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Collombier, Virginie

Part-time Professor

European University Institute, Robert Schuman Centre, Italy



Max Weber alumnus

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Cohort(s): 2011/2012, 2012/2013

Ph.D. Institution

Université de Grenoble, France


Prior to joining the European University Institute as a Max Weber Fellow I worked for a few years as a Middle East analyst within the French administration. I hold a PhD in Political Science from the University of Grenoble and a MA in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris. My work has mainly focused on political change and regimes’ transformations in the Arab world.

In my PhD dissertation, entitled “Will the party be the solution? The Egyptian National Democratic Party (NDP), a tool for gaining power in an authoritarian regime in transition”, I focused on the inner workings of the Egyptian presidential party between 2000 and 2008 and analyzed the strategy for gaining power implemented by Gamal Mubarak – the president’s younger son – and a group of newcomers on the political scene. I highlighted the advantages and drawbacks of a strategy that focused mainly on the party, at the expense of other institutions more influential in the Egyptian political system. This has proven a very useful background to understand the processes of political crisis and regime transformation that took place in early 2011.

Since I joined the EUI in September 2011, I have been working on a new research project which looks at the articulation between political developments and social change in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.
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