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NDC - Organization NDC Web site - Organization Researcher
  • Last updated: 13 Mar. 2024 10:39


Dr Silvia Maria Colombo is a Senior Researcher and Faculty Advisor at the NATO Defense College in Rome. Previously she held senior research positions at the International Affairs Institute (IAI) in Rome and acted as the head of the Mediterranean and Middle East Programme and of Italy’s Foreign Policy Programme.

Silvia Maria Colombo, ITA CIV

Her research work focuses on contemporary politics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the EU and US foreign policy towards and their role in conflicts in the Middle East as well as the implications for NATO. Among her research interests there are also the relations between the EU and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

On these issues, she has published one monograph (Routledge), 8 peer-reviewed articles, 11 edited books, 11 book chapters and numerous research papers and commentaries. Her publications include Political and Institutional Transition in North Africa: Egypt and Tunisia in Comparative Perspective, London: Routledge, 2018; “Europe and the ‘New’ Middle East”, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, with Eduard Soler i Lecha, 2021, available at: (Open Access); The EU and the GCC. Towards a New Path, Singapore, edited with Adel Abdel Ghafar, Palgrave Macmillan, 2021; Ten Years of Protests in the Middle East and North Africa. Dynamics of Mobilisation in a Complex (Geo)Political Environment, edited with Daniela Huber, Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2022; “The unrealized potential of cooperative security in the Arab Gulf”, NDC Policy Brief No. 14, 2022, available at:; “Morocco’s domestic crisis of (derailed) democratisation”, The Journal of North African Studies, Vol. 28, Issue 6: A Case of Democratic Degeneration? Towards Critical Democratisation in MENA, pp. 1492-1514, 2023; Colombo, S. (2024, forthcoming), “NATO and the Southern Flank” in J.A. Olsen (ed.), Routledge Handbook of NATO, Taylor & Francis, pp. 302-313, 2024.

As a Researcher, her work focuses mainly on the broader MENA region and NATO’s engagement with the South. As a Faculty Advisor, she contributes to the NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC).

She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Politics from the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa and a Master’s Degree in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. Sha has taught at the Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE), Nice – Tunis – Istanbul, and has given lectures and seminars in the fields of comparative politics and international relations of the MENA in several academic institutions as well as has organized/participated in policy workshops and conferences both in Europe and in the MENA countries. She has pursued extensive fieldwork in the MENA region and speaks Arabic fluently.