuilding, USA

Units taught

Postgraduate Courses: Research Design in Peace and Conflict Studies; Research Methods in Social Sciences; Theories of Peace and Conflict; Islam in Indonesia and Malaysia; Conflict and Conflict Resolution

Undergraduate Courses: Asian Pasts; Beyond Lies and Spin: Why Politics Matters; Political Ideologies; International Human Rights; Power, Conflict, and the Making of Modern Asia; Economic and Social Change in Southeast Asia Since 1850; Governance and Economic Development in South Asia; & Industrialization and Development in Asia; Australia and Asia; Economy and Business in Modern Asia; & International Development

Knowledge areas

1. South Asian Studies

2. Political Islam

3. South Asian Foreign Affairs

4. Peace and Conflict Studies


1. ‘Community-level peacebuilding in Pakistan’, National Peace Conference, Sahil and Government of Canada, Pakistan, 11 February 2016.
2. ‘Transforming culture of violence in Pakistan’, National Conference on “Citizen’s role in peacebuilding: engagement with public and other allies”, Oxfam-Novib, Pakistan, 4 February 2016.
3. ‘The impact of the conflict in Yemen on Pakistan’s relations with the GCC’, Gulf Studies Forum, Qatar, 5-7 December 2015.
4. ‘Contemporary geostrategic environment in Asia Pacific’, National Conference on “Emerging Geostrategic Landscape in South-West Asia and the Asia Pacific, Strategic Vision Institute and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Pakistan, 5-6 November 2015.
5. ‘Terrorism-related violence and trauma in Pakistan: implications for psychologists and policy’, 14th International Symposium on the Contributions of Psychology to Peace, South Africa, 29 May – 4 June 2015.
6. ‘Ways to achieve culture of non-violence and co-existence from culture of violence in Pakistan’, Conference on “Exploring Peace and Reconciliation Alternatives: Towards a Karachi for All”, Pakistan, 20-21 December 2014.
7. ‘Contextualizing Conflict Sensitivity: A Critical Analysis of PCIA Theory and Application in Pakistan’, 25th IPRA General Conference, Turkey, 11-15 August 2014.
8. ‘Impacts of terrorism on youth in Pakistan’. Joint Regional Conference 2013 “Governing Youth in South Asia”, Nepal, 22-24 September 2013.
9. ‘A critical analysis of PCIA’ theory and application in Pakistan’. International Conference on PCIA, Canada, 22-24 May 2013.
10. ‘Regional responses to labour trafficking in South Asia: A case study of SAARC’. International Conference on “Regional Responses to Labour Trafficking and Refugee Movements in Asia-Pacific”, Australia, 26-27 September 2011.
11. ‘South Asian Regionalism: Lessons to be drawn from ASEAN’. School of Humanities’ Seminar Series, University of New England, Australia, January 2011.
12. ‘Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment: The Case of International Development Organisations in Pakistan’. World Conference on Humanitarian Studies, the Netherlands, 4-8 February 2009.
13. ‘Regionalism and Regional Security in South Asia’. Faculty of Arts and Sciences Postgraduate Conference, University of New England, Australia, 2009.
14. ‘Human Security and Regional Cooperation in South Asia’. Australia South Asia Research Centre, the Australian National University, Australia, 2008.
15. ‘Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment: An Introduction’. Regional Conference “Gender and Conflict Resolution”, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, India, 2008.

Professional activities

1. 2016: Lead Organizer of the National Peace Conference, Sahil (NGO), Pakistan
2. 2014-15: Advisor on Conflict Sensitivity, Good Governance Program, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Pakistan
3. 2014: Co-Principal Evaluator with AAN Associates for “Evaluation of Countering Extremism, Promoting Peace and Religious Tolerance Grants (Pakistan)” for the United States Institute of Peace.
4. 2013: Principal Evaluator, South Asia Centre for Peace (Pakistan) for appraisal of following initiatives of Peace and Education Foundation in Pakistan: 1) University Certificate Program for Madrassah Teachers via the International Islamic University Islamabad; 2) Imam Training; & 3) Interfaith Training. 
5. 2012-14: Researcher for a project “Assessing Impacts of Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA): A North-South Participatory Project”, York University and Peacemedia-paixmédia, Canada
6. 2013: Pakistan Specialist on “Peace and Conflict Assessment/Do No Harm” with GFA Consulting Group GmbH (Germany) for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) projects in Pakistan
7. 2007-11: Field Researcher & Reviewer-Pakistan, Global Integrity, USA
8. 2008: Country Expert/Peace building Specialist for evaluating Pakistan Madrassah Education Programme of the International Centre on Religion and Diplomacy (USA), Salam Institute of Peace & Justice, USA
9. 2005: Project Assistant for a project “Peace Education-Islamic Perspective”, United Nations University for Peace, Costa Rica
10. 2005: Independent Researcher for a study on National Youth Policy of Pakistan, Overseas Development Institute, UK
11. 2003: Analysis Expert for a research on child labor in Pakistan, American Center for International Labor Solidarity, Pakistan


