Institute for Social Science Research on Algeria


Isabelle Werenfels

Senior Fellow, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)

Dr. Isabelle Werenfels is a Senior Fellow at Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) in Berlin. From 2014 to mid-2018 she headed the SWP’s Middle East and Africa Research Division. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and has been teaching at Freie Universität Berlin and Universität Hamburg.

She has extensively published on political transformation and authoritarian resilience in the Maghreb, as well as on German and European policies towards the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood. Her current research focus includes diaspora policies of Maghrebi states, political reform and contestation in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, and the political dimension of Sufism in the Maghreb.

Isabelle Werenfels is also a member of the scientific board of the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique in Paris, the International Advisory Board of the Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM) in Tunis, and the Foundation Board of the Fondation Hirondelle in Lausanne.

Political transformation
Transition processes, authoritarian resilience
Euro-Maghrebi relations
Migration policies
Political Islam
Werenfels, I. A National Solution to the Algerian Crisis?, in: PeaceLab, Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), 20.09.2019 (online) (with Luca Miehe)
Werenfels, I. Strategist Morocco – Fortress Algeria, in: Anne Koch, Annette Weber, Isabelle Werenfels (eds.), Profiteers of Migration? Authoritarian States in Africa and European Migration Management, Berlin: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, SWP Research Paper 2018/RP04, July 2018, pp. 22–33
Werenfels, I. in Algeria on Twitter: Connecting the Periphery to the Center and the World, in: #HashtagSolidarities: Twitter Debates and Networks in the MENA Region, Berlin: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, SWP Research Paper 2016/RP 05, March 2016 (with Mareike Transfeld), pp. 29–42
Werenfels, I. Authoritarian Upgrading: The Re-Emergence of Sufi Orders in Maghrebi Politics, in: The Journal of North African Studies, 19 (June 2014) 3, pp. 275–295
Werenfels, I. Instability in Algeria: Elites and Political Change since 1995, Routledge: London 2007 (Hardcover), 2009 (Paperback).