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Zainab Alam, PhD


Zainab Alam is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Howard University. She earned her Ph.D. in political science at Rutgers University in 2021, where she also directed the Douglass Public Leadership Education Network and advised the scholar’s program at the Institute for Women’s Leadership. Prior to her graduate study she had a pre-doctoral fellowship at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, where she analyzed UN Security Council implementation of SCR 1325. Relatedly, she holds an MS in Global Affairs from New York University and has local and international work experience in the non-profit sector. She received American Political Science Association’s Hayward R. Alker Award in 2019 and her most recent publications can be found in Perspectives on Politics and the Journal of Language, Aggression, and Conflict. Through a multi-modal approach–including content, text, and critical discourse analysis, participant observation, as well as social media analysis, her current research agenda focuses on participatory democracy and the digital divide in Pakistan. Paying special attention to the use of social media for political gains by women, ethnic minorities, and other marginalized groups, her book project on Pakistan’s online political culture elucidates key aspects of digital democracy and authoritarianism in the region. 

Broadly speaking, her research interests lie in comparative political theory; gender and politics; political communication (social and mass media); globalization and human rights; popular and political culture; diaspora studies; theories of democracy and contentious politics; and the politics of ethnicity and nationalism.