Experts & Staff

Julien Barnes-Dacey

Director, Middle East and North Africa programme

Areas of expertise

Middle East and North Africa

Languages

English, French, Arabic

Biography

Julien Barnes-Dacey is the director of the Middle East & North Africa programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He works on European policy towards the wider region, with a particular focus on Syria and regional geopolitics.

Barnes-Dacey’s recent publications include “Principled pragmatism: Europe’s place in a multipolar Middle East,” “Society max: How Europe can help Syrians survive Assad and coronavirus,” and “Guns and governance: How Europe should talk with non-state armed groups in the Middle East.” His work has been published in the likes of Foreign Policy, Politico, the Financial Times, and the New York Times.

Immediately prior to joining ECFR Barnes-Dacey headed the MENA practice at Control Risks, a private sector consultancy. Before this he worked as a journalist across the Middle East. Based in Syria from 2007 to 2010, he reported for publications including the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor. He worked across Iraq as editor of Niqash and was also based in Egypt. Barnes-Dacey was an assistant foreign editor for UK television’s Channel 4 News, and a field producer for Al Jazeera International.

Barnes-Dacey holds a BA in history from the London School of Economics, an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and studied Arabic at the Institut Français du Proche-Orient.

Syria: the view from Lebanon

Tensions in Lebanon, whose political fate has long been intimately tied to Syria, are sharpening rapidly as its neighbour sinks deeper into a sectarian civil war. But a growing number of clashes within Lebanon are now raising fears that a domestic eruption is becoming hard to avoid.  

Syria: the view from Jordan

Amman has gradually escalated its anti-Assad posture, providing wider political and military support in a bid to try and prevent the emergence of a chaotic no man’s land on its border, it continues to seek a political deal to end the conflict.  

De-escalating the Syria conflict

A rare moment of opportunity has emerged to renew diplomatic efforts to resolve the Syria conflict. The priority now must be de-escalating the level of violence  and the reducing the threat of regional spill-over   

Lebanon: Locked into escalation?

The collapse of Lebanon’s government has thrust the country into a deepening political crisis. The war in Syria and recent actions by Hezbollah also suggest that internal conflict may return to Lebanon.  

Does Jordan’s election change anything?

Jordan's elections were widely considered a success, but the country continues to face two critical challenges: dealing with overspill from the Syrian conflict, and a badly stumbling economy.  

Publications

Articles

Unsettled: The impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on the Middle East and North Africa

Heightened conflict in Ukraine could have serious consequences for European interests in the Middle East and North Africa. It could further disrupt energy supplies, exacerbate food insecurity, and help states in the region gain leverage over the US and Europe.

New momentum? The US, Iran, and the fate of the JCPOA

The United States and Iran may finally be converging on a shared commitment to a new nuclear deal. This agreement would not be perfect, but the alternatives are far worse.

Cooling-off: How Europe can help stabilise the Middle East

As countries across the Middle East pause to take stock of recent conflicts, Europeans need to do more to support dialogue

The narrow path to agreement: How Europe should support the Iran nuclear deal

If European governments want to salvage the deal before it is too late, while also opening up the prospect of negotiations with Iran on regional security, they need to quickly and clearly reject the argument that the two issues should be bundled together

Specials

Podcasts

Events

In the media