Working Papers

Armed Conflicts and the Erosion of the State: The Cases of Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria

How have armed conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen challenged or weakened each state? This report underlines the main dynamics that have affected state capacity and authority and highlights the key challenges facing policymakers in rebuilding centralized, efficient and legitimate states. It puts particular emphasis on the need for building consensus around governance mechanisms [...]

Algeria–Morocco Relations and their Impact on the Maghrebi Regional System

This paper analyses the dynamics of relations between the two regional powers in the Maghrebi sub-regional system: Algeria and Morocco. More specifically, it examines the trajectory of the long and complex interactions between those two states as well as the key issues at stake, especially the Saharan problem. Based on extensive interviews conducted in both [...]

The MENA Region in the Global Energy Markets

This paper explores how the current dynamics in the energy market sector affect, and are affected by, the interactions between the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the global order. In particular, it aims to answer the overarching question: “Is MENA peripheral to or embedded in global dynamics in relation to energy?” To [...]

The International NGO Triangle in the MENA Region

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is increasingly embebbed into the global order in the transnational field, namely through the intra- and interregional interactions of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with state actors. The phenomenon is investigated in the framework of the “international NGO triangle”, namely the system of relations between the non-governmental organization, the [...]

The Mirage of Regionalism in the Middle East and North Africa Post-2011

Existing regional cooperation platforms in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are internally fragmented and largely ineffective. Focusing on the League of Arab States, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Arab Maghreb Union, this paper discusses attempts to re-energize and instrumentalize existing regional organizations following the Arab uprisings. It shows that regional [...]

Militarization and Militia-ization: Dynamics of Armed Group Proliferation in Egypt and Libya

This paper analyses the drivers behind some of the different types of proliferation of armed groups in power and politics that have taken place in the Middle East and North Africa after 2011. Based on thick empirical description and analysis of the highly distinct ways that armed groups have proliferated in Egypt and in Libya [...]

Jihadist Groups in North Africa and the Sahel: Between Disintegration, Reconfiguration and Resilience

This paper, based on extensive interviews and fieldwork conducted in North Africa and the Sahel, considers the recent evolution of jihadi organizations in this region, and offers analysis of patterns of competition and violence among different jihadi groups. We argue that while there is a clear division between Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups and those linked with the [...]

The Libyan Security Continuum: The Impact of the Libyan Crisis on the North African/Sahelian Regional System

This paper analyses the impact of the Libyan crisis on the regional environment in North Africa/the Sahel. More specifically the paper shows that, despite international attempts to resolve the crisis, the situation remains very difficult in Libya with the persistence of instability and radical militancy and a dramatic increase in illegal trafficking, particularly human trafficking. [...]

New Trends in Identity Politics in the Middle East and North Africa and Their Impact on State–Society Relations

State–society relations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have been deeply impacted by the dynamics around collective identities in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings and of other domestic and regional far-reaching developments, such as the failed coup attempt in Turkey or the ramifications of the Syrian conflict. It is therefore of utmost [...]

The Implications of the Syrian War for New Regional Orders in the Middle East

This paper argues that the impact of the eight-year war in Syria will reverberate across the region for years to come, and explores, in particular, four noteworthy legacies. First, it examines the series of interventions in Syria by regional and foreign powers (including Russia, Turkey, Iran, the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab [...]