Dr Omar AlShehabi

Dr Omar AlShehabi


Before joining the University of Leeds, I was Visiting Associate Professor at the Sociology Department at the University of British Columbia during 2020-2022. Prior to that I was Associate Professor in Political Economy at GUST University and the Founding Director of the Gulf Centre for Development Policies in Kuwait. I also had work stints at the IMF, the World Bank, and McKinsey & Co. 

I obtained my DPhil in Economics from Pembroke College, Oxford, where I also completed an MPhil in Economics and a BA Hons in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. 

I am currently on the editorial board of International Studies Review, Contemporary Arab Affairs, and Al-Mustaqbal Al-ArabiI am also a founding editor of the book series Radical Histories of the Middle East by OneWorld publishers.

Research interests

I look at the intersections of labour, land, and money.  I am interested in how regimes of accumulation are sustained materially and ideationally within global capitalism as an overarching structure, situating critical political economy within a historical-geographical approach. Particularly, I use the prism of the Gulf, broadly defined spatially, to examine the international economic and political processes that drove its transformation from pearling and entrepot towns to oil-exporting monarchies, both inside and beyond their borders. I like to engage with wider discussions on the construction of transnational capital markets, South-South migration, the political ecology of urban transformations, legacies of colonialism, absolutist modes of governance, oil-based modes of economic growth, and the intellectual and political currents that emerge within them.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • DPhil in Economics, Pembroke College, Oxford
  • MPhil in Economics, Pembroke College, Oxford
  • BA Hons in PPE, Pembroke College, Oxford

Professional memberships

  • International Studies Association (ISA)
  • Middle East Studies Association (MESA)

Student education

At the MA level, I am involved in teaching the “Theories and Concepts in Global Political Economy”, “Capitalism in Practice”, and the “Global Inequalities and Development” modules. I also take part in teaching the “Approaches to Analysis” module for undergraduates. I am happy to supervise PhD students in topics that share my research interests.