Solingendoc - See Mahbubanis (1995104-6) listing of Europes

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Solingendoc - See Mahbubanis (1995104-6) listing of Europes


    Mare Nostrum? Theoretical Perspectives On A Once and Future Region

Conference on the “The Convergence of Civilizations? Constructing a Mediterranean Region,”

    co-sponsored by the Institute for European Studies and the European Union Center at the

    University of California at Berkeley

    (Instituto de Estudos Estratégicos e Internacionais, Lisbon June 6-9, 2002)

    Etel Solingen

    University of California, Irvine

The Sources of the Barcelona Mediterranean Initiative

     The Mediterranean (Mare Nostrum) is rich in historical cycles of regionalism and the

    effort to elucidate emerging trends is an important and timely one. The letter of invitation to this

    conference addresses two cleavages afflicting the Mediterranean as a region: one along the

    rich/poor division, the other along presumed civilizational lines (Islam and the West). Both

    cleavages have come up in the broader debate over globalization. It is only appropriate to

    reflect on the ways in which these and parallel cleavages have been expressed in other regions

    involving mixes of industrialized and industrializing countries. While focusing on the Barcelona

    process mainly, this chapter‟s overview will occasionally bring in other regional experiences as


    I begin with a characterization of the sources of the Barcelona Mediterranean Initiative or European Mediterranean Partnership (EMP). I then explore several competing and

    complementary perspectives on the possible evolution of the Mediterranean as a region. In

    particular, I consider the applicability of a more general argument about the role of political

    coalitions forming in response to internationalization in shaping regional orders. Next I examine

    the relevance of democratic peace arguments for regional order. Finally I analyze the

    relationship between multilateral regional institutions and regional cooperation. These three

    institutions--involving markets, democracy, and regional multilateralism respectively--provide

    the “triple logic” or foundational rationale for the EMP enterprise. The inherent wisdom,

    desirability, and motivations behind each of these logics is heavily contested by actors in North


    and South, albeit no single coherent alternative has yet matured. Each of the three logics

    endows both state and non-state actors with important roles as agents of regionalization. I end

    with some dilemmas and potential hurdles embedded in the foundations of the Barcelona


    The Barcelona process Initiative must be seen as part of a broader scheme of European Union (EU) evolution in the post Cold War era, one involving spatial and functional expansion,

    including efforts to design a common foreign policy. Both classical security issues (the

    availability of non-conventional weapons in the Middle East, terrorism, oil and natural gas

    dependencies) and “new” security issues (migration, drugs, human rights violations,

    environmental degradation) bear on EU concerns with the political fate of the Mediterranean

    1basin. These concerns led the Spanish presidency of the EU to organize a conference in Barcelona in November 1995, gathering the Union‟s 15 and 12 South Mediterranean (SM

    henceforth) countries. The outcome was the Barcelona Declaration or Euro-Mediterranean

    Partnership (EMP) Initiative designed to promote peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean

     region.The Barcelona process brings to relief three institutional pillars on which a peaceful Mediterranean region would presumably rest: economic reform, democracy and regional

    multilateralism. These pillars reflect three interrelated logics rooted in more general conceptual

    approaches to the understanding of regional conflict and cooperation.

The logic of economic reform

    Economic proposals in the Barcelona Declaration included the establishment of a Free Trade Area between the Union and SM countries by 2010 and the removal of tariff and non-tariff

    barriers by SM partners. Economic aid and loans (European Investment Bank) were to benefit

    the SM‟s private sector and to encourage structural reform and privatization. MEDA II (1999)

    expected the "structural adjustment facility" financed under MEDA I to target more specifically


    the reforms necessary for free trade with the EU on the one hand, and to streamline EU

    2 The underlying objective was an effort to help adapt SM decision making on the other.

    countries to an increasingly freer and globalized economy in the belief that such transformation

    would also help resolve the many socio-political ailments often associated with this region.

    Comparisons with other regions often buttress the perceived insolvency of decades-old

    Middle East/North Africa political-economy models. By the early 1990s the Middle East had

    become the least self-sufficient area in the world in food, with among the highest rates of infant

    mortality and illiteracy (particularly female), high levels of unemployment and underemployment

    rates, enormous income disparities, high inflation, overvalued real exchange rates, and

    3uncompetitive goods. For instance, Egypt‟s GNP grew from $260 in 1972 to $640 in 1992, its budget deficit quintupled from 1975 to 1989, and its external debt increased from $2 billion in

    1972 to $40 billion in 1990. According to a UN human development index (HDI) ) combining

    indicators of life expectancy, educational attainment, and income worldwide, Egypt and

    ththMorocco--non-oil economies--ranked 112 and 125 respectively by the mid-1990s (Tunisia

    rd4ththwas 83). For comparative purposes, Pakistan and India ranked 138 and 139 whereas

    thththSouth Korea ranked 30, Thailand 59, and Malaysia 60. Average adult literacy remains as

    low as 56% in the Arab world (98 % in East Asia, excluding China) and much worse for women

