Ashrakat Elshehawy

Research Topic:

Political Economy of the Middle East, Politics of Information, Text-Analysis
Government and Politics Network
Somerville College
DPhil Politics

My research interests lie in the field of comparative political economy. I focus on aspects related to economic history of state-institutions, local public good provision, informal social-welfare, the political economy of Islamic institutions, with a regional focus of the Middle East. My research also draws on questions about how foreign policy tools, such as economic sanctions, interact with domestic politics. I am also very interested in investigating aspects of the politics of information employing methods of computational text analysis. I am currently excited about employing text analysis on corpora of Arabic text, as it is a valuable resource in understanding the political and economic decision-making process in the Arab world. 

Previous Education:

M.A Political Science, University of Mannheim, Germany

Research Track: Advanced Quantitative Methods

Supervisor: Prof. Nikolay Marinov 

August 2016 - June 2018

B.A Political Science and Psychology, University of Mannheim, Germany

August 2013 - June 2016

Undergraduate Visiting Student at Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

September 2015 - December 2015

Additional Academic Training:

2019 Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM) Summer Institute at the Hobby School of Public Affairs, University of Houston, USA

June 2019

Scientific Programming with Python at the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute (HPE DSI), University of Houston, USA

January 2019 - February 2019


My research interests include:

  • Comparative Politics and Government,

  • Democracy and Democratisation,

  • Institutions and organisations,

  • Religion,

  • Political Economy



Text as Data: Computational Text Analysis

  • Course Convenor

  • Department of Politics and International Relations

  • University of Oxford

  • Trinity Term (Spring Term) 2021

Applied Statistics for Political Scientists

  • Coding Sessions for the Lecture Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences

  • Department of Politics and International Relations

  • University of Oxford

  • Michaelmas Term 2020-2021


211: Politics of the Middle East

  • PPE (Politics, Philosophy, Economics) Degree (Undergraduate)

  • Pembroke, St. Hilda’s, and Somerville Colleges

  • University of Oxford

  • Trinity Term - April - June 2020

201: Comparative Government

  • PPE (Politics, Philosophy, Economics) Degree (Undergraduate)

  • University of Oxford

  • Trinity Term Revisions- April - June 2020

Teaching Assistant at the Chair of Quantitative Methods, Prof. Thomas Gschwend, PhD,

  • University of Mannheim, Germany

  • Tutorial: Empirical Political Research in Political Science (lecture by: Dr. Sean Carey) (Undergraduate)

  • October 2017 - January 2018

Academic Positions

Visiting Scholar/Pre-Doc at the Department of Political Science, University of Houston

  • Houston, Texas, USA

  • January 2019 - June 2019

Research Associate at Mannheim Center for European Social Research (MZES)

  • Research Project: Individual Responses to International Democratizing Action (IRIDA)

  • University of Mannheim, Germany

  • August 2018 - September 2019

Research Assistant at the Chair of Empirical Democracy Research, Prof. Nikolay Marinov, PhD

  • University of Mannheim, Germany

  • January 2017 - July 2018

Student Editorial Assistant for the American Political Science Review (APSR) to Prof. Dr. Thomas König

  • University of Mannheim, Germany

  • October 2016 - July 2018

Research Assistant at the Mannheim Center for European Social Research (MZES)

  • Research Project: Mediated Contestation in Comparative Perspective

  • Professor Dr Harmut Wessler, Chair of Media and Communication

  • University of Mannheim, Germany

  • May 2015 - June 2016

Research Assistant at GESIS Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences

  • Programme: International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)

  • Mannheim, Germany

  • April 2014 - September 2016


  • Arabic,

  • German,

  • English,

  • French

Ashrakat Elshehawy


Published Work

Working Papers

Data Collection Project

  • "U.S. SASCAT - U.S. Congressional and Presidential Statements and Actions on Sanctions" (with Nikolay Marinov, Federico Nanni, and Jordan Tama) [Finished]

Conference Papers and Presentations

Women in Political Methodology Speaker Series

  • Title: Illiberal Communication and Election Intervention During the Refugee Crisis in Germany

  • Online Event

  • October, 2021

Monash-Warwick-Zurich Text-as-Data Workshop

  • Why Obasanjo but Germany: The Leader vs. Country Debate on the Floor of U.S. Congress

  • February, 2021

American Political Science Association Meeting

  • Virtual Conference

  • September, 2020

Zurich Text as Data

  • "Who Wants to Talk About Refugees and Why? Foreign Interventions in German Elections"

  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland

  • October, 2019

Tex Meth Conference of the Political Methodology Society

  • Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA

  • March, 2019

Sanction Workshop: "Supranational Economic Statecraft: Sanction Success and Failure in a Comparative Perspective."

  • "Quantifying Attention to Elections with Text-Analysis"

  • Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan , Poland

  • October, 2017

Fifth Open Section Meeting of the DVWR IR Section

  • "Quantifying Attention to Elections with Text-Analysis",

  • University of Bremen, Germany

  • October, 2017

IC2C2 International Conference on Computational Social Sciences

  • Paper Title: "Quantifying Attention to Elections with Text-Analysis",

  • Cologne, Germany

  • July, 2017