Hussam Hussein


Departmental Lecturer and Research Fellow in International Relations
International Relations Network
Somerville College
Office address
Room 163, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

Hussam Hussein is 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. His principal research interests are concerned with the role of discourses in shaping water policies in the Middle East, transboundary water governance, critical hydropolitics, and the political economy of water resources in arid and semi-arid regions. He is the author of several articles on water politics, and his work has appeared on several academic journals, including Geoforum, Mediterranean Politics, Contemporary Levant, Water International, Water Policy, and Water Alternatives.

Dr Hussein is Principal investigator of the John Fell funded project "Analysing change in transboundary freshwater agreements", which investigates the role of the political context in answering how and why transboundary freshwater agreements change over time. He is also a Research Fellow of the Oxford Martin School-funded programme on 'Transboundary Resource Management', which is exploring the scope for cross-border co-operation on natural resource management in the eastern Nile River Basin and the Jordan River Basin. See the Oxford Martin School website for more details.

Dr Hussein has held fellowships at the American University of Beirut, at the University of Kassel , and is currently fellow of the Young Academy of Sustainability at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) and of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on “Cities of Tomorrow”.

He obtained his PhD degree from the School of International Development, University of East Anglia with a thesis investigating the discourse of water scarcity in the case of Jordan, and its impacts on transboundary water governance. His 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). 

He obtained his BA and MA in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Trieste – Gorizia (Italy), he 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 his academic career, he worked on issues of sustainable development and environmental governance for the Italian Embassy in Jordan, the European Parliament, the International Finance Corporation - World Bank, UNICEF, and the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR). 


His 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”
Hussam Hussein