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Università l'Orientale University of Warwick German Marshall Fund Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies European Policy Center Centre IBN ROCHD The Tunisian Observatory of the Democratic transition

Coordinating Institution



Ruth Hanau Santini

Ruth is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Universty of Naples L’Orientale, where her research focuses on European foreign policy, politics in the MENA region and the role of external actors there. In 2013 she is Transatlantic Academy Fellow in Washington contributing to a comprehensive research project on “The future of the Western Liberal Order”.

From early 2012 to the spring of 2013, she has served as advisor to Italy’s current vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marta Dassù. She was previously Visiting Fellow at the Center on the US and Europe at the Brookings Institution, where she is still Non Resident Fellow.

She has completed her PhD at the Federico II University in Naples, also thanks to a Marie Curie early Stage Fellowship at the University of Birmingham and a multi-year fellowship by three European private foundation within the program “European foreign policy and security studies” program. Throughout her PhD, which focused on EU foreign policy towards the Arab world since 9/11, she was Visiting Fellow at the SWP in Berlin and CEPS in Brussels.

She has written on Italian, European and Middle Eastern foreign policies as well as MENA political trajectories.


 Arianna Morelli

Arianna Morelli

Arianna Morelli is Research Advisor and Manager for EU funded projects at the University of Bologna, where she is in charge of advising academic actors on EU funding priorities and strategic initiatives for the Energy and the Environment. On the premises of such collaboration, Arianna drafts and manages EU-funded research projects, and provides technical support to multidisciplinary and multinational working groups. Furthermore she liaises with the European Commission, and establishes project partnerships. Since she graduated from the University of Bologna (Master in Political Science) she has developed expertise in the monitoring and the analisys of European policies for the research, the environment and local sustainable development.



Nicolò Russo Perez

Nicolò Russo Perez, Program Manager of Compagnia di San Paolo, is in charge of several grant-making and operational activities promoted by the foundation in the field of international relations, including the "Europe and Global Challenges" grant-scheme, the European Fund for the Balkans, and the strategic partnerships with the German Marshall Fund of the United States and with the Istituto Affari Internazionali. Previously, he had working experience at the European Commission and at the International Labour Organization (ILO). Nicolò studied contemporary History at the University Ca' Foscari in Venice, specializing in international relations, with postgraduate studies at Kennedy Institute of the Free University in Berlin, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and at the University Institute of European Studies in Torino.



 Claudia De Martino

Claudia De Martino is a Postdoc Fellow at the Orientale University of Neaples and researcher in Mediterranean affairs at UNIMED, based in Rome. She received her PhD in Social History of the Mediterranean at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. She spent a year with an EMU2 research scholarship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2008) and was Visiting Fellow at the Van Leer Institute of Jerusalem (2009-2010). She has been teaching assistant at the Chair of History of Europe and the Mediterranean at the Roma Tre University (2008-2012). Among her publications: “Mizrahi Jews In Israel” (Carocci, 2015), “Israel and the Italian Communist Party: from Fondness to Enmity” in Communist and Post-Communist Studies (2015), “Geopolitics of collapse”, ed. by Iannuzzi (Castelvecchi, 2014); “The Social legacy of the Yom Kippur War”, in The October War, ed. by Siniver, Hurst and Oxford University Press, 2013.,

Giulia Cimini

Giulia Cimini

Giulia Cimini is a PhD Student at the University of Naples L'Orientale and Teaching Assistant of Political Science for undergraduate students at the same University since the beginning of 2015. Her doctoral research project explores, throughout a comparative study of post-2011 Tunisia and Morocco, the different facets and nature of civil society associations, the social cleavages they embody and their role within the transition process or lack of it, beyond typically Western lenses. Her current research interests also include the EU democracy assistance policies towards the Mediterranean and the changing EU relations in the Southern Neighbourhood.

She holds a Master’s degree in African and Asian Relations and Institutions and a B.A. in International Relations and Political Sciences, with a focus on Middle East Politics and Arabic skills, acquired in Naples and strengthened in Damascus, throughout a joint scholarship by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Syrian Ministry of Education.

She has recently coordinated an inter-cultural project with civil society organizations in Naples and she is also in the network of young scholars of DGAP and ECPR.


Research team



Dr Richard Youngs (Warwick)
Dr Richard Youngs joined PAIS in September 2004 to lecture on a part-time basis. He obtained his BA (Hons) at Cambridge University, and his MA and PhD from Warwick University. He has held positions as analyst at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; research fellow to an EU project on democracy promotion; and from 2001-2004, EU Marie Curie Fellow, based at the Norwegian Institute for International Relations in Oslo.

