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Holm, Ulla
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DIIS Working Paper 2004:13
The Southern part of the Mediterranean has been put high on the EU-security agenda after 9/11. The Working paper makes the argument that the EU-politics towards its Arab Mediterranean neighbours are staggering between a status quo oriented politics and a politics of export of democracy. The tension is seen as an expression of two conceptualizations of the Mediterranean and the uneasy combination of four contradicting concepts on the relationship between the Mediterranean and the EU. The first conceptualization is about the Mediterranean as a cultural cradle of great civilizations. The other one is about the Mediterranean as a conflict-ridden zone. These conceptualizations are interlinked in the discourses on how to export security to the South and which kind of security the EU has to promote. The inter-linkage between the two conceptualization of the Mediterranean is furthermore linked up to two oppositional representations of the EU: the EU as an exporter of democracy and the EU as being a model to copy but not an empire-builder. This results in the following dilemmas caused by the oppositional relationship between four concepts: Respect for cultural diversity and export of political shared values. Respect for Arab sovereignty and export of European political values. The opposition between the four concepts is sharpened by Islamic terrorism which underlines the uneasy ‘marriage’ of the four concepts.
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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