Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

Prof. Dr. Kai Hafez

Curriculum Vitae


  • Born 1964 in Bielefeld/Germany
  • since 2003 Full Professor (Chair) for International and Comparative Communication Studies at the Department of Media and Communication, University of Erfurt, Germany
  • 1985-1994 studied Political Science, History, Journalism and Arab Studies at the University of Hamburg and at Georgetown University, Washington, DC
  • 1995 - 2002 Research Fellow of the German Institute for Middle East Studies, Hamburg (1999-2002 Senior Research Fellow)
  • 2001 Second PhD (Habilitation) and teaching permission (venia legendi) in Political Science
  • 2002-2009 also Guest Professor at the Institute of Sociology, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 2005/06 also Senior Associate Fellow, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford
  • 2007 also Lecturer at the Hamburg Media School
  • 2010/11 also Visiting Fellow, Mass Communication Department, American University in Cairo


  • research specialization:
    1) media studies: media and international communication/globalization; media coverage and Islamic-Western relations; mass media and political transformation in the Arab World; media and immigration in Europe; cross-cultural media ethics;
    2) political science: relations between Islam/West; comparison of political cultures Islam/West; Muslims in the West
  • publications (books):
    1) The Myth of Media Globalization (Polity Press, Cambridge); 2) Radicalism and Political Reform in the Islamic and Western Worlds (Cambridge University Press);
    3) (ed.) Arab Media - Power and Weakness (Continuum, New York);
    4) (ed.) Islam and the West in the Mass Media (Hampton Press);
    5) (ed.) Mass Media, Politics, and Society in the Middle East (Hampton Press);
    6) (ed.) The Islamic World and the West. An Introduction to Political Cultures and International Relations (Brill, Leiden/New York);
    7) The Middle East and Islam in the German Press, 2. Vols. (Nomos, in German);
    8) (ed.) Iraq - Country between War and Peace (Palmyra, in German)
  • member of editorial boards of academic magazines
    1.) Political Communication (American Political Science Association and International Communication Association) (2001-2007);
    2.) Arab Media & Society (Oxford University and American University in Cairo);
    3.) Journal for International Communication (International Association of Media and Communication Research);
    4.) Global Media Journal (Department of Communication and Creative Arts at Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Indiana, USA);
    5.) Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism (City University, London);
    6.) Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication (University of London et al.)
  • international speeches and key-notes (selection): Dialogue Conferences of German Presidents Herzog and Rau, Bruno Kreisky Forum, Bucerius Sumer School, and German-Arab Media Dialogue etc.; Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Georgetown, SOAS, Budapest, Ankara, Bern, Varanasi, Geneva, St Gallen, Cairo, London School of Economics, Westminster, Oslo, Karatchi etc.
  • editor of the book series "Mass media and political communication - Middle East and Islam" (German and English), and "International and Intercultural Communication" (German and English)

other activities

  • 1995 head of the first German business delegation to Palestine (German government and Palestinian authority)
  • 1995-2001 director of the research project “The Image of the Middle East and Islam in the German Press” (German Research Association/DFG and Volkswagen Foundation)
  • 1996 electoral observer of the European Union in the Palestinian territories
  • 1996-2005 academic advisor of the German-Arab Media Dialogue for the Press and Information Agency of the German Government (Bundespresseamt) and the German Foreign Ministry
  • 1999 director of the first common conference of the German Central Council of Jews and the German Central Council of Muslims
  • 2000/01 academic advisor of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany for matters related to Islamic-Western relations
  • 2001 director of an international conference on "The Ethics of Journalism in the Islamic-Western Context" under the auspices of the German President, Johannes Rau in Bellevue Palace, Berlin
  • 2001/02 director of the research project “Turkish Media Audiences in Germany” (Press and Information Agency of the German Government)
  • 2001-2004 member of the board of trustees of the international research project GRAD on globalization, founded at Oxford University and coordinated by the Toda Peace Institute, Hawaii
  • 2002/03 and 2005 director of evaluation projects of radio and television Arabic foreign broadcasting of Deutsche Welle
  • 2006-2009 member of working group "Economy and Media" of the German Islam Conference, Federal Ministry of the Interior, Germany
  • since 2007 member of the advisory board of the Institute for Media Policy, Berlin
  • 2008 Project Advisor for Exchange of Journalists, Goethe-Institute, Munich
  • 2009 director of the research project “China’s Image in German Mass Media” (Heinrich Böll Foundation)