Europe and the Middle East: From Imperialism to Liberal Peace?

Raymond Hinnebusch

Abstract


Europe’s relation with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is discussed in the context of normative (International Society) and materialist approaches (World System’s Theory). First, European imperialism’s export of a flawed Westphalian state system is summarized. How Europe is “caught” between MENA and the US and co-opted into a division of labour toward the region is then surveyed. The gap between the normative rhetoric and actual inequitable outcomes and structures constructed under the Euro-Mediterranean partnership is examined, looking at the three “baskets” of economic developmental, political reform and cultural convergence. Four “hard cases,” EU policies toward Palestine, Iran, Syria and Turkey, illustrate the ambiguities of the EU’s approach to MENA. MENA public opinion’s ambivalence toward Europe reflects these realities. The conclusion is that the EU’sMENA policy is caught between the rhetoric of post-colonialism and practices of neo-colonialism.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/res.v4n3p18

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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