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Hussam Hussein

Hussam Hussein


Departmental Lecturer and Research Fellow in International Relations
+44 (0)1865 285987
Somerville College
Office Address:
Manor Road

I am a Departmental Lecturer in International Relations at the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR), Oxford Martin Fellow in Water Diplomacy, member of the Middle East Centre, Fulford Junior Research Fellow at Somerville College, and member of the Leadership Team of the Oxford Water Network.

My research focuses on the role of discourses in shaping water policies in the Middle East, on transboundary water governance and critical hydropolitics, and on issues related to the political economy of water resources in arid and semi-arid regions. In particular, I am leading a John Fell funded project titled "Analysing change in transboundary freshwater agreements" investigating how and why agreements change over time.

I obtained my PhD degree from the School of International Development, University of East Anglia. My PhD thesis investigated the discourse of water scarcity in the case of Jordan, and its impacts on transboundary water governance. My fieldwork has been funded by the Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL), the Arab Council for Social Sciences (ACSS), and by the Royal Geographical Society (RGS). 

After the PhD, I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the American University of Beirut, investigating hydropolitics in the Levant region, and as a Research Associate at the University of Kassel working on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus in the Mediterranean Region. I obtained my BA and MA in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Trieste – Gorizia (Italy), studied Middle Eastern Studies at SOAS, University of London, and obtained an MA in Interdisciplinary European Studies from the College of Europe.

In addition to my academic career, I have worked on issues of sustainable development and environmental governance for the Italian Embassy in Jordan, the European Parliament, the International Finance Corporation - Wold Bank, UNICEF, and BGR. 

Research Interests

My research focuses on:

- Hydropolitics (transboundary water governance, conflict and cooperation over shared water resources)

- Role of discourses and narratives in IR

- Construction of (water) scarcities

- Climate change politics

Environment and Climate Change



  • MPhil in IR core course “The Development of the International System and Contemporary Debates in International Relations Theory”
  • UG in PPE course: “211 Politics in the Middle East”


Journal article