Zeinab Shuker

Sociology professor, Iraq focus

Region(s): Middle East
Country of focus: Iraq, United States
Based in Houston, Texas


Current Occupation: Sociology professor, Iraq focus
Organization/Institution: Sam Houston State University
Language: English, Arabic


The Many Layers and Complexities of Iraq’s Energy Landscape Emirates Policy Centre Nov 17, 2021

Tensions high as prime minister’s home is targeted in Iraq  The World Nov 8, 2021

The Legitimacy Crisis of Traditional Authority  Al-Bayan Center for Planning and Studies Nov 7, 2021

The massive challenge of climate action in oil-dependent Iraq quoted New Statesman Nov 1, 2021

Zeinab Shuker (@zfshuker) is a sociologist who focuses on the impact of oil revenue dependency in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, particularly Iraq.

Her  three main areas of expertise are political formation in hybrid regimes which combine autocratic and democratic features, oil and other energy production, and climate change.

She is an assistant professor of sociology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. She has said sociology gave her the tools to understand herself and her history as a former refugee from Iraq.

Zeinab’s work explores the impact of oil revenue dependency on economic, political, social, and environmental development in MENA, with emphasis on Iraq where oil provided more than 90 per cent of government revenues in 2020.

In a current project, she is examining the factors that determine the response of governments in oil-producing MENA countries to climate change. The main factors are state capacity, influence of environmental civil society organizations, regional stability, and the behavior of international oil corporations in the country.

She received her Ph.D. in Sociology and Political Economy from the University of California, Riverside. She has published and presented her work in top journals and think tanks.