Photo of Dr Leon Moosavi

Dr Leon Moosavi

Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology


Personal Statement

Dr Leon Moosavi is a sociologist of race and religion.

Leon is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology at the University of Liverpool.

Leon also has the following roles within the department:

- Director of Postgraduate Teaching (i.e. Masters programmes).

- Co-Chair of the Liverpool Sociological Research Cluster.

- Member of the department's internationalisation committee.

Leon joined the University of Liverpool in 2012, soon after completing his PhD.

Between 2013 and 2022, Leon was based in Singapore where he was the Director of the University of Liverpool in Singapore. In 2016, Leon's team in Singapore was nominated for a University of Liverpool Staff Award and received an official commendation.

Leon returned to the home campus in Liverpool in 2022.

Leon's research interests fall within three interrelated areas. Firstly, he specialises in racism, Orientalism, whiteness, and white privilege. Secondly, he researches British Muslim converts and Islamophobia. Thirdly, he writes about epistemic decolonisation, decolonising the curriculum, decolonising criminology, and the limitations of decolonial projects.

Amongst his most notable works are The Decolonial Bandwagon and the Dangers of Intellectual Decolonisation (2020) and The Racialization of Muslim Converts in Britain and Their Experiences of Islamophobia (2015).

In 2021, Leon founded The Decolonial Critique, a global network of more than 2,000 scholars and activists who have an interest in theoretical and applied approaches to coloniality/decoloniality within and beyond the university. In 2023, Leon was shortlisted for the National Centre for Research Methods Impact Prize in relation to this initiative.

Leon is routinely invited to deliver talks, seminars, and workshops about his research expertise. He has been invited as a keynote speaker in multiple academic conferences and he has delivered more than 50 invited talks for institutions in the UK, Latvia, Switzerland, Iran, Turkey, Germany, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Lebanon, Netherlands, Belgium, and South Africa. Leon has also delivered presentations at more than 35 academic conferences around the world.

Leon is a regular expert contributor to international news media. He has also been invited to provide expert advice to a large number of governmental and non-governmental organisations around the world.

Leon currently sits on the Editorial Board of Sociology Compass and the Reviewer College of the International Journal of Social Research Methodology. He previously served terms on the Associate Editorial Board of Sociology and the Editorial Board of Sociological Research Online.

Leon began teaching sociology at Lancaster University when he was 22 years old. Since then, he has taught hundreds of students on various modules, particularly in relation to sociological theory, crime and deviance, hate crime, and the sociology of religion.

Leon has supervised 1 PhD student to completion (Dr Saleena Saleem) and currently supervises 3 more PhD students (Ms Imane Ghezal, Mr Mohammad Masud Noruzi and Mr Mohammad Alsalman). Leon has also supervised a large number of Undergraduate and Masters dissertations.

Leon has examined PhD candidates in the UK and Norway.

Leon is keen to supervise PhD projects that relate to any area of the sociology of race and religion. In particular, Leon would welcome PhD proposals about the following areas:

- Coloniality and neo-colonialism
- Decoloniality and decolonisation
- Post-colonialism
- Racism and racialisation
- Islamophobia
- Hate crime
- Critical Whiteness Studies
- Mixed Race Studies
- Orientalism
- Muslims in the West
- Conversion to Islam
- Religious sectarianism
- Interfaith dialogue
- Social theory

Leon's postgraduate qualifications were funded by a prestigious scholarship from the Economic and Social Research Council.

Leon obtained his PhD in Sociology from Lancaster University in 2011. His thesis was entitled "Islamophobia, Belonging and Race in the Experiences of Muslim Converts in Britain". He was supervised by Professor Anne-Marie Fortier and Professor Nayanika Mookherjee.

Prior to this, Leon completed a MA Sociological Research Methods at Lancaster University in 2007, obtaining a Merit. His MA dissertation was entitled "The Representation of Islam and Muslims by the British Government".

In 2006, Leon achieved a First Class undergraduate degree in sociology from Lancaster University. As an undergraduate, Leon spent a year at Carleton University (Canada). His undergraduate dissertation was entitled "Al Jazeera, Al Qaeda and the War on Terror".

Leon also holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education. This has resulted in Leon being appointed as a Fellow of Advance HE since 2008. Leon is currently pursuing further accreditation to qualify as a Senior Fellow of Advance HE.

Leon volunteers as a mentor for the Council for At-Risk Academics which involves mentoring a junior scholar who has been displaced due to persecution, violence or conflict.

Leon is a member of the advisory board for the Liverpool City Region's Race Equality Hub.

Leon is a member of the advisory board for Decolonising Education for Peace in Africa.

Leon is a member of the advisory board for the University of Liverpool’s review of its historic links to slavery.

Leon was a Visiting Scholar at Queensland University of Technology (Australia) in 2017.

Leon is a member of the British Sociological Association.

Leon was born and raised in Manchester.