Richard Youngs

Senior Associate
Democracy and Rule of Law Program
Youngs is an expert on the foreign policy of the European Union, in particular on questions of democracy support.


PhD, MA Warwick University
BA, Cambridge University


English; French; Spanish

Contact Information


Richard Youngs is a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program. He is an expert on the foreign policy of the European Union, in particular on questions of democracy support. He has published widely on the Middle East, the European neighborhood, the current EU crisis, and energy security. 

Youngs is also a professor of international relations at Warwick University. Prior to joining Carnegie in July 2013, he was director of the Madrid- and Brussels-based think tank FRIDE. He also held positions in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and as an EU Marie Curie fellow. He was senior fellow at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington, DC, from 2012 to 2013. 

Youngs’s interests focus on the development of EU foreign policy, European responses to the Arab Spring, trends in international democracy, and current debates over democracy promotion strategies. His seventh book, The Uncertain Legacy of Crisis: European Foreign Policy Faces the Future, was published in January 2014.

  • Central African Republic
    Strategic Europe April 15, 2014
    The EU and International Conflicts

    The EU is unveiling a number of new initiatives to improve its approach to peace building. But it still needs to do more to tackle the deep-rooted causes of conflict.

  • Arab Spring
    Paper March 20, 2014
    From Transformation to Mediation: The Arab Spring Reframed

    Politics in the Middle East are polarized and fragmented. The Arab Spring’s citizen-led spirit of reform is still alive, but societies are torn apart by bitter tensions.

  • Ukraine
    Strategic Europe February 28, 2014
    Ukraine and the Intricacies of Transition

    Ukraine’s protesters must ensure they convert the spirit of revolution into real democracy. In doing so, they should avoid the mistakes made by other states, especially Egypt.

  • Strategic Europe January 31, 2014
    The Arab Spring Three Years On

    At the third anniversary of the Arab Spring uprisings, the state of play in the Middle East and North Africa is cause for concern. But is it all as somber as it looks?

  • Eurasia Outlook January 29, 2014
    The European Union and the Crafting of Durable Reform in Ukraine

    The European Union has proven powerless to prevent a tragic spiral of lethal violence in Kyiv. In addition, its image amongst protestors has suffered. Now the key challenge for the EU is to begin shaping the conditions that will facilitate deeper democratic reform in Ukraine.

  • Protests
    Op-Ed Bloomberg December 18, 2013
    Global Protests: What Do They Mean For International Democracy?

    The rise of civic protests revolves around more transient forms of political organization. If anything, it has widened the disconnect between the civil and political spheres.

  • Ukraine
    Strategic Europe December 3, 2013
    Ukraine’s European Future: How the EU Can Make a Difference

    The EU needs to revise its approach toward Ukraine. That means involving civil society and a range of other actors if and when negotiations between Brussels and Kiev resume.

  • Spain
    Strategic Europe November 15, 2013
    Spain as a Template for European Foreign Policy?

    For nearly a decade, Spain has punched below its weight on the world scene. But could Spain’s foreign policies be a signpost for the future of European external relations?

  • Barroso; Van Rompuy; Yanukovych
    Paper November 14, 2013
    Smart Geostrategy for the Eastern Partnership

    The Vilnius summit is a chance for the EU to define a more effective Eastern strategy. Yet many European governments seem unsure about what being “strategic” actually means.

  • European Union; Democracy
    Paper October 29, 2013
    A More Pluralist Approach to European Democracy Support

    The EU must embrace a wider variety of tactics, models, actors, and strategies, or it risks losing credibility and traction in the field of democracy support.

  • January 20, 2014
    The Uncertain Legacy of Crisis

    The European Union is mired in the worst crisis it has seen for many decades. And the crisis does not stop at Europe’s edge.

  • European Union
    January 21, 2014 Brussels
    Europe’s Uncertain Foreign Policy Legacy

    The European Union is mired in the worst crisis it has seen for many decades. This threatens to undercut the EU’s ambitions to develop a coherent and active foreign policy.

  • November 5, 2013 Washington, DC
    Rethinking European Democracy Support

    European support for democracy faces a series of challenges stemming both from the results of the Eurozone crisis and from the difficult state of democracy worldwide. In order to confront these challenges, the EU must rethink its approach.

  • May 30, 2013 Washington, DC
    Varieties of Democracy: Global Standards, Local Knowledge

    The global diversity of democratic political system continues to pose practical and analytical challenges to policymakers, advocates and researchers. A new collaborative effort seeks to provide a comprehensive and rigorous approach to the measurement of democracy around the world.

  • December 18, 2012 Washington, D.C.
    Supporting Democracy in Georgia and Ukraine: Time for a Rethink?

    Recent events in the post-Soviet European neighborhood have again put the spotlight on struggling efforts for democratization in the region.

  • December 14, 2010 Brussels
    Europe's Decline and Fall: The Struggle Against Global Irrelevance

    With the ratification of the Lisbon treaty, the EU had hoped to develop the infrastructure to handle the challenges of the twenty-first century world, but recent developments have sparked widespread talk of Europe's relative decline.


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