His "main research interests are in the contemporary politics of the Middle East, particularly the Levant and the northern Gulf. His central research focuses have been on, first, the nature of political argument in these regions - how people discuss, justify, glorify, characterise and satirise their politics, from the palaces to the refugee camps; and, second, on how the central institutions of the state engage, and are engaged by, local interests and structures and localised beliefs. These research projects have invoked the academic literatures on rhetoric, nationalism, memory; and on state formation, state building, war and political economy.
"These are broad themes, but they have been applied to generate a close understanding of particular cases, with substantial fieldwork undertaken from the late 1990s onwards in the Palestinian territories, Iran and Iraq, as well as briefer fieldwork elsewhere in the Middle East. This work has resulted in one co-authored book on post-2003 Iraqi politics (published in 2006 by Cornell University Press), a monograph on the politics of the Palestinian West Bank (due to be published late in 2007 by IB Tauris), and an anticipated volume on Iranian politics, for which research is beginning in 2007. Rangwala maintains a more general interest in the international politics of the Middle East, and is completing a volume on the post-Cold War international politics of the Middle East (due for publication in early 2008 by Polity Press). He has also taught undergraduate and masters level courses in International Organisation, International Politics, International Relations Theory, and Politics & Religion." 
- Iraq in Fragments: The Occupation and its Legacy (co-authored with Eric Herring) (London and Ithaca: Hurst and Cornell University Press, 2006).
- 'Iraq, Imperialism and Global Governance' (co-authored with E. Herring), Third World Quarterly, 26: 4-5, June 2005: 667-683.
- 'The Assumptions of Democracy,' Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 19(2), June 2006: 299-308.
- 'The Democratic Transition and the Discovery of its Limitations,' in Alex Danchev and John MacMillan (eds),The Iraq War and Democratic Politics (London: Routledge, 2004).