Rodger Shanahan

Research Fellow, West Asia Program
Areas of expertise
Middle East security issues; Political Islam; Shi’a Islam
News and media

Dr Rodger Shanahan is a Research Fellow at the Lowy Institute.

A former army officer, he had extensive service within the Parachute Battalion Group (PBG) and has had operational service with the UN in South Lebanon and Syria, with the PBG in East Timor, in Beirut during the 2006 war, and in Afghanistan. He was the former director of the Army's Land Warfare Studies Centre, and has also been posted to the Australian Embassies in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Dr Shanahan has MAs in International Relations and Middle East Studies from the ANU, and a PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies from the University of Sydney.

He is also a part-time member of the Refugee Review Tribunal.  He has written numerous journal, media and policy articles, is a frequent commentator on Middle East issues for Australian and international media, has appeared as an expert witness for several terrorism trials in Australia and is the author of Clans, Parties and Clerics: the Shi’a of Lebanon.

Enduring ties and enduring interests?
Policy Briefs
Enduring ties and enduring interests?
Largely as a consequence of military deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, Australia has developed strong defence ties with key GCC countries. But with these deployments coming to…
Justice or stability? Hizbullah, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and consequences for the region
In a new Lowy Institute Analysis, Non-resident Fellow Dr Rodger Shanahan explores what the outcomes of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, investigating the assassination of former…
Al-Qaeda, tribes and instability in Yemen
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Sarah Phillips and Rodger Shanahan discuss the re-emergence of a significant al-Qaeda presence in Yemen. The authors focus on al-Qaeda’s efforts…
The Gulf states and Iran: robust competitors or interested bystanders?
In a new Lowy Institute Perspectives, Rodger Shanahan, non-resident fellow in the West Asia Program, examines relations between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)…
Bad moon not rising: the myth of the Shi'a crescent
Accusations that a Shi'a crescent is emerging in the Arab world following the rise of a Shi'a government in Iraq and the actions of Hizbullah in Lebanon, have provoked much…
Policy Briefs
Why the Gulf matters: crafting an Australian security policy for the Gulf
The imminent withdrawal of Australian combat forces from Iraq does not mean that the Arabian Gulf is peripheral to Australia's strategic interests. Rodger Shanahan