Marsin Alshamary studies how the Shi’a religious establishment in Iraq has interacted with official politics, protests, and peacebuilding. She is currently finishing the manuscript for her book, “A Century of the Iraqi Hawza: How Clerics Shaped Protests and Politics in Modern Day Iraq”. Carrie Alshamary’s research has been funded by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Institute for Regional and International Studies. Her most recent study examines how women participate in politics in Iraq. She graduated with a doctorate in political science from MIT and a bachelor’s degree in French and international relations.
Marsin Alshamary is a nonresident fellow in the Foreign Policy program. From 2020 to 2021, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the same program. She also works as a research fellow with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Middle East Initiative at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. In her research on the intersection of religion and politics in the Middle East, she looks at how the Shi’a religious establishment in Iraq has interacted with government politics, protests, and building peace. She is currently finishing the manuscript for her book, “A Century of the Iraqi Hawza: How Clerics Shaped Protests and Politics in Modern Iraq.” The book looks at how the Shi’a religious establishment, the Marjayya, responded to protest movements during different times in Iraq’s history, such as the monarchy, republic, dictatorship, and democratization.
In addition to her studies on politics and religion, Alshamary has written extensively about post-2003 protests and Iraqi civil society. Her research on civil society challenges the idea that civil society and democratisation are related by investigating the evolution of organisational life in the Iraqi mid-Euphrates region after 2003. A report on this study was released by Brookings. Alshamary also oversaw a project to map Iraq’s civic society, which was funded by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
Additionally, Alshamary’s study has concentrated on the Iraqi protest movement in October. She has authored a report outlining the conflict between reformists and revolutionaries inside the protest movement with assistance from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Institute for Regional and International Studies. She has researched why secular activists resorted to the Catholic institution for legitimacy for Brookings. Additionally, she has researched the path taken by protesters from the street to the parliament with funding from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
Her most recent study examines how women participate in politics in Iraq, combining her interests in civil society and protest politics. The International Development Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada, is funding “The Protest to Parliament Pipeline: Investigating the Link Between Activism and Women’s Political Participation in Iraq.” There, Alshamary received the Women, Peace, and Security Award from the honourable Mélanie Joly, Canada’s foreign minister.
Alshamary has written opinion pieces in addition to her research for publications such as Order from Chaos, The Washington Post, PRI, War on the Rocks, 1001 Iraqi Thoughts, and others. She has been interviewed by Al Jazeera English, the BBC, CNN, PRI The World, Radio France Internationale, and TRT for both radio and television. Articles from Agence France-Presse, Al Jazeera, The Associated Press, Vox Media, The Washington Post, Reuters, and others have used her analysis.
She graduated with a doctorate in political science from MIT and a bachelor’s degree in French and international relations from Wellesley College, where she was an Albright Fellow.
affiliations: consultant for the International Organization for Migration at the American University of Iraq at Sulaimani’s Institute for Regional and International Studies
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network