Dr Youngs's research focuses mainly on democracy promotion and democratisation, European foreign policy, energy security, and the MENA region. He has written several books on different elements of European external policy and published over forty articles and working papers, while writing regularly in national and international media.

Youngs is Senior Associate at the carnegie endowment for peace.

Visit Dr Youngs's profile

Oz hassan

Dr Oz Hassan (Warwick)
Dr Oz Hassan is an Assistant Professor in US National Security. He is currently working on his Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Future Research Leaders project entitled Transatlantic Interests and Democratic Possibility in a Transforming Middle East (2013-2016), which looks at the "conflict of interests" between US and EU policy in Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the British International Studies Association's flagship magazine International Studies Today, and convener of the BISA US Foreign Policy Working Group, which is Europe's largest academic and stakeholder group focused on contemporary issues in American Foreign Policy. He was formerly a research fellow for Professor Stuart Croft (PVC Research) on the European Commission funded Framework 7 Programme's EU-GRASP and GR:EEN. He joined PAIS in 2009, shortly before completing his ESRC funded doctoral research on US democracy promotion in the Middle East and North Africa. Subsequently, Oz completed his monograph, entitled Constructing America's Freedom Agenda for the Middle East: Democracy or Domination, after conducting ethnographic research in the region, and witnessing first hand the protester struggles in Cairo’s Tahrir Square following the fall of the Mubarak regime. He has also spent considerable time living in Washington D.C. as a British Research Council Fellow at the John W. Kluge Center in The United States Library of Congress. His expertise has provided substantial interaction with the policy-making community in the US, Canada and around the EU.

Twitter: @ozhassan
Read Oz's full profile



Dr Elizabeth Iskander Monier (Warwick)
Elizabeth is a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation, University of Warwick where she is part of the GR:EEN and EUSpring research projects. Elizabeth’s research focuses broadly on the politics and society of the Middle East. Her particular interests include ethnic, national and religious identity formation and inclusion, sectarian conflict, processes of socio-political change and discursive approaches to power relations. Her current research includes an analysis of relations between Egypt, Iran and Turkey, which seeks to identify common and conflicting visions for the Middle East and its regional power configurations. She is also researching the development of notions of citizenship, democracy and human security in the Middle East. Elizabeth’s main country of expertise is Egypt and she published a book entitled “Sectarian Conflict in Egypt: Coptic media, identity and representation” in 2012.

Elizabeth has previously held fellowships at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the German Institute for Global and Area Studies. She completed her PhD in Social and Political Science at the University of Cambridge in 2011. Her thesis focused on the political aspects of the national and communal belonging of Coptic Christians in Egypt, and in particular the use of the media to manage, contest and negotiate identities, notions of citizenship, and sectarian conflict. In addition to her academic work, Elizabeth has coordinated a number of research projects on Middle Eastern politics, religion and law for non-governmental organisations and writes for the media and policy makers on issues of Middle Eastern affairs.

Twitter: @e_iskander1000


Emiliano Alessandri (GMF)
Emiliano Alessandri is a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Washington D.C., where he develops GMF's work on Mediterranean, Turkish, and wider-Atlantic issues. Prior to joining GMF, Dr. Alessandri was a visiting fellow at the Center on the US and Europe (CUSE) of Brookings Institution where he conducted research on European security. Dr. Alessandri was educated at the University of Bologna, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.

Alessandri has extensive knowledge of US foreign policy and transatlantic affairs. He follows closely political and economic developments in the Mediterranean region, with a particular focus on Southern Europe. In that context, he is a frequent commentator on Turkey and Italy, his home country. He is also coordinating from Washington GMF’s research activities on the Atlantic basin.

He wrote his doctoral thesis on the intellectual origins of the idea of an “Atlantic community” under the supervision of Cambridge historian David Reynolds, of Christ’s College. He has held several positions in leading foreign-policy think tanks and academic institutions in Italy, the UK and the US. From 2008-2009 he worked in the Directorate General for Enlargement of the European Commission. He has participated in several research projects and initiatives regarding Turkey and Turkey-EU relations, including “Talking Turkey”, a joint multi-year project between IAI of Rome, TEPAV of Ankara, and Istituto Paralleli of Turin to offer recommendations for a European communication strategy for Turkey. In 2009, Alessandri was a visiting fellow at The Center for European Studies of the Middle East Technical University (CES-METU) in Ankara, where he conducted research on Turkish foreign policy in the Middle East and its impact on European perceptions of Turkey.

Alessandri is an associate fellow at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) of Rome and serves on the board of the IAI-based The International Spectator.

