Hisham Aidi's research interests include cultural globalization and the political economy of race and social movements. He received his PhD in political science from Columbia University, and has taught at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, and at the Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Redeploying the State (Palgrave, 2008) a comparative study of neo-liberalism and labor movements in Latin America; and co-editor, with Manning Marable, of Black Routes to Islam (Palgrave, 2009).
In 2002–2003, Aidi was a consultant for UNDP's Human Development Report. From 2000 to 2003, he was part of Harvard University's Encarta Africana project, and worked as a cultural reporter, covering youth culture and immigration in Harlem and the Bronx, for Africana, The New African and ColorLines. More recently, his work has appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, The New Yorker and Salon. Since 2007, he has been a contributing editor of Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Culture, Politics and Society. Aidi is the author most recently of Rebel Music: Race, Empire and the New Muslim Youth Culture(Pantheon, 2014), a study of American cultural diplomacy.