Saleena Saleem

Postgraduate Research Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant

Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology


Saleena holds a M.Sc. in Political Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She also holds a M.Sc. in Journalism and a B.A. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from Boston University (BU). Her most recent research stints were at the School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, and at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.


Saleena’s research interests are on the sociology of religion and race; politics of identity; ethno-religious conflicts; and democratization, with a focus on the Muslim-majority countries in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

She began her PhD in January 2018. She also undertakes teaching duties as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Liverpool in Singapore. She teaches on the following modules: Social Theory and Themes (101); Controlling Crime (108); and Qualitative Social Research Methods (248).

Thesis title

Competing Gender Discourses Around the Role of Islam in State and Society (working title)


Florini, Ann and Saleena Saleem. “Information Disclosure in Global Energy Governance,” Global Policy Volume 2, Issue 777, 2011, pp. 144-154 (Journal Article)

Sovacool, Benjamin K., Saleena Saleem, Anthony L. D’Agostino, Catherine R. Ramos, Kirsten Trott, and Yanchun Ong. “What About Social Science and Interdisciplinarity? A 10-year Content Analysis of Energy Policy,” in DL Goldblatt et al. (Eds.) Tackling Long-Term Global Energy Problems: The Contribution of Social Sciences (New York: Springer, 2012) (Edited Book Chapter)

“Islam in the Contemporary World”, Nanyang Technological University (NTU). June 2, 2016. (Conference Report)

Selected Commentaries

“Najib’s Mother of All Budgets: Gearing Up For 14th General Election,” RSIS Commentaries No. 226/2017. November 28, 2017.

“Expanding KL-Saudi Ties: Benefits and Risks for Malaysia,” RSIS Commentaries No. 040/2017. March 9, 2017.

“Turkey Referendum: New Phase in Turkish-European Relations,” Eurasia Review. April 27, 2017.

“The look of a winner: Why public image matters for Malaysia's new opposition party,” Asia and the Pacific Policy Society, Policy Forum. February 28, 2017.

“Morocco and the ‘third way’ process of change,” Middle East Monitor. November 2, 2016.

“Malaysia’s Secular Versus Religious Divide,” New Mandala. October 10, 2016.

“Saudi Arabia’s Shaken Pillars: Impact on Southeast Asian Muslims,” RSIS Commentaries CO16133. June 1, 2016.

“Islamophobia: Fuelling the Cycle of Violence,” RSIS Commentaries CO16073. April 5, 2016.

“Middle East Upheavals Driven More by Politics than Religion,” Today. March 9, 2016.