Dr. Sultan Barakat
Professor at the College of Public Policy (Hamad Bin Khalifa University)


Sultan Barakat is a Professor in Public Policy at Qatar Foundation’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University and an Honorary Professor at the University of York. He is a world-renowned scholar, known for pioneering the study of war-torn societies and their recovery. Professor Barakat founded the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies and directed it between 2016 and 2022. Previously, he served as the Director of Research at the Brookings Institutions Doha Center. At the University of York, he founded and led the Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit between 1993 and 2019.

Professor Barakat has been published widely in academic referred journals. His book ‘After the Conflict: Reconstruction and Development in the Aftermath of War’, published by IB Tauris, was reprinted twice, in 2005 and 2010. He has also written books on the reconstruction of both Afghanistan and Iraq. His most recent book, ‘Understanding Influence: The Use of Statebuilding Research in British Policy’ was published by Ashgate in 2014.

Barakat has over 30 years of professional experience working on issues of conflict resolution, humanitarian response, statebuilding and post-conflict recovery and transition. He is regularly engaged in providing guidance as a Senior Adviser and Consultant to the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union, the Red Cross and a variety of governments. He has led major evaluations, peace negotiations and programming initiatives in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Nepal, Palestine, Philippines (Mindanao), Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan (Darfur), Syria, Uganda (Moyo and Adjumani) and Yemen.

Research Interests

Professor Barakat's research focus includes strategic conflict assessment and the linkage of context to policy; conflict mediation; the research-policy nexus; post-conflict reconstruction and state-fragility; humanitarian response; and reconstruction policy evaluation and value attribution. Underlying these themes is a principal research concern with public and humanitarian diplomacy. Much of Barakat's work is collaborative and cross-disciplinary and has had a substantial impact on the design and use of strategic conflict and stability assessments of war-affected and fragile states. His work has pioneered the use of reflexive 'participatory learning processes' in war-torn areas - most recently in Afghanistan and Yemen.

As Principal Investigator, Professor Barakat is the recipient of numerous large research grants from the UK's ESRC, FDCO, as well as the EU, World Bank, USIP, UNICEF and UNDP, amongst others. In 2020, he was named Principal Investigator on a $2.5 million MoFA grant to investigate the impact of Qatar’s Foreign Policy on conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction in the Arab world. Between 2019 and 2022, he was the co-investigator on a major Norwegian Research Council grant awarded to the Christian Michelsen Institute (CMI, Bergen) that was led by Dr. Antonio De Lauri in July 2022.

At HBKU, he is the recipient of a large grant from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support his work on Afghanistan following the fall of Kabul on August 15, 2021.