Institute of Political Science

Kressen Thyen, M.A.

PhD Candidate

Academic Background

Since September 2014

Visiting researcher at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), Research Unit Democracy and Democratization, Berlin

Since October 2011

PhD-candidate at the Institute of Political Science, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. PhD project on "Youth Protest, Political Contention and Democracy Assistance in the Arab World: The Cases of Morocco and Egypt" (working title)

February 2013 to April 2013

Guest scholar at the American University in Cairo (AUC), Institute for Political Science, Cairo, Egypt

October 2012 to February 2012

Guest scholar at the Université Mohammed V – Souissi, Institute for Law, Rabat, Morocco

October 2006 to September 2008

M.A. in Political Science (Diplôme de Sciences Po) / M.A. in European Politics and Societies - Political Sociology (Master de recherche), Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)

Thesis title: “Communication and Cooperation between Pro-Asylum Organizations: A Network Analysis”

July 2002 to September 2006

B.A. in Social Sciences, Humboldt University of Berlin.

Thesis title: “What chances do I actually have? Educational Participation, Motivation and Success of Young Refugees in Germany” (in German)

September 2004 to July 2005

Certificate of Political Science (CEP), Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Toulouse (Erasmus Exchange)

Professional Background

2012 to 2014

Research associate and project coordinator at the University of Tübingen in the international research project “Arab Youth – From Engagement to Inclusion?” (funded by VolkswagenStiftung)

2009 to 2011

Officer for academic affairs at the Ecole de Gouvernance et d'Economie de Rabat (EGE)

2008 to 2009

Carlo-Schmid-Fellow at UNHCR Rabat, Protection Unit

2007 to 2008

Consultant at UNESCO, Office of the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences

Research Interests

State-society relations in North Africa and the Middle East

International cooperation and democracy promotion

Field research methods in developing countries

Youth politics

Country Expertise

Morocco, Egypt


Civil Society in democracy, autocracy and transformation processes (with Nadine Kreitmeyr, Summer term 2013)


Academic Papers and Presentations

Promising Democracy, Legitimizing Autocracy? Perceptions of Regime Democraticness among University Students in Morocco. Presentation in panel: Experiencing and Negotiating Political Domination: Perspectives from Morocco, Egypt and Turkey. 23. International Congress of DAVO, Tübingen, 6.-8. October 2016.

Popular Support for Authoritarian Rule: Comparing the Effects of Economic Performance and Electoral Representation on Regime Legitimacy. Presentation in panel: Legitimation and Policy Performance in Autocracies. ECPR General Conference, Prague, 7.-10. September 2016 (with Saara Inkinen, WZB Berlin).

“The People Demand the Downfall of the Regime”: Political Legitimacy and Protest Participation under Authoritarianism. Presentation in workshop: “The Local Politics of Protest Movements: Implications from the Arab Uprisings to the European Indignados”. ECPR Joint Sessions, Pisa, 24.-28. April 2016.

Youth political inclusion and participation in post-uprising Egypt and Morocco. Presentation in the Panel: Success and Failure of Authoritarian Inclusion: Lessons From the Arab Uprisings at WOCMES Conferences in Ankara, Turkey, 18.-22. August 2014

Youth Inclusion, Youth Exclusion and Contentious Politics in Egypt and Morocco. Presentation and discussion in the panel "Arab Youth: From Engagement to Inclusion?" at MESA Conference in New Orleans, USA, October 10-13, 2013 (with Nadine Sika).

Aims and Perceptions of European Democracy Promotion after the 'Arab Spring' in Egypt and Morocco. Presentation in the panel: "The European Mediterranean Policy after the Arab Spring: Lessons learned?" at the 20th DAVO Conference in Münster, Germany, September 23-27, 2013.

Religion, politics and contentious practices in Egypt. Presentation and panel discussion at the conference “Mobilizing Religion: Networks and Mobility” in Bonn, Germany, June 18–19, 2013 (with Nadine Sika).

EU Democracy Promotion in Egypt and Morocco after the 'Arab Spring': Support or Constraint to the Pro-Democracy Movements? Workshop 5: The Arab Spring and the EU Democracy Promotion Efforts: Between Intentions and Perceptions at the 14th Mediterranean Research Meeting in Mersin, Turkey, March 20-23, 2013.

La promotion de la démocratie au Maroc et en Egypte: Soutien aux mouvements contestataires? Une analyse des politiques de l‘Union Européenne et des Etats Unis apres le printemps arabe. Presentation at the Mohammed V University Rabat, Morocco, December 6, 2012.

Youth Protest in Morocco and Egypt: A New Impulse for Democracy Promotion? Presentation at the 19th congress of the German Middle East Studies Association in Erlangen, Germany, October 4-6, 2012.

Workshop Contributions and Panel Discussions

Youth Employment and Participation Policies after the Arab Uprisings. Workshop on the topic: „Arab Youth: From Engagement to Inclusion? - Development approaches towards youth societal and political participation after the Arab Spring”, Federal Ministry for Technical Cooperation and Development, Berlin, June 3, 2014.

The Arab Spring: A revolution for and by the Youth?, Panel discussion organized by the UNICEF campus group of the Technische Universität Dresden, Germany, June 26, 2012.

Youth participation in countries under authoritarian rule: Morocco. Presentation and following panel discussion organized by the Youth Council Stuttgart, Germany, June 19, 2012.

Stipends and Awards

August 2014

Dissertation fellowship of the Land Baden-Württemberg, awarded by the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen

September 2007 to August 2008

Graduate fellowship of the German Academic Exchange Service for M.A. programs at Sciences Po Paris


Middle East Studies Association (MESA)

Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Vorderer Orient (DAVO) (German Middle East Studies Association)