MENARA. Middle East and North Africa Regional Architecture

DATE: April 2016 – March 2019

Director: TBC. EUI Funding: H2020

The geopolitical order in the making in the South and East Mediterranean countries and the Middle East amid the deep- reaching social and political changes unfolding since 2010. Mapping the main features of the regional geopolitical order, building future scenarios for 2025 and 2040.
Quantitative and qualitative methods, including fact-finding missions on the ground, interviews, focus groups, Delphi surveys and innovative foresight techniques.

For more informations, visit the MENARA PROJECT Website



DATE: October 2011 – September 2016


Director: Raffaella del Sarto. Funding: ERC FP7

Exploring the complex and differentiated process by which the EU extends its unbundled functional and legal borders to the so-called southern Mediterranean (North Africa and parts of the Middle East), thereby transforming that area into borderlands. Methodology: data collection on EU/MENA cooperation (including geographical data); policy analysis; events and conferences; providing a forum for scholars, experts, policy-makers and influential thinkers.


DIRECTIONS – Studying the social dimensions and dynamics of change in post-2011 North Africa


DATE: September 2013 – December 2016

Project Supervisor: Olivier Roy. Project Coordinator: Virginie Collombier. Funding: NOREF

Research and analysis

The MED Programme – Noref framework agreement is designed to generate new knowledge and analysis and innovative approaches to new political, social and economic developments in North Africa and on the European Union’s relationship and policies towards North Africa while taking into account developments in the broader MENA region, as well as building up analytical capacity in Europe and North Africa. The ultimate goal is to support, produce and disseminate solid, informed analysis to better advise long-term policies on the region and to improve North-South interactions, while also taking into account the emerging social realities.

Identifying and analysing directions of change in North Africa, focusing specifically on social dynamics and the deeper changes occurring within these societies, to obtain an informed understanding of the overall scope and direction of the transformational process underway in post-revolutionary Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Empirical fieldwork on the ground, at the local level, and with a mid- to long-term perspective. Multidisciplinary, as well as collaborative work with researchers, professionals and actors in the countries studied. Events including workshops and conferences, as well as social dialogue facilitation within Libya.

Events 2013-2014

Conference – “Tribes and Political Change in Libya” – Florence, 5-7 May 2014

Workshop – “Civil-Military Relations in Times of Transition” –  Florence, 7-8 April 2014

Workshop – “Rural World and Political Change in Egypt and Tunisia” – Florence, 3-4 February 2014

Directions Libyan Social Dialogue (2015-2016)

The RSCAS and the Middle East Directions Programme have also been actively cooperating with a group of social activists from across Libya (the Peacemakers Group) and the Norwegian Peace-building Resource Centre (NOREF) to support of Social Dialogue in Libya since early 2015.

The initiative aimed at facilitating and supporting contacts between communities that have been divided by the conflict and exerting pressure on politicians and armed groups in view of ending the escalation of violence, pushing for political dialogue and for a negotiated solution to the conflict. Regular contacts with the United Nations Mission Support in Libya (UNSMIL) have been maintained since the launching of the initiative.

  • Libyan Social Dialogue, Tunis, 19th-21st January 2015
  • Nafusa Mountains ceasefire conference, Djerba, 17th-19th March 2015
  • Dialogue for peace and reconciliation in Southern Libya, Djerba, 5th-7th July 2015
  • Libyan Social Dialogue in Central Libya, Tunis, 24th-29th May 2016



DATE:  June 2011 – October 2015

Director: Olivier Roy. Funding: ERC FP7

How different states in Europe and North America are redefining their relationship with religions under the challenge of increasing religious activism in the public sphere due to new religious movements. 
Analysis of the (re)construction and formatting of religions in the West through courts, social practices, public discourse and transnational institutions. Events including conferences, seminars and workshops involving academics and experts.