Professor Masooda Bano’s primary area of interest rests in studying the role of ideas and beliefs in development processes and their evolution and change. Particular emphasis is on understanding the dynamic interplay between material and psycho-social incentives and the consequences of this for individual choices and collective development outcomes. Professor Bano builds large-scale comparative studies combining ethnographic and survey data.
She is currently directing a five-year major research project: Changing Structures of Islamic Authority and Consequences for Social Change – A Transnational Review (CSIA). The project is supported by a 1.4 million euro European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant. Building on her earlier work where she argues that in order for beliefs to persist they must have everyday relevance, in this project Professor Bano studies how both old and new centres of Islamic authority are responding to changed expectations of the Muslim youth in Muslim majority countries as well as those living in the West.