Assist. Prof. Dr. Yousra Abourabi

SciencesPo Rabat – International University of Rabat

Curriculum Vitae

Assist. Prof. Dr. Yousra Abourabi studied Political Science and International Relations at the Universities of Lyon II Lumière and Jean Moulin Lyon III in France. In 2016, she received her doctorate degree in Political Science and International Relations with a thesis on "Morocco's african policy under the reign of Mohammed VI" at the University Jean Moulin Lyon III, where she had already been teaching during her doctoral studies. In addition, Yousra Abourabi has been a research fellow at the Centre Jacques Berque (Rabat) as well as Junior Research Fellow at the Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l’Ecole Militaire (IRSEM) in Paris from 2015 to 2016. From 2015 to 2017, she was a visiting lecturer at SciencesPo Rabat – International University of Rabat, Morocco, where she is currently an assistant professor for Political Science. Her research focuses on Africa's international relations, especially the issues of governance and normativities, applied to the field of environment, migration, and gender. She has participated to several conferences and research programs in many African and European countries and served as a reviewer for academic journals such as "Mediterranean Politics" or "The Journal of North African Studies". Furthermore, she is a visiting lecturer at the University Saint-Joseph (Beirut) and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Grenoble, as well as a member of the Political Affairs cluster of the Economic, Social and Cultural Cluster (ECOSOCC) of the African Union and a member of the Academic Board of the Global Campus of Human Rights. In addition, she works as a consultant for UN agencies such as UN Women and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

Following her fellowship from May to July 2020, Assist. Prof. Dr. Yousra Abourabi was Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center "Law as Culture" in Bonn from December 2021 to March 2022.

Research projects

"Corona Crisis - Normativity and Dynamics in the Environmental Governance" (December 2021 to March 2022)

The global lockdown caused by the coronavirus crisis has led to significant changes in behavioural and societal norms as well as a redefinition of political priorities. Among the "opportunities" presented by the crisis are, for example, greater exposure of civil society to information on the environmental origins of health crises, as well as the integration by several countries of an environmental agenda into their economic recovery plans. This is the case of the European Union, China, but also the African Union, which did not set up a continental fund for the health crisis but seized the context of the health crisis to launch a vast "green" economic recovery programme. Paradoxically, many countries have also relaxed their environmental standards.

The transnational dimension of the coronavirus crisis is interesting to study methodologically because it transcends the political, social and cultural differences between countries. It concerns the poorest as well as the richest, the South as well as the North, and the Western as well as the Eastern spheres. As such, it is a topic that can be analysed by critically revisiting culturalist approaches. Indeed, the normative transformations brought by the crisis transcend cultures: not everyone covers their heads but everyone must cover their noses and mouths; not everyone traditionally salutes each other in the same way but everyone must now avoid physically saluting each other. In the political sphere, the same dynamic can be observed: the most democratic states as well as the most authoritarian ones take identical measures limiting individual freedoms such as freedom of movement or trade. At the diplomatic level, all states have had to reinvent new ways of meeting and cooperating. Inter-state wars have also become more difficult to envisage. Environmental policies are reinvented. In every respect, the coronavirus crisis is a "total" normative phenomenon.

This new dynamic raises questions about an essential aspect of normativities in motion: to what extent do the new normativities linked to the pandemic transcend cultural communities and, more importantly, how does this transcendence produce new universalistic norms? In order to answer this question, the focus will be on the new political normativities leading to the construction of a new legal order that goes beyond community or traditional laws. It will also show how the state is returning in force as the main constructor of the normative order and as an actor in biopolitics, and it will question the possibility that these derogatory measures become rules of common law.  Applied to the field of the environment, this study will be focus on the contradiction between the affirmation of the ecological state linked to the environmental origins of the pandemic, and the relaxation of environmental norms in the name of the prioritisation of the health emergency. Morocco and other countries may be taken as examples to illustrate this ambivalence. In this sense my aim is to reconstruct the reactions to the crisis as a factor of building a "community", whether as "imagined" one or through normative dynamics.

"The Normativities of Climate Change: Building New Legal Communities" (May until July 2020)

The current climate debate is part of the globalist and neo-liberal normative debate on the "end of politics", which calls into question the capacity of the state to respond to environmental risks and challenges. The main meaning given and globally accepted so far is that humans, in the era of the "anthropocene", are responsible for climate change. Within this anthropocene normativity, different prescriptive theories are being debated: that of green capitalism, responsible growth, eco-socialism, and degrowth. These theories participate in the construction of normative subsets, embodied by different epistemic communities in conflict. All these norms are sometimes validated or invalidated by other norms (religious, cultural, economic, political). Thus, the environment is generally considered as a concern of the economically developed countries of the North, as opposed to the weakly industrialized countries of the South. However, there are also normative demands politicized by young people in the South, linked to the feeling of belonging to a collective identity shared with other young people in the North. This was the case, for example, when young Moroccans, inspired by the environmental activism of young Germans, organized their first climate demonstration in Rabat in September 2019. More generally, climate change normativities have fostered the emergence of new legal communities, each participating in the construction of environmental law. These rights do not apply everywhere in the world, nor in the same way. Most of them emanate from the new "climate regime" under construction, defined as a universalist normative regime, yet criticized for its lack of consideration of global diversity, leading to a dedicated and differentiated approach. Yet global warming has the characteristic of being an issue that affects all societies, whatever their cultures, but whose stakes are localized and particular, making it a particularly complex subject.



