Virginie Collombier

Prior to joining the European University Institute as a Max Weber Fellow she worked for a few years as a Middle East analyst within the French administration. She hold a PhD in Political Science from the University of Grenoble and a MA in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris. Her work has mainly focused on political change and regimes’ transformations in the Arab world. In her PhD dissertation, entitled “Will the party be the solution? The Egyptian National Democratic Party (NDP), a tool for gaining power in an authoritarian regime in transition”, she focused on the inner workings of the Egyptian presidential party between 2000 and 2008 and analyzed the strategy for gaining power implemented by Gamal Mubarak – the president’s younger son – and a group of newcomers on the political scene. She highlighted the advantages and drawbacks of a strategy that focused mainly on the party, at the expense of other institutions more influential in the Egyptian political system. This has proven a very useful background to understand the processes of political crisis and regime transformation that took place in early 2011. Since she joined the EUI in September 2011, she has been working on a new research project which looks at the articulation between political developments and social change in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.