AGYA Member

Jan Völkel

Political Science

Areas of Expertise:
Transformations in the MENA region, EU Neighbourhood Policy

About me

I am Marie Sklodowska Curie Research Fellow at the Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, since February 2017. Here, I teach and do research on my two main fields of interest: contemporary political, economic and societal developments in Europe as well as in the Middle East and North Africa.

AGYA provides me the unique chance to further deepen my knowledge of developments and trends in other parts of the region and other fields of competence, such as technological progress and its relevance for political trajectories.

Current projects


  • Regional coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa at the Bertelsmann Transformation Index since 2008
  • Joint research project on "Internal Security Cooperation between Europe and North Africa after the Arab Spring: Democracy vs Security?" with Prof. Christian Kaunert (University of Dundee)
  • Joint research project on "Foreign States and International Organizations in the Perception of Arab Publics" with Prof. Bernd Schlipphak (University of Münster)
  • Member of the board of advisers in the ArabTrans project at the University of Aberdeen
  • At Cairo University, I conduct research on the particular role of national parliaments in the Arab transformation processes, with an international conference organised in Berlin in November 2014 and further activities planned for the future.

Academic Career

2017 - Marie Sklodowska Curie Research Fellow, Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
2013 - 2017
DAAD Longterm Lecturer and Visiting Professor, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University; Egypt
2015 Visiting Researcher at the University of Dundee; Scotland; UK
2015 Teaching Assignment at the Royal Scientific Society Amman; Jordan
2014 Teaching Assignment at Al-Quds University; East Jerusalem
2014 Visiting Researcher at Bahcesehir University; Istanbul, Turkey
2013 Visiting Researcher at the University of Montreal; Canada
2012 Research Assistant, Robert Schuman Institute for Advanced Studies, European University Institute Florence; Italy
2010 – 2011 Lecturer, Department of Political Science, University of Salzburg; Austria
2010 Teaching Assignment at the University of Innsbruck; Austria
2009 Teaching Assignment at the University of Duhok; Iraqi-Kurdistan
2008 – 2009 Lecturer, Department of Political Science, University of Freiburg; Germany
2002 – 2007 PhD candidate, Arnold Bergstraesser Institute, University of Freiburg; Germany
1996 – 2002 M.A. studies in Political Science (major), Economics and Middle Eastern Studies (minors), University of Freiburg; Germany

Selected Publications


  • Völkel, J. C. (2015). Complex politics in single numbers? The problem of defining and measuring democracy, Middle East Critique, 24(1): 67-81.
  • Völkel, J. C. (2014). Money for nothing, the cricks for free – Five paradoxes in EU migration policy, Comparative Migration Studies, 2(2): 151-180.
  • Völkel, J. C. (2014). More for more, less for less – more or less: A critique of the EU’s Arab Spring response à la Cinderella, European Foreign Affairs Review, 19(2): 263-282.

see a full list of publications>


Vrije Universiteit Brussel Institute for European Studies

Pleinlaan 5, 1st floor B-1050 Brussels


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