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The external dimension of the failed democratic transitions in the MENA region. The impact of interstate rivalries on national politics

Project description

Exploring how interstate rivalries impact national politics

A hostile and competitive relationship between states, referred to as interstate rivalry, can negatively impact the processes of political change towards democracy. The EU-funded RIVALMENA project will investigate how such rivalries affect the negotiation of political change in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, specifically Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Project work will improve understanding of the democratisation processes in MENA as existing literature focuses primarily on national factors. To achieve this, the project will use a mixed methodological approach and create databases and maps that EU institutions can use to develop EU common foreign and security policy.


RIVALMENA proposes new research exploring the impact of interstate rivalries on the negotiation of political change after the fall of dictators in three countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region: Tunisia, Libya and Egypt,. Analysing the influence rivalries have on political transitions in the MENA is timely and important for understanding regional politics. The region is experiencing an unprecedented fall of long-serving authoritarian rulers, most of whom were ousted by national revolts. Yet, democratization rarely follows the fall of dictators and countries rapidly descend into civil wars or return to some form of authoritarian rule. RIVALMENA aims at showing the crucial role that interstate rivalries play in thwarting processes of political change toward democracy, thereby refining the dominant scholarly interpretation that points almost exclusively to national factors to understand the shortage of successful democratization processes in the MENA region. To attain the research objectives, RIVALMENA relies on a mixed methodological approach, including triangulation between qualitative and quantitative data. In addition to contribute to the advancement of academic knowledge, research outputs include the creation of databases and maps that will be useful to EU institutions for implementing its common foreign and security policy. The author has already conducted extensive research on the international relations of the MENA (both in the field and remotely) and can rely on a wide network of contacts that will facilitate the accomplishment of the research objectives and tasks.


Net EU contribution
€ 288 859,20
30123 Venezia

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Nord-Est Veneto Venezia
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Partners (1)