A French scholar and analyst of the Islamic and the Arab world. He has written works on Radical Islam including Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam. He was the Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs for 2009-10 at LSE IDEAS (Centre for Diplomacy & Strategy, at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Professor Kepel has previously been a visiting professor at Columbia University in New York. He speaks Arabic, French, English and Italian.
Kepel's work has stirred intense debates in the French academia. His analyses of political Islam have notably been criticized by Olivier Roy, François Burgat and Alain Roussillon. These 3 authors however are also quite controversial, with secularists like Caroline Fourest or Mohamed Sifaoui being particularly critical of Roy and Burgat's sympathy towards islamists.