1. 2008-12: Research Encouragement Awards, School of Humanities, University of New England, Australia
2. 2008: Australian Government’s Endeavour International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) for PhD
3. 2008: University of New England Research Scholarship (UNERS) for PhD
4. 2005: University for Peace Postgraduate Research Scholarship


Research Projects

1. 2015-16: USIP funded project “Assessment of Peace Education Programs in Pakistan”.
2. 2015-16: AOARD (Tokyo, Japan) Research Grant for a project on “Patterns of Dehumanization and Humanization and the Development of Trust: Divisions Within and Between the Muslim World”. PIs: Prof. Noraini M. Noor (Malaysia) & Prof. Daniel J. Christie (USA). South Asia Team Leader: Dr Zahid Shahab Ahmed.
3. 2010-11: South-South Program Research Grant from the Latin American Council of Social Sciences, the Council for the Development of Social Sciences Research in Africa, and the Asian Political and International Studies Association.
4. 2007-09: Democracy Research Grant, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), USA.
5. 2007: Small Peace Research Grant, International Peace Research Association Foundation, USA.
6. 2005-06: Mahbub-ul-Haq Research Award, Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS), Sri Lanka.
7. 2005-06: Conflict Transformation Award, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), India.


Filter by


Impacts of Saudi hegemony on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

S Akbarzadeh, Z Ahmed

(2018), Vol. 31, pp. 297-311, International journal of politics, culture and society, New York, N.Y., C1


Pashtun Jirgas, their potential in Pak-Afghan reconciliation and national reconstruction

Z Ahmed, F Yousaf

(2018), Vol. 38, pp. 57-74, South Asia Research, New Delhi, India, C1


The Syrian refugee crisis and the role of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

Z Ahmed

(2018), pp. 115-126, Global perspectives on human migration, asylum, and security, Hershey, Pa., B1


The role of SAARC and EU in managing refugees in South Asia and beyond: potential for north-south cooperation

Z Ahmed

(2018), Vol. 9, pp. 76-84, Global policy, Chichester, Eng., C1


A critique of the need and application of peace education in Pakistan

Z Ahmed

(2018), Vol. 6, pp. 99-112, Asian journal of peacebuilding, Seoul, South Korea, C1


The India-Iran-Pakistan Triad: comprehending the correlation of geo-economics and geopolitics

Z Ahmed, Stuti Bhatnagar

(2018), Vol. 42, pp. 517-536, Asian studies review, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Socio-economic and political determinants of terrorism in Pakistan: University students' perceptions

Z Ahmed, Farooq Yousaf, Khan Zeb

(2018), Vol. 52, pp. 130-145, International studies, London, Eng., C1


Understanding Saudi Arabia's influence on Pakistan: the case of the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism

Z Ahmed

(2018), pp. 1-19, Muslim world, Chichester, Eng., C1


Impact of the China-Pakistan economic corridor on nation-building in Pakistan

Z Ahmed

(2018), Journal of contemporary China, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Water and communities in South Asia: a case for regional cooperation

Venkat Pulla, Z Ahmed, Manohar Pawar

(2018), Vol. 6, pp. 23-40, Space and culture, India, North Shields, England, C1


Peace education in Pakistan: a case study of the Centre for dialogue and action, FC College University

A Hoti, Z Ahmed

(2016), pp. 323-337, Promoting global peace and civic engagement through education, Hershey, Pa., B1


State fragility and adaptation to climate change in water scarce areas: a case study of the Federally administered tribal areas of Pakistan

H Daniel, Z Ahmed

(2015), pp. 307-328, Adaptation to climate change through water resources management: capacity, equity and sustainability, Abingdon, Eng., B1-1


The political economy of Pakistan's 'war on terror'

H Brasted, Z Ahmed

(2015), pp. 114-131, The political economy of conflict in South Asia, Baskingstoke, Eng., B1-1


Conflict or cooperation? The role of India and Pakistan in post-2014 Afghanistan

Z Ahmed, S Bhatnagar

(2015), Vol. 30, pp. 259-276, South Asian studies : a research journal of South Asian studies, Lahore, Pakistan, C1-1


Afghanistan in SAARC: a critical assessment of organisational expansion

Z Ahmed, M Zahoor

(2015), Vol. 22, pp. 171-188, South Asian survey, London, Eng., C1


Regionalism and regional security in South Asia: the role of SAARC

Z Ahmed

(2013), Surrey, Eng., A1-1



Z Ahmed, Z Choudhri

(2013), pp. 208-216, Islamic images and ideas: essays on sacred symbolism, Jefferson, N.C., B1-1


Fighting for the rule of law: civil resistance and the lawyers' movement in Pakistan

Z Ahmed

(2010), Vol. 17, pp. 492-513, Democratization, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1


Funded Projects at Deakin

Industry and Other Funding

State and Society in Iran: Identity and the Securitisation of Minority Policies

Prof Shahram Akbarzadeh, Dr Costas Laoutides, Dr Zahid Ahmed

  • 2018: $23,954
  • 2017: $71,911

For assessing the impact of external actors in the Syrian and Afghan proxy wars

Prof Shahram Akbarzadeh, Dr Dara Conduit, Dr Zahid Ahmed

  • 2018: $344,282


No completed student supervisions to report