    (Egypt‟s is 36%). Radical Islamist movements have shown little proclivity to support female

    education, known to be a critical factor in reversing birth rates and improving economic


     1 Joffé (1998). 2 The MEDA Regulation was adopted in 1996 and the beneficiaries are Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt,

    Israel, Jordan, Malta, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and the West Bank and Gaza

    Strip. Up to 1998 the MEDA Programme has committed 2,325 billion euro and disbursed 600

    million euro for economic reform, social cohesion and regional cooperation. 3 On the legacy of statism in the region, see Richards and Waterbury (1990:219-99), Owen

    (1992:139-65), Bill and Springborg (1990:20), UNDP (1994:209), Heydemann (1993). 4 UNDP HDR 1994-1998.


    Such statistics are frequently cited in efforts to induce further economic reform in the MENA countries. But what is the underlying logic presumably connecting economic reform with

    regional cooperation? On this, there is far less agreement than meets the eye. The relationship

    5 One effort to link the between interdependence and conflict/cooperation is not a simple one.

    process of economic reform to the nature of regional relations focuses on the nature of political

    6coalitions that emerge as a consequence of internationalization and economic reform.

    According to this argument, politicians worldwide rely on material and ideal aspects of

    internationalization to broker political coalitions across constituencies that respond differently to

    the opportunities and constraints of internationalization. Three ideal-typical coalitions tend to

    form: internationalizing and backlash (of which pure forms are hard to find in the real world) and

    hybrid. Driven by their varying socio-political composition and incentives, these coalitions also

    embrace different approaches (grand strategies) to both the domestic and global political

    economy and institutions.

    Both qualitative and quantitative studies found internationalizing ruling coalitions to be more prone to intensify their country‟s trade openness (imports plus exports/GDP) and expand

    exports, to attract foreign investments and curb wasteful military-industrial complexes, to shun

    weapons of mass destruction, defer to international economic and security regimes, and strive

    for regional cooperative orders that reinforce those objectives. Instead, backlash ruling

    coalitions were found to restrict and reduce trade openness, exports, and foreign investment,

    while building expansive military-industrial complexes and weapons of mass destruction,

    challenging international security and economic regimes, and exacerbating civic, religious, and

    ethnic-nationalist differentiation within their region through an emphasis on territoriality,

    sovereignty, and self-reliance. Coherent coalitional grand strategies are hard to find in the real

     5 See, for instance, Solingen (2002 forthcoming) and the entire volume by Mansfield and Pollins

    (2002 forthcoming).


    world but the links between a commitment to internationalization and regional cooperation and

    stability are evident (the latter two are extremely important for the kind of macroeconomic and

    investment policies pursued by internationalizing coalitions).

    Different coalitional combinations in different regions create regional orders, “identities,”

    and shared expectations about conflict and cooperation and, conversely, are affected by them.

    Inter-regional comparisons suggest that where internationalizing coalitions gathered strength in

    a given region, there was a better chance that zones of stable peace might develop. In these

    cases ruling coalitions relied more on concerts, collective security, and multilateralism (Kupchan

    and Kupchan 1991, Ruggie 1993), avoiding aggressive steps towards each other and mutually

    adjusting to resolve outstanding disputes. For instance, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian

    States) produced relatively peaceful stability on the ashes of earlier wars and internationalizing

    coalitions in the Southern Cone of Latin American made MERCOSUR and denuclearization a

    reality. Even in the Middle East, proto-internationalizers made strides in a cooperative direction

    in the early 1990s (Oslo and Multilateral Middle East Peace Process) although recalcitrant

    backlash rivals throughout the region ended this brief cooperative spurt (Peters 1996; Solingen

    2000). In most regions, the ascendancy of an internationalizing “zone of peace” places a direct

    challenge on lingering backlash coalitions in that region, undermining all pillars of their grand

    strategy, from the merits of economic closure to the advantages of militarization. ASEAN had

    that effect on Vietnam, Kampuchea, Laos, and Myanmar. In time, these regional orders can

    overturn the coalitional balance within residual backlash states, easing their eventual inclusion.

