To check the past events organised by the Programme, visit EVENTS 2016 (Archive)

Exiting war economy dynamics: What future for stabilisation and reconstruction in the MENA? @ Refectory, Badia Fiesolana
Nov 19 @ 9:00 am – Nov 20 @ 7:00 pm

MEDirections Annual Conference

European University Institute, Florence (Italy)



In addition to the well-known security dimension, years of military strife and state collapse in the Middle East and North Africa have created new economic realities on the ground that are likely to persist in post-conflict phases. They will shape how ongoing conflicts are to end and how “normal life” might resume afterwards. The conference will explore how to work through war economy dynamics in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and neighbouring countries, and it will be structured in four thematic panels:

1. The dynamics of war economy, the realities that have been left on the ground, and the actual rules that govern economic transactions and the access to natural resources and infrastructure;

2. The political economy of reconstruction and how it may create losers and winners, and hence either contribute to peace building or to the creation of new grievances;

3. The impact of hydrocarbon revenues in oil-rich countries like Iraq and Libya, and whether they will ease reconstruction and reconciliation or conversely become an additional bone of contention between rival groups;

4. The role that market-oriented and profit-driven private sector actors might play in any future reconstruction (considering also the unlikelihood of massive inter-governmental inflows).

To conclude the conference, a roundtable of a selected group of international experts from the worlds of academics, practice and mass media will flesh out the main points highlighted during the four panels. The objective of this debate is to encourage connections, comparisons and other perspectives.

Click HERE for the Conference Programme.

Link to the EUI’s Events webpage:


MEDirections Roundtable | Excluded generations and non-inclusive nations: a demographic approach of crises in the Arab world @ Mansarda Seminar Room, Villa Schifanoia
Nov 30 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Demography and its interplay with the social structure contribute to the current crises in the Arab world. Indeed, delayed marriage, declining fertility and the rise of school education that underlie both have fostered the birth of the individual and weakened the old patriarchal order of societies. But the aspirations school has created among young people bump into barriers once they become adults, to begin with unemployment and its hardships.

At the same time states are powerless to address their youth’ expectations. The political framework created by nation states is weak and non-inclusive.  On one  hand, the persistently high prevalence of consanguineous marriages is a sign that kinship, instead of the nation, continues to be the real frame within which the population reproduces. On the other hand, the nation does not include newcomers as immigrants have no access to citizenship and a continuously larger segment of a country’s population is made of non-citizens.

This roundtable will be an opportunity for an open discussion on these aspects. Everyone is invited to attend it.

Main speaker:

Philippe Fargue is a French demographer. He is a part-time Professor at the Robert Schuman Centre of the European University Institute and an Affiliate at the Middle East Initiative of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. He was the founding Director of EUI’s Migration Policy Centre and held senior positions at the National Institute for Demographic Studies in Paris and the American University in Cairo and taught at Harvard and various universities in France, the Middle East and Africa. His research interests include population, international migration and politics.


NB –  To know more on our roundtables, please visit:



Learning from Conflicts: Approaches to Peace-Building and the Role of Europe @ Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana
Dec 12 @ 8:45 am – Dec 14 @ 7:00 pm

This Executive Training Seminar focuses on approaches to conflict resolution and peace-building and the role that Europe can play in these processes. The informed audience will be exposed to insights from economics, political science, psychology and organizational behavior, as well as to the input and experiences of practitioners and researchers with deep understanding of the three case studies selected. In the specific the Executive Training will draw on practitioners’ experience and on the latest academic analysis and field-based research in three strategic areas: drivers of conflicts; political and economic dimensions of conflict resolution and peace-building; approaches to diplomacy and negotiation. The participants will be immersed in a unique training where inputs for reflection and practical work will complement the comparative perspective adopted to focus on three conflicts: Syria, Colombia and Ukraine. This Seminar is aimed at the training and networking of EU’s and EU Member States’ practitioners and policy-makers, working in the field of conflict prevention and resolution, mediation, prevention of violent extremism and humanitarian assistance, and to officials from member governments, EU institutions and international organizations, as well as to practitioners from the private sector and NGOs.

Fees: 1,300 € (10% reduction for early registrations)

A discount of 25% will be applied to the charges for international European and national civil servants, as well as to members of the NGOs.

The fees cover the cost of the course as well as coffee and lunch breaks. Travel and hotel costs are not included in the fees.

Full or partial fee-waivers, as well as a limited number of scholarships, will be available on merit or needs basis.

The deadline for applications is 9th November 2018. New deadline: 23 November.

Location: Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation: School of Transnational GovernanceRobert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

Type: Executive Training Seminar

Contact: Silvia Dell’Acqua (School of Transnational Governance) – Send a mail

Organizer: Luigi Narbone (Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies)

Attachment:  ETS Programme Peace Building 12_14 Dec


Executive Training Seminar / Economy in War-torn Countries: Pathways to Recovery and Reconstruction @ Badia Fiesolana
Jan 30 @ 9:00 am – Feb 1 @ 8:00 pm


> > > Application will open on Monday 19 November.

This executive training focuses on the economic dimensions of civil wars. It explores how economic life changes amid widespread violence and state breakdown. It also addresses how wartime political economic arrangements create durable and remarkably resilient socio-economic mechanisms and networks. These arrangements help in adapting to high risks, regulating access to resources, markets and information, and are likely to endure and influence pathways out of conflict, as well as post-conflict recovery.

It is essential for policy-makers and practitioners involved in conflict resolution and reconstruction to understand civil war economy. Such an understanding adds an important dimension beyond the traditional focus on security that characterises the bulk of analyses and studies of civil wars. The ETS will address key questions such as: Once dynamics governing war economy have been described and analysed, how are they expected to influence, if not shape altogether, pathways to recovery and reconstruction? What can international mediators, aid agencies and development banks do to achieve that end? And how much does this influence vary among different national contexts?

The training examines cases from the MENA, i.e. Iraq, Syria and Libya, but also draws on experience from historical cases such as Angola, Sri Lanka and Lebanon. It borrows from political economy, political science, economic sociology and international relations, complemented by empirical evidence from the field.

The executive training draws on practitioners’ experience and on the latest academic analysis and field-based research in four strategic areas:

  • Pathways from war economy
  • The business of violence and protection in war contexts
  • Lessons from past cases
  • The role of the private sector in recovery and reconstruction

The ETS employs various teaching techniques and activities that combine knowledge with skills acquisition.

It is co-organised by the Middle East Directions Programme and the School of Transnational Governance (STG).