Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of Social Sciences - Berlin Graduate School of Social Science

Ilyas Saliba

Ilyas Saliba

BGSS Generation 2013



Conceptualizing authoritarian resilience in the MENA during the Arab Spring. Explaining diverging trajectories of moments of contestation in North Africa.



Explaining and conceptualizing the resilience of authoritarian regimes in the MENA region that have outlived the protests in the Arab world is the aim of my dissertation project. I would like to identify which specific constellations and factors contributed to the stability of some regimes in North Africa such as Algeria and Morocco in contrast to cases of regime turnover like Tunisia.

More specifically, I will try to identify the decisive determinants that have contributed to the survival of authoritarian regimes by means of a set of in-depth case studies. Through a comparative small-n approach I can combine advantages of in-depth case studies, with the comparative design preventing a default on a limited level of abstraction and external validity. Gathering data through interviews conducted with relevant actors in the region I will rely on process tracing to reproduce the crucial paths that caused regimes in the region to stay in power or not so. On the one hand this allows for comprehending the causal mechanisms and interconnectedness of factors and dynamics in a time sensitive framework. On the other hand, although a regional phenomenon the dynamics of the Arab Uprisings are at the same time deeply domestically embedded. Through a comparative framework I remain perceptive for international influences.

Through bridging existing gaps in the scholarly literature on authoritarian stability and democratization as well as bringing the international dimension back to the study of authoritarian resilience I aim to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms that allowed some authoritarian regimes to prevail, whereas others faced eviction.


Recent Publications

Saliba, Ilyas: „Wegschauen macht mitschuldig: Deutschland und die Syrienkrise“. In: Alsharq Analyseportal. Retrieved 13 Jan. 2014

Saliba, Ilyas: „Syrienkrieg: Deutschland ist der ideale Vermittler“. In: Zeit Online. Retrieved 16 Jan. 2014

Saliba, Ilyas: „Syrien: Assad ist nicht die Lösung“. In: Zeit Online. Retrived 19 March 2014



Berlin Social Science Center (WZB)