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Political Change in the Middle East and North AfricaAfter the Arab Spring$
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Inmaculada Szmolka

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474415286

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415286.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 05 December 2021

EU and EU member states’ responses to the Arab Spring1

EU and EU member states’ responses to the Arab Spring1

Chapter:
(p.301) Chapter 13 EU and EU member states’ responses to the Arab Spring1
Source:
Political Change in the Middle East and North Africa
Author(s):

Irene Fernández-Molina

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415286.003.0014

This chapter argues that the EU’s response(s) to the Arab Spring can be best described as hybrid and is (are) closely reflective of the very hybridity of the EU’s international identity. On the one hand, despite genuine normative impetuses, a largely realist approach and exclusive identities and roles prevailed in crisis management and short-term reactions driven by intergovernmental decision-making. The EU’s crisis management responses are examined in the cases of three different groups of Arab countries – those having witnessed regime change, civil conflict and regime resilience. On the other hand, a more liberal outlook and inclusive identities and roles were embodied in strategic or long-term responses in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy, although the latter’s inherent contradictions and lack of innovation in relation to past policies eventually deprived them of the value-based and progressive effect envisaged on paper. Finally, the EU returned to crisis mode in managing the Syrian refugee inflow that was framed as a ‘crisis’ and took the ‘fortress Europe’ identity to its utmost degree from 2015 onwards.

Keywords:   Middle East and North Africa, European Union, Foreign policy, Arab Spring and Post-Arab Spring, European Neighbourhood Policy, Common Foreign and Security Policy, Critical juncture, Crisis management, Normative power, Democracy promotion

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