Contact Information:;


Ted Reinert (GMF)
Ted Reinert is a Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States for the Euspring project and Research Assistant at the Transatlantic Academy. He received his bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College in Maine and his master's degree from Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies in Bologna and Washington. Reinert taught in Hamburg on a Fulbright grant in 2005 and 2006, served as a Research Assistant at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels in 2011 and 2012 and has worked in other positions as a journalist, researcher and analyst in international relations with a focus on wider Europe.


Moataz El Fegiery (CIHRS)
Moataz was the executive director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and currently a member of its board of directors. He also worked as MENA deputy director of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). El Fegiery is an elected member and treasurer of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) since 2006. He has B.Sc. in political science from Cairo University, MA degree in international and comparative legal studies from SOAS, University of London, post-graduate diploma in international human rights law from the American University in Cairo and he is currently Ph.D. candidate in law and senior teaching fellow at SOAS, University of London. He writes his PhD’s thesis on Islamic law and international human rights in the thought and practice of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. He is also an associate fellow at FRIDE since June 2012. His research interests include human rights and democratisation in the Arab world and Islamic law, Islamism and human rights.

His publications are available to view here and here.


Rosa Balfour (EPC)
Rosa Balfour is Head of the Europe in the World Programme at the European Policy Centre in Brussels. She has researched and published widely on issues relating to European foreign policy and external action, relations with the Mediterranean region, Eastern Europe and the Balkans, EU enlargement, and on the role of human rights and democracy in international relations. Her book on Human Rights and Democracy in EU Foreign Policy was published by Routledge in December 2011.
Prior to joining the EPC in 2007, she was a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Studies in International Politics (CeSPI) in Rome, where she dealt with EU foreign policy and EU integration. She holds an MA from Cambridge University, an MSc in European Studies and PhD in International Relations both from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Contact information:
Twitter: @RosaBalfour


Zuzana Novakova (EPC)
Zuzana Novakova is FutureLab Europe Programme Executive at the European Policy Centre in Brussels. She has academic background in international relations, development studies and governance and democracy, with recent research on EU responses to Arab spring and a critique of the ‘transition’ paradigm from Central Europe to MENA.

Prior to joining the EPC in 2012, she worked with the Centre for the Research of Ethnicity and Culture in Bratislava and Verde Vida Oficina Socio-Educativa in Chapeco, Brazil. She holds an MA in development studies from International Institute of Social Studies in Hague and an MA in International Relations from Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals.

Contact information:




Dr. Maâti Monjib est un historien de la vie politique (Université Mohammed V-Rabat). Né au Maroc, il a d’abord obtenu un doctorat en France (politique d’Afrique du Nord) et un autre à l’Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD) en histoire de la vie politique africaine. Il a publié des articles et des études sur l’Afrique du Nord et le Moyen Orient mais aussi sur l’Afrique. Il a enseigné au Maroc, au Sénégal et dans des universités américaines. Il a publié plusiuers ouvrages dont : "La monarchie marocaine et la lutte pour le pouvoir" (Paris, L’Harmattan, 1992), une biographie politique de Mehdi Ben Barka (avec Z. Daoud, Paris, Editions Michalon, 1996-2000) ainsi que "Les islamistes contre les sécularistes au Maroc" (ed. : Amsterdam, IKV, 2009). Il prépare actuellement une biographie politique de Mamadou Dia, homme politique d’Afrique de l’Ouest.
Maâti Monjib a été l’initiateur et l’animateur de dialogues entre les islamistes et les militants laïques au Maroc entre 2007 et 2010. Il a également organisé le "Prix pour le Journalisme d’Investigation" en 2007 au Maroc. Il est également fondateur et directeur du Centre Ibn Rochd des Etudes et Communication (Rabat-Maroc).
Ancien bénéficiaire d’une bourse Fulbright (2005-2006), il a récemment passé quatre mois en tant que "Patkin Fellow"à la Brookings Institution à Washington-DC.

 Asma Nouira

Asma Nouira (OTTD)

Ph.D in Political Sciences, expert on official religious institutions in Tunisia and islamic studies (fields: relationship between State and religion, religious actors, islamism). Assistant Professor of law and political sciences at Faculty of law and political sciences, Tunis Al Manar University. President of the Tunisian Observatory of the democratic transition. Author of « Le mufti de la République, the fonction and the institution » (Tunis, Cérès Production 2000), « Reply to Wahhabisme in 19th century » (Beyrouth, Dar Taliaa 1/2008- 2/2012) and « State and religion in Tunisia » (Tunis, Diwan Editions 2014).



Università l'Orientale, Naples, Italy, Management Team
Ruth Hanau Santini, Project Coordinator,
Arianna Morelli, Project Manager,