Ilyas Saliba

Ilyas Saliba
David Ausserhofer


ilyas.saliba [at]
Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin
B 005

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David Ausserhofer
Research Fellow of the Research Unit


Since October 2013 Humboldt University, Berlin

  • PhD candidate at the Berlin Graduate School for Social Sciences (BGSS)

  • Dissertation Project: (working title): Perceptions Sequence in decision-making. The effect of spreading protests on calculations of authoritarian regimes. 

Since September 2013 WZB Berlin Social Science Center

  • Research fellow at Research Unit Democracy and Democratization 

  • Communications officer at Research Unit Democracy and Democratization

September - December 2016 Oxford University, Nuffield College

  • Visiting Researcher at Nuffield College, Oxford

September - December 2015 Ecole Gouvernment et Economique (EGE)

  • Visiting Researcher at the Centre de Recherche Economie Société et Culture (CRESC) at EGE in Rabat, Morocco

March - June 2015 American University in Cairo (AUC)

  • Guest Researcher at the Department for Political Science at American University in Cairo, Egypt 

September - December 2014 European University Institute (EUI), Fiesole

  • Visiting Student at the Department for Political and Social Sciences

  • Program Associate to the Europe in the World Programm at the Robert Schumann Center for Adavnced Studies

2011-2013 ETH Zürich and University of Zürich

  • MA in International and Comparative Studies

  • Thesis: Explaining Authoritarian Resilience in Moments of Contestation: Morocco During the Arab Uprisings. 

2012-2013 Free University Berlin

  • MA level exchange student at the Otto-Suhr Institute for Political Science 

2007-2011 University of Hamburg

  • BA in Political Science - Bachelor Thesis: The EU Foreign Policy towards Libya

2010 University of Gothenburg

  • BA level exchange student in Politial Science with the School of Global Studies and the School of Public Administration 

Selected Publications

Working Papers (work in progress)

  • "Killing them softly? Assessing Pre-emptive Repression in Russia and Egypt"  – with Ed Stoddard (University of Portsmouth)
  • "Neutralization through Reform? Constitutional Reforms in Morocco 2011 and the Legitimacy of Contested authoritarian Regimes"
  • "Commander of the Faithless: Challenging the myth of monarchical religious legitimacy in Morocco" – with Yasmina Abouzzohour (University of Oxford) 

Papers submitted for peer-review

  • "Share It or Lose It? Authoritarian Power-Sharing and Regime Stability in Multi-Ethnic States." – with Yannick Pengl (ETH Zürich)

Journal Articles

  • "Free Research in Fearful Times: Conceptualising an Index to Monitor Academic Freedom" - with Jannis Grimm (Freie Universität Berlin) in: Inter-disciplinary Political Studies (forthcoming)
  • "Change or Charade? Morocco's constitutional reform process 2011" in: ORIENT German journal for Politics, Economics and Culture of the Middle East, vol. 3, 2016, pp. 50-55 – link to Journal website

Contributions to Edited Volumes

Policy Briefs

  • No Rivals to the King. The Limits to Political Reform in Morocco's "Enlightened Authoritarianism" with Isabelle Werenfels in: SWP Comments 2017/C 17, May 2017 – available online (in german and english)

Book Reviews

  • "Die neuen Staatsfeinde. Wie Helfer syrischer Flüchtlinge in Deutschland Kriminalsiert werden." Buchen, Stefan 2014 Online rezension beim Alsharq Blog
  • “Europäische Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik – Anspruch oder Wirklichkeit?“ Volker Epping, Christiane Lemke, Alim Baluch (Edts.), Berlin (LIT Verlag), in S+F. Sicherheit + Frieden. Security + Peace, volume 4/2011; p. 292-4 
  • “Geheimdienste in Europa - Transformation, Kooperation und Kontrolle” Thomas Jäger, Anna Daun (Edts.), Wiesbaden (VS Verlag), in S+F. Sicherheit + Frieden. Security + Peace, volume 2/2011; p. 137-8 
  • “The Afghanistan Challenge: Hard Realities & Strategic Choices” Hans-Georg Ehrhart / Charles C. Pentland (Edts.), McGill Queens University Press in S+F. Sicherheit + Frieden. Security + Peace, volume 2/2010; p. 124-5

Analysis and Blog posts (selection)

  • "Der Schwindende Mythos der Facebook Revolution" at Qantara - available online
  • "Europe's misguided applause for Morocco's reform process" at Open Democracy - available online
  • "False solidarity. Military adventures in Syria are morally wrong and not effective." – with Jannis Grimm at the IPG Journal in international politics - available online (german only)
  • ​"A Plea for Diplomacy" piece on Syrian civil war and a potential way forward at the LSE Middle East Blog with Niklas Kossow - available online
  • "Der Sommer des Palasts. Marokkos Monarchie erstickt die Demokratie mit Reformen" - available online (german only)
  • "The Tunisian path. Challenging second phase of the transition" - available online (german only)
  • "The Securitisation of Stability and the Demise of the Arab Uprisings" at the LSE Middle East Blog - available online
  • “Prospects for the Middle East – Democratization & the Arab Spring” in the science category of the IFAIR think tank – available online
Werenfels, Isabelle/Saliba, Ilyas (2017): Keine Konkurrenz für den König. Grenzen politischer Reformen in Marokkos 'aufgeklärtem Autoritarismus'. SWP-Aktuell A 25 A 25. Berlin: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik.
Saliba, Ilyas/Merkel, Wolfgang (2015): "Dilemmata der Gleichzeitigkeit". In: Raj Kollmorgen/Wolfgang Merkel/Hans-Jürgen Wagener (Hg.): Handbuch der TransformationsforschungSpringer VS, S. 517-526.
Hagmann, Jonas/Saliba, Ilyas (2013): "Sicherheit im Öffentlichen Raum. Begegnungsorte im Spannungsfeld zwischen Kontrolle, Freiheit und Demokratie". In: Bulletin zur schweizerischen Sicherheitspolitik, S. 91-109.

Studienkolleg zu Berlin

Head of international student research group at Project: Option Migration - Young unemployed acedmics from Southern Europe and motivations for migration to Germany

Center for Security Studies (CSS), Zürich

Researcher Associate at Project: Securitization of the Public Sphere

Center for International and Comparative Studies (CIS), Zürich

Research Assistant at Project: Differentiated Integration in the EU

University of Hamburg

Research Assistant at Project: Unclenching Fists: Dialogue & Diversity in Diplomatic Interaction

Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH), Hamburg

Research Assistant at Project: PiraT: Piracy and Maratime Terrorism as a Challenge for Maritime Trade Security

Ilyas Saliba
David Ausserhofer


ilyas.saliba [at]
Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin
B 005

Printable press photo

jpeg, 137.74 KB
David Ausserhofer

Research Interests

  • Political Developments in the MENA Region
  • Comparative Authoritarianism 
  • International Dimension of Authoritarian Resilience
  • Authoritarian Learning
  • Policy Diffusion in Authoritarian Contexts
  • Democratization and Transition
  • Critical Security Studies & Securitization
  • European Foreign and Security Policy
  • Case Study and Process Tracing Methods