Photo by: Rafail Mantzo

Andrew Scott Cooper

Born and raised in New Zealand, Andrew Scott Cooper is a scholar of modern Middle East history with specialization in  US-Iran relations during the Cold War. He is a Non-Resident Scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC. He is also a member of the Advisory Board at Royal Holloway, University of London, Department of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy. He began his career as the lead researcher on landmines at the United Nations and Human Rights Watch, co-founder of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Peace.

In his first book, The Oil Kings: How the US, Iran and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East, Cooper mined a trove of newly declassified documents to reveal the secrets at the heart of American oil diplomacy in the Middle East during the first oil shock. He was the first scholar to conclusively prove that the oil markets destabilized Iran’s economy in the late 1970s. The Oil Kings, said The Christian Science Monitor, “adds significant insight to one of the most important periods in the American relationship with petroleum.” The Los Angeles Times lauded the book as a “compelling chronicle of America’s involvement with Middle East oil.” Defense and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy Journal praised The Oil Kings as “unquestionably the best historical record of the Middle East energy crisis.”

In his second book, The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran, Cooper turned his focus to the interior life of the Iranian Imperial Family and the Pahlavi Court, recreating the fin de siecle atmosphere in Iran in 1978-79, the momentous year of revolution. To research the book, the author interviewed principals on all sides of the revolutionary struggle and was granted rare access to travel to Iran, where he studied Shia Islam and visited historical sites. Many Iranians consider The Fall of Heaven the definitive account of the Shah’s life and the upheaval that changed their country forever. “Mr. Cooper’s work is thoroughly researched and documented; it is also highly readable and does justice to the tragic grandeur of its subject,” said The Washington Times.” “[A] sympathetic, nuanced portrait,” agreed The Washington Post. “A convincing narrative about who the [shah] was and the dynamics that led to his downfall.”

Cooper has a Doctor of Philosophy degree in History. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in history and international relations at International Hellenic University (Greece), Columbia University (United States) and Victoria University (New Zealand).

Cooper lives in Europe where he teaches and is writing a third book on Iran and the Middle East during the Cold War. He maintains a writing consultancy and works with private and institutional clients.