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Marwa Shalaby

Marwa M. Shalaby is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In Spring 2023, she was a visiting fellow at Harvard's Center for Middle East Studies (CMES). She was also awarded the prestigious Anna Julia Cooper Fellowship for the academic year 2019-20. Prior to joining the University of Wisconsin, Shalaby was the Fellow for the Middle East and Director of the Women’s Rights in the Middle East Program at Rice University and a visiting scholar in the Governance and Local Development Institute (GLD), the University of Gothenburg. Shalaby has taught classes on authoritarianism, gender and politics, and the politics of the Middle East. She currently serves on the editorial boards of Politics and Gender, and Review of Economics and Political Science. Shalaby is also a steering committee member of the GLD Institute, University of Gothenburg.


Shalaby’s research areas are gender politics, authoritarianism, and research methodology. Her work focuses primarily on the intersection of the politics of authoritarianism and women in politics. Her research also aims to explicate the micro-dynamics and outcomes of electoral institutions under competitive authoritarianism, mainly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In addition, she is working on a cross-national project exploring the drivers of political tolerance in non-democratic and transitioning states.

Over the past years, Shalaby has conducted original data collection and extensive fieldwork across the region. She administered public opinion surveys and survey experiments in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, and Morocco. Moreover, Shalaby is the PI for the Governance and Elections in the Middle East Project (GEMEP)–the most comprehensive and only dataset that offers invaluable insights into the micro-dynamics of MENA's electoral institutions. Her work was supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Hicham Alaoui Foundation, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) Foundation in Sweden, New York University Abu Dhabi Institute (NYUADI), Rice University’s Boniuk Institute, the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy (AUB), UW-Madison's Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and Rice University’s Endowment on Women’s Rights in the Middle East. 


Shalaby’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, GovernanceComparative Politics, PS: Political Science & Politics, Politics and GenderPolitical Research Quarterly, Parliamentary Affairs, the Middle East Journal, and Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming special issue on Gender and  Authoritarian Politics in the Journal of Comparative Political Studies.  Shalaby is currently working on a book manuscript exploring women’s political representation in non-democracies. The book is under contract with Columbia University Press. She has also co-authored an edited volume, The Evolving Role of Women after the Arab Spring, with Professor Valentine Moghadam (2016).


She has also published in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (SADA), the Project on the Middle East in Political Science (POMEPS), al-Fanar Media, Houston Chronicle, and the Washington Post's Monkey Cage. Shalaby was quoted and/or interviewed by major domestic and international media outlets, such as CNN, BBC, Fortune Magazine, Al-Ahram (Egypt), and World Politics Review, among many others. She has consulted with government agencies on several research projects on women and politics in the MENA. She has presented her work and organized conferences in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Recent Work

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Executive Compliance with Parliamentary Powers under Authoritarianism: Evidence from Jordan

Women in Legislative Committees in Arab Parliaments

Who Supports Gender Quotas in Transitioning and Authoritarian States in the Middle East and North Africa?

Dynamics of Decentralization in the MENA

Dynamics of Decentralization in the MENA

© 2020 Marwa Shalaby

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