    War Zones are more likely to emerge in regional contexts where backlash coalitions have a dominant presence. Given the logic of their grand strategy--particularly militarization and

    nationalist brinkmanship--stronger backlash neighbors tend to produce and reproduce backlash

    strategies elsewhere. Kim-Il Sung‟s attack on South Korea (both ruled by backlash coalitions at

     6 Solingen (1998, 2001). Internationalization involves increased openness to international markets, capital, investments, and technology but also to an array of political and security


    the time), Perón‟s intimidations of neighbors with a fusion bomb, Nasser‟s encroachment in

    Yemen and quarantine of Israel in 1967, Sadat‟s 1973 October War, Begin/Sharon‟s invasion of

    Lebanon, Asad‟s threats to Israel and invasion of Lebanon, Arafat‟s threats to Jordan and

    Lebanon, Galtieri‟s Malvinas debacle, repeated Indo-Pakistani military encounters and nuclear swaggering, Iran‟s Islamic Republic threats to Saddam Hussein and Saddam‟s own invasions of

    Iran and Kuwait, are all instances of this pattern. Finally, zones of restrained conflict reflect

    coalitional competition among internationalizing, backlash, and hybrid leaders at the regional

    level. Under these conditions, no pure coalitional type dominates across states within a region.

    In hybrid orders regionally hegemonic coalitions (Nasserism in the 1960s) influence the fate of

    domestic--and eventually regional--coalitional balances, frequently shifting them towards their

    own type.

    In some ways, the EU has conceived of itself as a zone of stable peace and of the

    Mediterranean as a hybrid or mixed region at best, with at least some SM ruling coalitions falling

    under the category of latent backlash. Cyprus, Malta, and Turkey are regarded as closest to the

    EU‟s internationalizing expectations. Beyond that, Morocco, Tunisia, and perhaps Jordan are regarded as having made more progress in the process of internationalization that the rest of

    the region. The first two promoted exports through preferential trade agreements with the EU

    and have stimulated private sector and foreign investment for over a decade. In both cases,

    states employed about one-fourth of the nonagricultural workforce, far less than under most

    regimes elsewhere in the region. Tunisia‟s President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali deepened liberalization in financial markets and foreign investment, promoted tourism, and reduced

    7 Jordan implemented maximum tariff rates from 220 percent to 43 percent in the early 1990s.

    liberalizing reforms to improve foreign investment throughout the 1990s and embraced FTAs

    with the EU and, most recently, the US. Under Sadat‟s infitah (`opening up') initiative in the mid-

regimes, institutions, and values. 7 Rodrick (1994:62).


    1970s Egypt began its slow process of liberalizing economic sectors, although it has often

    provided a paradigm for little structural adjustment, regulatory reform, privatization, or trade

    8 liberalization.

    Unsurprisingly from the perspective of the coalitional argument outlined above, Jordan,

    Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, and Tunisia were also strong supporters of the Oslo and multilateral

    peace processes, which were regarded as a sine qua non for creating stable regional conditions

    propitious for economic development. The connections are made clear in the analysis of Riad Al

    Khouri: "Jordan's economic hopes are riding on the peace process...A resolution of the conflict

    with Israel would also allow reduction of the country's defense budget (which accounts for more

    than 30 percent of government spending)... Against the background of the lingering Arab-Israeli

    conflict, it remains almost impossible to attract [foreign] investors. But if the peace process

    flourishes... Jordan will assume its rightful economic role. However, the vociferous

    fundamentalism unleashed by democratization is belligerent and xenophobic--opposed to both

    9peace and foreign investment." The last remark alludes to a problem afflicting many a SM state, with Algeria representing the worst debacle thus far.

    However, Islamist movements opposed to internationalization are not the only source of

    10backlash forms in the region. No less resistant to internationalization and to its domestic political and economic implications is Syria‟s ruling coalition. The vast national security

    apparatus created by the Assad regime in Syria is a prime example of sectors that will loose

    11their raison de’être with regional peace. The entrenched, oversized, Baath-run state has

    largely resisted economic liberalization despite some incipient steps in the 1980s that

     8 Cassandra (1995). 9 Al Khouri (1994:110, 111, and 115). On the affinity between nationalism and Islamist

    fundamentalism, see Rouleau (1993). 10 On populism as a common characteristic of both Arab nationalists and Islamist radicals, see

    Leca (1994:79) 11 Hinnebusch (1995:74). On support among Syrian private entrepreneurs for a peace

    settlement with Israel, see Lawson (1994:63). On regional conflict and (domestic) military gains

    throughout the Arab world, see Waterbury (1994).


    12 Public essentially “carefully preserved the privileged position of „national‟ economic sectors.”

    sector managers (as well as military and security) bureaus have countered the nascent power of

    private commercial and industrial groups. Repression of the Islamist opposition has been

    harshest in Syria. As expected, the backlash interests driving Syria‟s ruling coalition have also

    kept Syria (and Lebanon, which it controls) self-isolated from most peace initiatives, including

    the multilateral Middle East process. Beyond these cases lies the “outer ring” of the Southern

    and Eastern Mediterranean arch in the Euro-Med region, including Iraq and Iran, most of which

    have thus far resisted meaningful economic reform. Unlike Southeast Asia, there is no critical

    mass of internationalizers within this arch, let alone in its periphery.

