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Nussaibah Younis

Mailing address

One Brattle Square 517
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Mailbox 134
Cambridge, MA, 02138


Nussaibah Younis

Research Fellow, International Security Program

Telephone: 617-384-8072
Fax: 617-496-0606



Nussaibah Younis is an International Security Program Research Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Nussaibah received her Ph.D. from the University of Durham, where her dissertation focused on the relationship between state weakness and foreign policymaking in post-invasion Iraq. As part of her research Nussaibah conducted over seventy-five high level interviews with senior Iraqi and U.S. politicians and officials. She has previously published work on the relationship between sectarianism and Iraq's post-war electoral system.

Nussaibah is a regular media commentator; she has published opinion pieces in the New York Times and the Guardian and has appeared on the BBC and Al-Jazeera. A collection of her articles and TV appearances can be found on her website:

Previously, Nussaibah worked with an entrepreneur to start up a now flourishing brand strategy consultancy. As part of her work in business and in academia, Nussaibah has lived all over the Arab world, including Amman, Beirut, Cairo, and Dubai. She graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Modern History and English.



By Date



May 2013

"From Power-Sharing to Majoritarianism: Iraq's Transitioning Political System"

Report Chapter

By Nussaibah Younis, Research Fellow, International Security Program

"The greatest political challenge facing Iraq today is its transition from a power-sharing to a majoritarian form of government without a concomitant depoliticization of ethno-sectarian identities."



Summer 2013

"Nussaibah Younis: Foreign Policies of Weak States Matter"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By Nussaibah Younis, Research Fellow, International Security Program

The invasion of Iraq prompted a deluge of work written on the country from a U.S. perspective, but Nussaibah Younis, a fellow with the Belfer Center's International Security Program, wants people to start considering Iraq as an actor in its own right. While at the  Center, Younis is working on a project that seeks to understand internal Iraqi foreign policymaking dynamics since 2003.



May 2, 2013

"Why Maliki Must Go"

Op-Ed, New York Times

By Nussaibah Younis, Research Fellow, International Security Program

"...Mr. Maliki, who took office in 2006, had a successful first term, he has squandered the opportunity to heal the nation in his second term, which began in 2010. He has taken a hard sectarian line on security and political challenges. He has resisted integrating Sunnis into the army. He has accused senior Sunni politicians of being terrorists, hounded them from power and lost the cooperation of the Sunni community. The result: the political bargain that had sustained the fragile Iraqi state broke down."



AP Photo

October 29, 2012

"Time to Get Tough on Iraq"

Op-Ed, New York Times

By Nussaibah Younis, Research Fellow, International Security Program

"...Mr. Maliki is not making an irrational choice in allowing assistance for the Assad regime next door. He is supporting an Iranian regime that brokered his own return to power, while also guarding against the possibility that the rise of a Sunni government in Syria could reignite the Iraqi civil war. So it is up to the United States to change Mr. Maliki's calculations to bring them in line with American interests."



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