Research background and interests

Specialise in the modern history of the Middle East and consult on the politics, security and economics of the region. I focus on violent non-state actors, sectarian conflict and social movements in the Middle East. I am currently working on the war on ISIS, with a particular emphasis on Shia militias and the Kurdish Peshmerga. As part of this work, I have conducted interviews with political and clerical figures, Peshmerga commanders, Shia militia heads and ISIS prisoners in Iraq. My PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science examined the history of the Islamic Dawa Party (Iraq’s current ruling party), the relationship between the Shia community and the Iraqi state and the history of Shia mobilisation in Iraq.

Prior to my PhD,  I worked on and specialised in the law of armed conflict and the use of force, My research looked at the right of self-defence under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. I worked for the Next Century Foundation, a track-two conflict resolution NGO. I served as a senior consultant and election monitor in Iraq between 2009-2014 and lead a fact-finding mission to Libya during the 2011 uprising. I travel the MENA region regularly and most recently conducted research in Iraq, Libya and Egypt. I have conducted extensive research throughout Arab Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

I have published in peer-reviewed journals and have contributed to two edited volumes, one on the legacy of the Iraq war and the other on the Libyan uprising. I have written more than 100 articles for various print and online media, including the New York Times, the WSJ, Guardian, Foreign Affairs, BBC News, CNN, the Daily Telegraph and Foreign Policy magazine. I have commented for BBC News, Sky News, Al-Jazeera English and Channel 4 News. I have presented at the Overseas Development Institute, Chatham House and have provided expert evidence to the UK government.

Recent Presentations


Recent Media





ranj [dot] alaaldin [at] gmail [dot] com

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