    On the whole, economic reform has proceeded at a much slower pace in the Middle

    East than virtually everywhere else (except perhaps Africa) and political resistance to economic

    openness remains quite strong in many cases.

The Logic of Democracy

    The Barcelona process also aimed at encouraging “good governance,” namely

    democracy and human rights, and advanced the development of confidence-building measures

    to enhance regional security. In the European experience, stable and mature democracies are

    considered to be better suited to deal with ethnic and religious fragmentation than non-

    democracies. Differences can be channeled through established political parties and legal

    13institutions able to adjudicate along more or less neutral (civic) lines. In this view, only

    democracy can be expected to guarantee human rights and personal freedoms. “Good

    governance” cannot emanate from regimes that are not accountable. Furthermore, the 1990s

    diffused the idea (developed by Kant) that democracies tend to safeguard peace in their

    interactions with each other. Despite contradictory logics of democratization in the Middle East

     12 Heydemann (1992:94). See also Hinnebusch (1993); Rabinovich (1993), and Lawson (1994).


    (see below), the commitment of European publics to these principles makes it hard to envisage

    a EU Mediterranean policy that does not rely on these norms. Democracy here appears a win-

    win: it is expected to deliver human rights to the SM and peaceful interactions between the

    Mediterranean north and south.

    Yet, the progression toward democracy in the SM has been rather slow in contrast to

    democratization in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and East Asia. In the 1990s there was some

    movement towards selected democratic procedures and political liberalization characterized by

    14incipient, tentative and piecemeal steps, and marked by significant reversals. Morocco, a

    pioneer in its tolerance for freedom of the press and association with a relatively strong (in

    regional terms) civil society, has seen some barriers placed on the monarchy. By the late 1990s

    there was a government led by the traditional opposition (although appointed by the late King

    Hassan) and further improvements were detected with the inception of King Mohammed to the

    throne in 1999. Jordan has experienced competitive parliamentary elections since 1989 and a

    lively press debate over domestic and foreign policy, although liberalization has suffered some

    setbacks since.

    Egypt has restricted political participation through electoral laws and procedures that

    15favor the ruling National Democratic Party. Its record with respect to human rights and pro-democracy organizations has only deteriorated, as evidenced by the conviction of noted scholar

    and activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim on trumped-up charges of defaming Egypt‟s reputation and receiving foreign funding without governmental permission. In tune with modal SM politics,

    Tunisia‟s President Ben Ali won a third 5-year term with nearly 100 percent of the vote in the October 1999 elections, replicating President‟s Mubarak 1999 performance in Egypt.

    Palestinians elected their president and Legislative Council in their first free, internationally

     13 For aggregate evidence on the relative immunity of democratic states to violent ethnic

    upheaval, see Hill and Rotschild (1993) and Espy et al (1997). 14 On the relationship between democratization, Islamist movements, and the Middle East

    peace process in the SM state, see Solingen (1996, 2003).


    supervised, elections in January 1996 but no elections have taken place since, and Arafat has

    precluded genuine political participation. Syria remains a highly personalistic authoritarian state

    that also places stiff boundaries on Lebanese liberalizing efforts. Turkey, with strong incentives

    from the European Union, is arguably furthest along in the process of democratization and

    political liberalization.

    To the extent that some democratization-from-above has taken place throughout the region--launched by state elites with varying degrees of support from powerful societal actors--

    these have been efforts at coopting influential elites while placing strict controls on the

    expansion of political rights. These barriers to democratization make initiatives in the third area

    of the Barcelona Process--society and culture--harder to sustain. These initiatives include the

    development of networks of human rights organizations and economic and defense institutes

    (EuroMeSCo is a network of strategic studies institutes, and FEMISE is a network of economic

    Institutes). The promotion of private organizations and NGOs is expected to reinforce

    democratization, economic reform, and multilateral cooperation.

The Logic of Regional Multilateral Institutions

    The merits of regional multilateral institutions in the eyes of EU officials and publics are

    quite clear: “if it worked in Europe, why not everywhere?” The EU experience has had a

    profound influence in international relations regarding the role of regional institutions in

    cooperation. However, it is important to recognize that cooperation can come about even where

    there is either little integration or institutions, whereas conflict is possible in the presence of

    16both. This is supported by findings from coalitional analysis and regional conflict and cooperation in other regions, beyond the EU (Solingen 1998, 2001). In the Arab Middle East the

     15 Harik (1994); Korany, Brynen, and Noble (1998). 16 Cooperation involves the willingness to forsake, in repeated instances, the unilateral pursuit of one's own interests and to undertake commitments on a basis of diffuse reciprocity (Keohane

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