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Shahid Alam

Headshot of Shahid Alam

Professor of Economics

M. Shahid Alam has been teaching economics at Northeastern University since 1988. Before coming to Northeastern, he had taught at University of Karachi, Queens University, Concordia University and Colgate University. Over the past several years, he has taught the following undergraduate courses: “Economic History of the Middle East”, “History of the Global Economy”, “Critique of Capitalism and Development Economics.” In Spring 2014, he offered a new course – “Critical Perspectives on Economics.” His research interests extend over the following questions – Dynamics of capitalism; Alternative approaches to the study of economics; Critiques of mainstream economics; Political economy of corruption; Economic stagnation in the Middle East since 1500s; and Qur’anic reasoning.

Professor Alam currently serves as faculty adviser to two student clubs – Students for Justice in Palestine and Political Economy Forum.

View CV
  • Free Speech Award, Presented by The Northeastern University School of Law Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, February 16, 2005.


Books –

  • Intimations of Ghalib: Translations from the Urdu (Orison Books, 2018).
  • Israeli Exceptionalism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).
  • Challenging the New Orientalism (Islamic Publications International, 2006).
  • Poverty from the Wealth of Nations (St Martin’s Press, 2000).
  • Governments and Markets in Economic Development Strategies(Praeger, 1979).


Recent Articles –


  • “Commodities in Economics: Loving or Hating Complexity,” Economic Thought 5, 1 (Spring 2016): 1-18.
  • Two Approaches to Global Competition,” Real-World Economics Review (December 2013).
  • “Constant Returns to Scale: Can the Neoclassical Economy Exist,” Real-World Economics Review,(June 2013): 102-109.
  • “The Economy as an Energy System,” Review of Radical Political Economics 41,2 (Winter 2009).
  • “Global Disparities Since 1800,” Journal of World-Systems Research, July 2006, pp. 36-59.
  • “Colonialism and Industrialization: A Critique of Lewis,” Review of Radical Political Economics, Spring 2004, pp. 217-40.

Qur’anic Studies

  • “Pragmatic Arguments for Belief in the Qur’an,” Islamic Studies (May 2017): 9-29.
  • “Ishmael and Isaac: An Essay on the Divergent Moral Economies of the Qur’an and the Torah,” Journal of Comparative Islamic Studies (Summer 2012): 139-154.



Intimations of Ghalib (Orison Books, 2018).


Professor Alam’s poetry has appeared in BlackbirdRaritanNotre Dame Review, Southern ReviewWestern Humanities ReviewKenyon ReviewTriQuarterlyPrairie Schooner, and Salamander.

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Related Schools & Departments

  • Education

    PhD, Economics, Western University, 1979

  • Contact

  • Address

    309 LA
    360 Huntington Avenue,
    Boston, MA 02115