Sanam Vakil

Sanam Vakil, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies
Associate Fellow, Chatham House's Middle East North Africa Programme
Middle East Studies
International Development
Conflict Management

SAIS Europe

Expertise

Regions
  • Egypt
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Middle East
  • Persian Gulf
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Turkey
Topics
  • American Foreign Policy
  • Governance
  • Oil Politics
  • Women's Rights
  • International Relations
  • Islamic Religion, Culture and Law
Languages
  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Persian

Background and Education

Provides Middle East focused research and political risk analysis for a variety of companies and organizations. Former visiting scholar in Middle East Studies and assistant professor of Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS; was previously a research fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations' Iran Project; formerly a consultant to the World Bank Group's Middle East and North Africa Division and an associate at The Abernathy MacGregor Group; PhD, international relations, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Publications: "Iran's Next Supreme Leader: The Islamic Republic After Khamenei," with H. Rassam, in Foreign Affairs, May/June 2017; Action and Reaction: Women and Politics in the Islamic Republic of Iran (2011); author of numerous monographs, book reviews, working papers and articles in US and international journals on Middle East and U.S. foreign policy


2015-04-13 00:00:00 
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Fall 2017 
This course exa...
This course examines the role and influence of political leaders in the Middle East. Through this prism, the history of the Middle East can be understood by examining the lives and impact of the men who have ruled the region.  Using a psychological, theoretical and interdisciplinary framework, we will study the charismatic, sultanic, traditional and rational-legal framework of leadership.  We will then merge this theory with biographical material on the region’s predominant leaders in an attempt to understand their influence and legacy. (Cross listed Middle East Studies/International Development)
Spring 2018 
This course exa...
This course examines Persian Gulf politics through the prism of Iran and Saudi Arabia- their history, domestic evolutions, foreign policy, ideology and position in the Persian Gulf.  Once known in the American foreign policy establishment as the Twin Pillars of the Gulf, they both supported American political and economic interests until 1979.  Iran and Saudi Arabia have followed similar economic and political trajectories.  The outcome of such paths however, has been decidedly different.  In addition to weighing in on the competing ideological visions and dominating regional position of these two Persian Gulf heavyweights, this course will assess the impact of these states on those of the region including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar. (Cross listed Middle East Studies/International Relations) (CM)
August 28, 2017 
Sanam Vakil, Ad...

Sanam Vakil, Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies, is interviews by the World Politics Review in an article entitled "Iran Has Yet to Realize Its Full Economic Potential in the Post-Sanctions Era."

July 18, 2017 
Sanam Vakil, Ad...

Sanam Vakil, Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies, is quoted on Vox in an article titled "Iran is testing Trump's tough talk by sentencing an American citizen to 10 years in prison."

June 27, 2017 
Sanam Vakil, Ad...

Sanam Vakil, Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies, is quoted inThe National in an article entitled "Bahrain accuses Qatar of seeking military escalation of Gulf crisis."

June 22, 2017 
Sanam Vakil, Ad...

Sanam Vakil, Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies, is interviewed on CNBS about "Saudi Arabia change of secession to distract from domestic issues."

June 21, 2017 
Sanam Vakil, Ad...

Sanam Vakil, Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies, is cited on Bloomberg Business in an article entitled "Qatar Reminds Gulf Critics of 9/11 as Crisis in Third Week."

June 20, 2017 
Sanam Vakil, Ad...

Sanam Vakil, Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies, co-wrote an article for Foreign Affair entitled "How Deep Is Iran's State?."

May 17, 2017 
Sanam Vakil, Ad...

Sanam Vakil, Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies, is cited on NBCNEWS in an article entitled "Iran Presidential Election: Economy Is Focus as Rouhani Faces Raisi."

May 16, 2017 
Sanam Vakil, Ad...

Sanam Vakil, Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies, is cited on Global Security in an article entitled "Iran's Rouhani Not a Sure Bet in Presidential Elections."

April 26, 2017 
Sanam Vakil, Ad...

Sanam Vakil, Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies, is cited on Asia Society Blog in an article entitled "5 Questions About Iran's Upcoming Elections."

April 9, 2017 
Sanam Vakil, Ad...

Sanam Vakil, Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies, co-wrote a piece for Foreign Affairs entitled "Iran's Next Supreme Leader."