  • La politique africaine du Maroc. Identité de role et projection de puissance, Brill, Leiden, 2020, 356 pages. 
  • Maroc, De Boeck Supérieur, Coll. Monde Arabe Monde Musulman, 2019, 128 pages.  

Articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals

  • "La politique migratoire du Maroc dans la fabrique des normes africaines" (in preparation within the framework of a research programme of the MEDIAMOT Network). 
  • "De-securitisation and governance of African migration in Morocco: challenges and effects", International Development Policy journal, (to be published in spring 2022). 
  • "Le Maroc francophone : identité et diplomatie africaine", Revue Internationale des Francophonies, La F/francophonie dans les politiques étrangères, December 2019, 
  • "Morocco", Oxford's Constitutions of the Countries of the World (CCW), Oxford University Press, 35 pages.  

Studies and Reports

  • «Reportage sur l’importance d’adopter l’agroécologie au Maroc», Fondation Heinrich Böll, Rabat, 2020, 28 pages. Translated also in Arabic.  
  • "The emergence of new African security powers", Coll. Etudes, Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l'École Militaire, May 2016, 125 pages (with Durand de Sanctis J.). 

Chapters in refereed books

  • Lubaale Emma, "Gender Based Violence in North Africa and the Criminal Justice System : Beyond Legal Reforms", in Budoo, Ashwanee, Lubaale, Emma Charlene (Eds.), Violence Against Women and Criminal Justice in Africa: Volume II Sexual Violence and Vulnerability, Sustainable Development Goals Series, Palgrave Macmillan, 2021 
  • "A global warning on the global warming? The effects of the Corona crisis on the perception of environmental norms", in Gephart Werner (ed), In the Realm of Corona Normativities. A Momentary Snapshot of a Dynamic Discourse, Klostermann, Bonn, 2020. 

Chapters in general books

  • “Reconnaissance de la marocanité du Sahara et normalisation des relations Maroco-Israéliennes : le legs de Donald Trump à Joe Biden”, in Abidi H., Le Moyen-Orient selon Joe Biden, Editions Erick Bonnier, Paris, 2021, 192 pages (with Ferrié J.-N.,). 
  • "La nouvelle politique migratoire comme instrument diplomatique", in Alioua M., Ferrié J.-N., Reifeld H.(dir) La nouvelle politique migratoire marocaine, Publications de la Fondation Konrad Adenauer, 2017 pp. 123-143 (with Ferrié J.-N.). 
  • "Les relations internationales du Maroc", in Dupret B. (et all.), Le Maroc au Présent, Centre Jacques Berque, Editions de la Fondation Ibn Saoud, Casablanca, 2016, 1017 pages. 
  • "La réapparition du drapeau du Rif lors du printemps arabe au Maroc", in Dupret B. (et all.), Le Maroc au Présent, Centre Jacques Berque, Editions de la Fondation Ibn Saoud, Casablanca, 2016, 1017 pages. 
  • "Le Maghreb face au sahel : des tentatives de coopération sécuritaire à l'avènement de diplomaties religieuses", in Hasni ABIDI, Monde arabe ; entre transition et implosion, Editions Erick Bonnier, Collection Encre d'Orient, Paris 2015, 330 pages. 

Reviews in peer-reviewed scientific journals

  • "Penser les relations internationales africaines à travers l'étude des régionalismes", Critical review of Daniel Bach, Regionalism in AfricaGenealogies, Institutions and Trans-State Networks, Abingdon, Routledge, 2016, published in Revue Française de Science Politique, 2017/5 (Vol. 67), pp. 931-945. 

Discussion articles

  • 'Maroc Israël: pour une analyse constructiviste-réaliste', Revue Telos, 4 February 2021 (with Jean-Noël Ferrié). 
  • « La diplomatie environnementale du Maroc en Afrique : un mix intérieur-extérieur » , Telos Review, 7 June 2018 (Jean-Noël Ferrié). 
  • "The discovery of oil off the Canary Islands: a factor in the conflict between Morocco and Spain?", Joint Centre for Concepts, Doctrines and Experiments, October 2014. 

Media articles

  • « La Chine au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique du Nord : un nouveau partenaire en matière de sécurité ? » Middle East Eye, 17/02/2020.  
  • « Pourquoi la Zleca doit être écoresponsable », Jeune Afrique, 10/10/2019.  
  • « Le Maroc  à la Cedeao,  et si c’était pour bientôt ? »,         Jeune Afrique, 19/08/2019.  
  • « Maroc : l’avant-garde continentale », Jeune Afrique,16/06/2019 
  • « Maroc – Retour du service militaire : des femmes aptes et volontaires », Jeune Afrique,15/07/2019. 
  • «Maroc      –    CEDEAO :   où    en   est   la     demande       d’adhésion?»,   Middle      East     Eye, 05/05/2019.  
  • « Maroc-Nigéria : vers la reconstruction de la géopolitique régionale », Middle East Eye, 23/06/2018 
  • « Interview de Yousra Abourabi par Marouane Kabbaj, à propos de la politique africaine du Maroc », Maroc Hebdo, 14 septembre 2017  
  • « La politique africaine du Maroc prend un nouveau tournant », Le Point Afrique, 20 mars 2017.  
  • « Diplomatie religieuse : quelle place ? quel but ? quelle paix ? », Centre International pour la Paix et les Droits de l’Homme, 27 février 2017.
  • « Yousra Abourabi : « L’UA pourrait devenir une arène d’affrontements diplomatiques entre pro et anti-Marocains », Jeune Afrique, 02 février 2017.