'For the first time in decades, ‘Arab revolutions’, ushered in by the 2011 Tunisian and Egyptian experiments, make it possible to seriously envision a phasing out of the autocratic machinery in the Middle East and North Africa.
Whatever the end results of this awakening, the glimpse at a post-authoritarian era has already affected domestic and international political dynamics, if only by anticipation. Future is impossible to forecast, since the forces of resistance to change remain, but what can't be possibly questioned is that the region is undergoing profound transformations.
While avoiding too speculative tendencies, it is this very change that the multidisciplinary team formed around the project leader proposes to look at, by analysing the double impact of the ‘revolutionary’ processes, first on the national politics of the Arab states and second on the international relations between the region and the EU, with due consideration to other key regional players, Turkey and Iran.
On the Arab political scene, transformations imply new strategies on the part of actors: while the profile of the so called “twitter generation” remains largely unknown, former ruling parties go through a recycling process; Islamist trends are allowed to adapt their oppositional agenda, facing a leftist social rhetoric which may find itself reinvigorated.
At the international level, if Arab elected politicians start to genuinely represent the will of their constituencies, they are also likely to be less complacent than their autocratic predecessors. Moreover, Turkey, that has been assuming a growing regional role, is likely to turn these changes into opportunities, while Iran will have to rethink its policy. Beyond inter-state relations, the evolving migratory system, changing symbolic status of Europeans stemming from Muslim background and shifting investment logics are among the transformations that the international research team, comprising of 15 researchers, is looking to capture.'