Department of West Asian Studies and North African Studies

About the Department

Dept. data last updated on :14/02/2023

The Department of West Asian Studies (CWAS) was established in 1967 as an independent, interdisciplinary area study centre at the Aligarh Muslim University. The status of the Centre on the recommendation of the UGC Expert Committee Report was subsequently converted into the Department of Studies in 1996. The geographic area under study includes Iran, the fertile crescent, Turkey, the Arabian Peninsula and the North African region. Besides multi-disciplinary research, the Department is involved in teaching, training and evaluation. The Department's faculty represents a variety of disciplines, such as Political Science, Economics, History, Geography, Sociology and Arabic. The activities of the Department include the undertaking of in-depth research studies, organization of conferences, seminars, symposia, workshops and group discussions on varied aspects of the area.


  • To expand the Department of West Asian and North African Studies vertically and horizontally.

  • To create and train an enlightened pool of young social scientists for academic, research and administrative requirements of India and abroad with special emphasis on the West Asian region by providing quality education.

  • To undertake policy studies and provide inputs to the Government of India for further national interest and international relations with reference to West Asia in particular.

  • To create a group of scholars for the critical study of the West Asia region.


  • To promote the study of Area Studies (West Asia and North Africa region) in its diverse aspects (historical, social, economic, geographic, political and geo-strategic).

  • To develop an interdisciplinary approach for a holistic view of the contemporary issues of West Asia.

  • To strengthen Indo-West Asia relations for mutual benefits.

The Department publishes an annual journal entitled Journal of West Asian Studies as well as a documented West Asia Bulletin [ISSN: 0975-7856]. All articles will be subject to a peer review process. Since 1991 the Department has expanded its academic activities with full-fledged teaching courses at the graduate and post-graduate levels. Besides, the Centre also offers a Post-Graduate Diploma in Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies (under UGC's scheme of Innovative Programmes in emerging areas). The Department also proposes to initiate two new programmes, namely, Maghreb Studies and Levant Studies, during the 12th Five-Year Plan Period.

Conflict Resolution and Peace Study

The Conflict and Peace Study Programme is an autonomous unit in the Centre of West Asian Studies (CWAS), Faculty of Social Sciences at the Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. It was established on 01/04/2010 under the UGCs Innovative Programme -teaching & research in Interdisciplinary and Emerging areas. The Programme Offers PG Diploma (One Year) in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies. It consists of faculty and researchers from diverse disciplines of the Social Sciences, particularly Political Science, Economics, International Relations, History, and Geography.

The programme intends to provide a multifaceted approach to the interface between cultures and conflict phenomena. The programme, through its research base and focused curriculum, intends to assess the sources and consequences of the conflicts, as well as the tools needed to build security and peace.