Skip to main content

Central and Eastern Europe Efforts to Democratize MENA


Institute For Middle East Studies

In the first decade of the 21st century, the young democracies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) became known for displays of moral fiber in combating authoritarianism around the globe. When the Arab Awakening swept across North Africa and the Middle East (MENA), they made valuable attempts to extend their support, reaching out to democratizers in Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere to share their “transition know-how.” In doing so, they inspired heated theoretical debates on the applicability of the lessons from post-communist transitions in the Arab world.

Yet to date, little is known about actual CEE activities on the ground in MENA, the donors’ motivations, and the recipients’ feedback. Capitalizing on primary sources and open-ended interviews, Dr. Mikulova seeks to fill this empirical gap, and also draw generalizable conclusions about the existing and potential value-added of CEE democracy assistance in MENA.


  • Dr. Kristina Mikulova is a Transatlantic Policy Fellow in International Relations and Security at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, and a governance consultant for the Europe and Central Asia region at the World Bank. Her paper, co-authored with Dr Benedetta Berti of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, is due to be published as part of the Democracy and Rule of Law paper series at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.