Euro-Mediterranean Relations after September 11: International, Regional, and Domestic Dynamics

Euro-Mediterranean Relations after September 11: International, Regional, and Domestic Dynamics

Euro-Mediterranean Relations after September 11: International, Regional, and Domestic Dynamics

Euro-Mediterranean Relations after September 11: International, Regional, and Domestic Dynamics

Synopsis

These papers emerged from an international conference on 'The Mediterranean in the New Evolving International Order' that was held in 2002. The focus is on democratization and security building in the Mediterranean Region after 9-11 in relation to international, regional and domestic dynamics.

Excerpt

This collection sets out to analyse the development of politics in the Mediterranean against the background of a paradigmatically changing international environment. The terror attacks of 11 September 2001, the most decisive event determining international relations in recent times, have shifted the coordinates of the complex system of Euro-Mediterranean relations; they have shaken up intra-regional relations and have influenced the evolution of domestic politics within the region. Most of these developments are to the disadvantage of political and socio-economic processes that had started to prosper in the aftermath of the cold war.

Only two years ago Fulvio Attinà and Stelios Stavridis published a book on Euro-Mediterranean relations that offered a refreshingly optimistic outlook on the future prospects of security-building in the region [Attinà and Stavridis, 2001]. The book was based on the assumption that war was losing its importance as an instrument to settle conflicts, thus giving room to more innovative forms of multilateral security co-operation. Unfortunately, new realities force us to reject this assumption. Instead of global pacification, the reappearance of the military has to be faced, manifesting itself in the militarized fight against international terrorism, the targeting of Iraq and a new discussion on 'preventive wars'. From an ex post facto perspective, the 1990s appear to have been a window of opportunity for the civilianization of international relations that closed in the aftermath of September 11 without having been used sufficiently. Opportunities were lost, especially with regard to the Mediterranean.

However, since Mediterranean politics have always been determined by the relations between international, regional and domestic dynamics, other factors have to be taken into consideration too. Regional developments such as the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada and the change of political elites in some of the Mediterranean partner countries (MPCs), but also the evolution of a unilateral European Security and Defence . . .

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