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Dr Sam Louden-Cooke

Senior Lecturer In International Relations & Politics

I am a Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Politics, specialising in gender equality and secularism in the Middle East and North Africa region.


I am a Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Politics. My most recent research explores the effects of secularism on gender equality in family law in Egypt and Iran between 1920 and 1939. I am currently working on understanding different models of secularism and how they were introduced into states in the Middle East.

I am also starting a project exploring the impact of childhood experiences on gender equality activists’ decisions to become politically engaged in Egypt, Iran and Iraq between 1900 and 1980. In addition to this, I have previously researched student perspectives on the use of social media as a tool for learning and teaching in Higher Education.


  • BA (Hons) Politics, University of Surrey, 2010
  • MSc Middle East Politics, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 2011
  • PhD Politics, University of Surrey, 2016
  • Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching, University of Surrey, 2014.


  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Teaching & Research


I currently convene the following modules:

  • NS5340 Researching International Relations
  • NS5341 Examining Foreign Policy
  • NS5342 Global Governance and Law
  • HM4901 Thinking Politically
  • HM4902 Thinking Globally


My main focus is secularism in the Middle East in relation to gender equality and colonialism. My main areas of interest are Egypt and Iran, but I am broadening my area to other states in the Middle East and North Africa region.

My work employs a qualitative textual analysis approach, exploring the underlying meanings of legal documents, government reports and personal accounts.