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


Richard Youngs is a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program, based at Carnegie Europe. 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.

  • Eurasia Outlook September 18, 2014
    Europe and Belarus in Changing Times

    This summer’s crisis in eastern Ukraine has made the European Union and Belarus keen to develop a more constructive relationship with each other.

  • Digital
    Op-Ed Deutsche Welle September 11, 2014
    Digital Media Is a Double-Edged Sword

    Digital media is already affecting foreign policy, by providing quick, inside information from the ground. While this is a largely positive development, there are dangers too.

  • Strategic Europe September 9, 2014
    European Humanitarianism: Fillip or Substitute for Foreign Policy?

    As Europe’s humanitarian role becomes increasingly prominent, the EU must ensure that the other, more geostrategic components of its foreign policy develop in tandem.

  • World; global order
    Article July 2, 2014
    The EU and Global (Dis)Order

    With the current liberal world order under threat, it is high time the EU fine-tuned the ways in which it defends its core principles.

  • Lukashenko
    Strategic Europe June 6, 2014
    Shadow Play in Belarus

    EU-Belarus relations have been frozen for years. A debate is now taking shape on whether the new geostrategic context across Europe’s East might unblock this atrophy.

  • Article June 3, 2014
    Non-Western Roots of International Democracy Support

    Rising democracies are becoming key players in global democracy promotion, but they often struggle to detach the external support they provide from their own transition experiences.

  • Climate change
    Paper May 21, 2014
    Climate Change and EU Security Policy: An Unmet Challenge

    EU efforts to address the security ramifications of climate change have fallen short. Brussels must develop a strategy that produces tangible results on climate security.

  • European Parliament
    Op-Ed EUobserver May 19, 2014
    European Democracy Beyond the Elections

    The European elections should not be seen as a definitive guide to the state of European democracy. They do not speak to the root causes of the EU’s democratic malaise.

  • Strategic Europe May 16, 2014
    Decentralization: Ukraine’s Rub

    Many in Europe think Ukraine should be decentralized, while Russia advocates federalization. That divide misses the point; what is really important is fostering good democracy.

  • 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.

  • 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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