Zacharius Pieri Picture

Zacharias Pieri

Associate Professor


Home Campus: Sarasota-Manatee
Office: C208
Telephone: (941) 359-4200



Zacharias Pieri, PhD, is an Associate Professor of International Relations and Security Studies at the University of South Florida. He initially joined the faculty on the Sarasota-Manatee Campus in 2016. He earned his PhD in Political Science from the University of Exeter, UK, where he also graduated with a Masters degree in Modern Middle East Studies (with distinction). His undergraduate degree is from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, where he read International Relations and Modern History.

Dr. Pieri’s research focuses on the relationships between religion, politics and violence. His focus is on the ideological and strategic development of Islamist movements, including Boko Haram and Islamic State’s franchises. His current projects relate to countering violent extremism in west Africa, and another on the drivers of white supremacy in the USA. He has consulted on international projects investigating counter-radical discourses amongst Muslim communities around the world. He is a world expert on the Tablighi Jamaat movement. Dr. Pieri is author of three books, and regularly publishes on Islam in contemporary societies. Dr. Pieri has advised UK and US governments on conflict in Africa. Pieri regularly appears in the media including the BBC, the Washington Post, and International Business Times among others.


Pieri, Zacharias. 2019. Boko Haram & The Drivers of Islamist Violence. London & New York: Routledge.

Pieri, Zacharias. 2019. “Daily Ritual, Mission and Transformation of the Self: The Case of Tablighi Jamaat”, NUMEN:International Review for the History of Religions. 66(4): 360-380

Pieri, Zacharias and Jacob Zenn. 2018. “Under the Black Flag in Borno: Experiences of Foot Soldiers and Civilians in Boko Haram’s ‘Caliphate’”, Journal of Modern African Studies.56(4): 645-672.

Pieri, Zacharias. 2018. “Identifying Counter Radical Narratives from Within British Muslim Communities: The Case of “Muslim Patrol”” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. 38(1): 39-56, DOI: 10.1080/13602004.2018.1432148.

Hassan, Idayat and Zacharias Pieri. 2018. “The Rise and Risks of Nigeria’s Civilian Joint Task Force: Implications for Post-Conflict Recovery in Northeastern Nigeria”, in Zenn, Jacob (ed.), Boko Haram Beyond the Headlines: Analyses of Africa’s Enduring Conflict,West Point: Combating Terrorism Center.

Zenn, Jacob and Zacharias Pieri. 2018.“Boko Haram” in Silke, Andrew (ed.), RoutledgeHandbook of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism, Oxford and New York: Routledge.

Zenn, Jacob and Zacharias Pieri. 2017. “How Much Takfir is too much Takfir? The Evolution of Boko Haram’s Factionalization”. Journal for Deradicalization. 11(3): 281-308.

Deckard, Natalie and Zacharias Pieri. 2017. “The Implications of Endemic Corruption for State Legitimacy in Developing Nations: An Empirical Exploration of the Nigerian Case”. International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, 30(4): 369-384

Pieri, Zacharias and Jacob Zenn. 2016. “The Boko Haram Paradox: Ethnicity, Religion, and Historical Memory in Pursuit of a Caliphate ”, African Security, 9:1, pp. 66-88

Pieri, Zacharias and Atta Barkindo. 2016. “Muslims in Nigeria: Between Challenge and Opportunity”, in Mason, Robert (ed.), Muslim Minority - State Relations: Violence, Integration and Policy. London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan


Dr. Pieri’s teaching interests are in the areas of International Relations and Security Studies including:

  • Conflict in the World
  • Understanding Extremism
  • Islam in the Modern World
  • Social and Religious Movements
  • Qualitative Methodologies
  • Globalization
  • Migration and Citizenship

Dr. Pieri is available to supervise Ph.D. candidates in religion and conflict, understanding extremism, Islamist movements, and the changing dynamics of security.