Picture of PhD student Zana Gulmohamad

Zana Gulmohamad

PhD Research Student

Contact Details:

Email: z.gulmohamad@sheffield.ac.uk



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Thesis title: An analysis of Iraq’s foreign policy post-Saddam

Start year: February 2013

Supervisors: Dr Rhiannon Vickers and Professor Andrew Taylor

Research Topic

This research investigates the foreign policy of the new Iraq, including the mechanisms for its formulation, its contested orientations and challenges and obstructions faced in crafting it, such as the historical repercussions of Iraq’s foundation, external interferences and domestic political rivalries. It identifies the key figures and geo-economic factors, such as the energy resources (oil and gas) that shape it, and explores its priorities, preferences and strategies (if any) along with the process of decision making involved. It aims at answering the whys and hows of the fragmentation of Iraq’s foreign policy.

It also explores how and to what extent the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has its own foreign policy distinct from that of the central government in Baghdad. Finally, it uncovers the influence of the regional powers as well as superpowers (such as the US) on Iraq, which shape and, in some ways, contribute to the fragmentation of Iraq’s foreign policy.

This research will include a thorough study of books, articles appearing in journals and other credible publications, reports and audio-visual texts. In addition to first-hand data will be collected from various sources, such as interviews with Iraqi decision-makers, and experts in the field and formal published/unpublished documents from government institutions.

Research Interests

  • Middle Eastern studies
  • International relations and Foreign policy theories
  • Political analysis
  • Political economy
  • Middle Eastern security studies
  • American foreign policy towards the Middle East

Research Group Membership


  • POL114 - Introduction to Security Studies

Professional Affiliations

  • Political Studies Association
  • British society for the Middle Eastern Studies
  • American Political Science Association

Previous Education

  • MA in Global Affairs and Diplomacy at the University of Buckingham (2012)
  • BA in political Science (2006-2010)

Other Experience

  • A founder of an educational non-governmental organization (NGO) in the Middle East Iraq (BIT).
  • Security analyst for an agency in Kurdistan Regional Government for six years.


Arabic, English, Kurdish and Dutch.



Conference Papers

  • "External interferences on Iraq's foreign policy post-Saddam." British International Studies Association Annual conference. London.16th-19th June 2015.
  • “The development of security agencies in Iraqi Kurdistan” Political Studies Association Annual Conference. Sheffield. 30th March-1st April 2015
  • “The political repercussions of economic revolution in Iraqi Kurdistan” British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Sussex. 16-18 June 2014.
  • “Civil war in the Middle East in the age of digital revolution: converging extremism in Iraq and Syria: Focus on the Islamic State”. American Political Science Association annual conference. Georgetown University, Washington D.C. 28-31 August 2014.
  • “The sectarian violence in the Middle East: focus on Iraq” at the 8th Annual International Interdisciplinary conference. The University of Brighton, Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics & Ethics (CAPPE). 11th –13th September 2013. Conference title: Representation, Politics and violence.
  • “ The fragmented states in the Middle East: The case of Iraq”. The Annual postgraduate conference-Political Studies Association - University of Oxford - 12th December 2013.

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