Ilyas Saliba

Associate Fellow

Ilyas Saliba is a political scientist focusing on authoritarianism, civil society and human rights in the Arab world and on European foreign and development policy towards the region. Ilyas is currently completing his PhD on authoritarian learning during the so-called Arab Spring at Humboldt University Berlin. During his research, he has conducted extensive fieldwork in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. He was also research fellow at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) research unit on democracy and democratization, as well as a visiting researcher at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy), Nuffield College at Oxford University (UK), the American University in Cairo (Egypt) and the École de Gouvernance et d’Économie in Rabat (Morocco). 

Prior to joining CARPO, Ilyas worked with the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), where he focused on democracy and human rights issues and co-developed the Academic Freedom Index (AFi). Before that he worked with Amnesty International in Berlin as MENA advocacy officer as well as with the Center for Security Studies (CSS) in Zürich. Ilyas also gained parliamentary experience working as a foreign policy advisor to an MP in the Bundestag during 2022. Furthermore, Ilyas is a short-term election observer for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and a member of the European Coordinating Committee for Academic Freedom Advocacy. He teaches graduate seminars on his areas of expertise at the University of Potsdam and the Hertie School of governance in Berlin.  

Focus and Topics: Relations between Europe and the Arab world, with particular focus on relations between Germany and Egypt, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia; authoritarianism; human rights and academic freedom; civil society and shrinking spaces; conflicts and fieldwork safety




Selected Publications:

  • (2023): Shrinking spaces in the Middle East and North Africa: Supporting resilience of civil society, IDOS Policy Brief 17/2023, Bonn. Available online.
  • & Kirsten R. Lyer and Janika Spannagel (2022): University Autonomy Decline. Causes, Responses, and Implications for Academic Freedom, London. Available online. 
  • & Katrin Kinzelbach and Janika Spannagel (2021): ‘Global data on the freedom indispensable for scientific research. Towards a reconciliation of academic reputation and academic freedom’, in: The International Journal of Human Rights 26/10, pp. 1723-1740. Available online.  
  • (2020): ‘Academic freedom in Egypt’, in: Katrin Kinzelbach (ed.): Researching Academic Freedom. Guidelines and Sample Studies, Erlangen, pp. 141-174. Available online. 
  • & Jannis Grimm; Kevin Koehler; Ellen Lust and Isabell Schierenbeck (2020): Safer Field Research in the Social Sciences. A Guide to Human and Digital Security in Hostile Environments, London. Available online.