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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Shamiran Mako

Shamiran Mako
Shamiran Mako
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Research Interests
International Relations, Comparative Politics, International Relations of the Middle East, Governing in divided societies, Iraq and the Middle East, Institutions and institutional change, State building, Ethnic conflict, Territorial politics


  • MA (Political Science), Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada
  • Honours BA (Political Science and International Relations), York University, Toronto, Canada 

Academic Appointments

August 2014-August 2015: Associate, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University.

January-December 2014: Carnegie Visiting Scholar, Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies, Northeastern University.

Research Interests

My doctoral research lies at the intersection of international relations and comparative politics. In my current research, I examine the relationship between authoritarianism and exclusion and institutional design in Iraq. Specifically, I explore the historical and contemporary implications of  institutional formation and transformation in Iraq in order to draw causal links between the role of institutions and authoritarian governance.I explore the development and evolution of institutions as key variables that frame the politics of exclusion and fragmentation.  In other words, how institutions produce or, in some cases, reinforce exclusionary structures that foster communal conflict in divided societies. More broadly, I am interested in the relationship between state formation and state survival and the domestic, regional, and international factors affecting state-society relations in the MENA region.

Methological Training

Proficient in qualitative methods as well as multi and mixed methods research in political science. Software: SPSS and Excel. 


Dr. Wilfried Swenden and Dr. Adham Saouli


Shamiran Mako


Forthcoming, (February 2015): Co-editor w/ Benjamin Isakhan and Fadi DawoodState-Society Relation in Iraq: Citizenship under Occupation, Dictatorship and Democratization. I.B. Tauris.     

Mako, S. "Iraq: Who's to Blame?" World Affairs Journal (July, 2014). Available:

Mako, S. "International Response to Bahrain's Arab Spring," e-International Relations, (July 17, 2012). Available at:  

Mako, S. "Cultural Genocide and Key International Instruments: Framing the Indigenous Experience", International Journal of Minority and Group Rights Vol. 19 (June, 2012): 175-94. Availble at:

Mako, S. (2010). "Peshmerga Fighters," ABC-CLIO, Encyclopedia of Modern Middle East Wars.

Mako, S. and Donabed, S. (2010). "Colonialism in the Middle East," ABC-CLIO World History Encyclopedia.


Co-presenter w/ Wilfried Swenden, "Expalining the Persistence of Ethnic Control Strategies: a Historical Institutional Approach to Ethnic Dominance in Iraq and Pakistan," International Political Science Association, (July 2014), Montreal, QC. 

Paper presenter, "The Impact of Re-emergent Authoritarianism on Iraqi State Capacity", International Studies Association (ISA), (March 2014), Toronto. 

Paper presenter, "Institutions and Exclusion in Iraq", Middle East Studies Association (October, 2013), New Orleans, LA.

Paper presenter, "Governing Iraq: Ethnic Conflict and Institutional Design in a Divided Society", American Political Science Association (August, 2013), Chicago, IL.

Paper presenter, "Institutional Design and Ethnic Conflict in Iraq", Workshop on Methodological Pathways in Comparative Devolution/Territorial Politics Research, Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences (June, 2013), Edinburgh, Scotland.

Presenter, "The Making and Unmaking of Constitutionalism in Iraq: Historical Developments and Post-2003 Implications," University of Edinburgh Constitutional Law Discussion Group (May, 2013), Edinburgh, Scotland.

Paper presenter, "Governing Iraq: Framing the Role of Inappropriate Institutional Design", Northeastern Political Science Association, (November, 2012), Boston, MA. 

Panel Organizer and Paper Presenter: "Right of Return in Transitional Iraq: Normative and Legal Implications", Middle East Studies Association, (November, 2008), Washington, DC.


Teaching Experience

Co-convenor, Government and Politics of the Middle East, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Adjunct Professor, History of Democracy, Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island

Fall 2006, Globalization and Development, Wilfrid Laurier University


Research Group Memberships 

International Studies Association

American Political Science Association  

International Political Science Association

Middle East Studies Association

International Relations Research Group

Territorial Politics Research Group