New at Brill in Open Access: Encyclopædia Iranica Online


Encyclopaedia Iranica is the most renowned reference work in the field of Iran studies. Founded by the late Professor Ehsan Yarshater and edited at the Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies at Columbia University, this monumental international project brings together the scholarship about Iran of thousands of authors around the world.




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Encyclopædia Iranica Online Now Freely Accessible at Brill

The Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies at Columbia University, New York, and Brill are delighted to announce that the Encyclopædia Iranica Online is now freely accessible at Brill’s Reference Works Platform. Encyclopædia Iranica is the comprehensive academic reference work dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.

Ancient Iran Series Added to Brill’s Publishing Portfolio

As part of their growing portfolio in Middle East and Islamic Studies, Brill has signed an agreement for the take-over of the book series Ancient Iran Series. With its coverage of ancient, pre-, and early-Islamic Iran, this book series complements other book series with a more modern focus on this geographical area, as well as the various other journals and encyclopaedias Brill publishes in this field.

Read an interview with Geert Jan van Gelder

The longstanding series Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1: The Near and Middle East recently reached its 150th volume by publishing the special Prominent Murder Victims of the Pre- and Early Islamic Periods Including the Names of Murdered Poets. We caught up with Geert Jan van Gelder, editor and translator of the volume.


Acquisitions Editors


Maurits van den Boogert

Nicolette van der Hoek

Abdurraouf Oueslati

Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

Jehona Kicaj

Middle East and Islamic Studies

A couple of West African countries experienced military take-overs in 2021. Presidential elections took place in some countries under conditions that did not guarantee free and fair elections and thus resulted in recriminations and dispute. The Covid-19 pandemic wrought more havoc than in the previous year due to new and highly transmissible and virulent variants of the virus that accounted for high infection rates and fatalities. The acquisition of vaccines and the vaccination of more people, coupled with border closures and impositions of travel restrictions, helped to curtail the damage. By the end of the year, there was evidence that the emergency was easing. Economies were badly affected, but nevertheless some countries’ economies rebounded, and some began to record positive growth rates. There was no let-up in jihadist and insurrectionist activities, which continued to beset some Sahelian states, aggravating displacement and creating serious problems both for those made into refugees and the states that hosted them.


West Africa faced severe challenges and demonstrated remarkable resilience at the same time during the year under review. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian–Ukrainian war, and instability emanating from the activities of jihadist groups in the Sahel region continued to undermine collective and individual efforts to secure a living. The year under review also witnessed a number of elections in the sub-region and the stagnation of corruption perceptions. Fights against corruption, drug trafficking, human rights violations, and continuous violence, conflict, and disasters used up state resources and capacity which could otherwise have been used to promote socioeconomic development. However, the economies of member states in the sub-region also showed a level of flexibility, recovery, and growth, at least in some instances. Most of these achievements and set-backs were underpinned by domestic and international political factors worthy of attention.