Additional Academic Training

I undertook the following further academic training:

  • 2019 Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM) Summer Institute at the Hobby School of Public Affairs, University of Houston, USA
  • Scientific Programming with Python at the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute (HPE DSI), University of Houston, USA

Published Work

Perspectives on Politics
Populist discourse - which tends to benefit anti-systemic parties - has been on the rise in the world’s …

Historical maps contain a wealth of information. They enable us to access rare data and reveal information …

Accepted at Journal of Peace Reseach
Existing datasets of economic sanctions do not tend to take full advantage of government …

Accepted at Journal of Politics
We introduce the concept of monitoring costs to the study of international affairs: when the agenda of …

Working Papers

We introduce Named-Entity Recognition (NER), a semantic tool in Natural Language Processing (NLP), as an approach to extract leader names from a corpus of political text. Identifying references to named entities allows us to use the significant power of text analysis to advance research how and why these entities matter. We offer an algorithm on how to identify leader names and software to help researchers. As an illustration of our approach, we look at the Congressional record. We identify mentions of political leaders running in foreign elections - incumbent leaders and main opposition candidates. We show that Congressional mentions of foreign leaders reflects the positions foreign leaders assume on relations with the U.S., and convey an interest in supporting candidates and democracy. This confirms and extends existing research, while demonstrating the utility of using NER in political science research more generally.

Prior scholarship on the role of the U.S. Congress in sanctions policy making has highlighted how sanctions legislating is shaped by domestic political pressures. We move beyond a focus on interest groups, public opinion, and electoral incentives while investigating an important but underappreciated dimension of sanctions legislation – whether and how legislation grants the executive branch discretion regarding its implementation. We explain how deterrence objectives, treaty commitments, signaling concerns, and the uncertainties and trade-offs associated with different issues influence the degree and type of flexibility provided to the executive branch in sanctions legislation. We test hypotheses derived from this argument with evidence from a novel data set, created directly from the complete corpus of U.S. government documents dealing with sanctions from 1988-2016. Our analysis also has important implications for research on the effectiveness of sanctions, high- lighting the importance of taking into account underappreciated legislative design features when evaluating the success or failure of this commonly used policy tool.

Though centralized enforcement of global human rights standards is weak, powerful states can act unilaterally to punish rights violations. Focusing on the United States, which is the most frequent ‘sender’ of sanctions for human rights, we theorize how the incentives for sanctions differ across the legislative and executive branches of government, as well as how the legal foundation for sanctions vary across issue area. Employing a new fine-grained dataset of US economic coercion, we examine the conditions under which and the consistency with which the United States employs sanctions for human rights. We show that certain human rights issues, characterized by interbranch agreement and domestic policy externalities, give rise to systems of ‘dedicated’ enforcement where violations are systematically monitored and punishment is more likely. In other more politically-contentious areas, US human rights enforcement is more ad hoc, but nevertheless responds at the margins to international legal commitments: when countries ratify certain certain global human rights treaties, they are more likely to be targeted by US sanctions in the event of rights violations.

My Dissertation Project

The Political Economy of the Local Origins of Public Service Provision: Evidence from 19th & early 20th century Egypt

Local Provision and Development of Schooling

Alexandria: Economic History of Inequality under Colonization
watch the GIF below, for an overlay of historical maps of Alexandria in the 19th century on current geographical coordinates. Part of my project mapping the economic history of inequality 💥

Alt text for my gif

Data Collection Projects

Data Collection Project of Egyptian Schools [more info soon 👐!]

Data Collection Project of US Sanctions using Text-Analysis and Machine Learning Techniques

Teaching

Sample Teaching Evaluations [Link]

Graduate:

  • Python and Quantitative Text Analysis for Social Scientists
    Course Convener
    Department of Politics and International Relations
    University of Oxford
  • Text as Data: Computational Text Analysis
    Course Convener
    Department of Politics and International Relations
    University of Oxford
    [Syllabus] [Material on Github]
  • Applied Statistics for Political Scientists - Lab Sessions
    Department of Politics and International Relations
    University of Oxford
  • Computational Text Analysis for Political Science
    Department of Political Science
    University of Houston
    [Syllabus]

Undergraduate:

  • 211: Politics of the Middle East
    PPE (Politics, Philosophy, Economics) Degree
    Pembroke, St. Hilda’s, and Somerville Colleges
    University of Oxford
  • 201: Comparative Government
    PPE (Politics, Philosophy, Economics) Degree
    University of Oxford
  • Tutorial: Empirical Political Research in Political Science
    Lecture by: Dr. Sean Carey
    University of Mannheim, Germany

Recent and Upcoming Conferences and Presentations

Named-Entity Recognition with Application to Foreign Leader Mentions in Congressional Speeches
Ashrakat Elshehawy (Oxford), Ines …

Contributor to Roundtable on: Islam, Politics, and Development

Named-Entity Recognition with Application to Foreign Leader Mentions in Congressional Speeches
Ashrakat Elshehawy (Oxford), Ines …

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