Entanglements in EU–Middle East relations

Authored by: Dimitris Bouris , Daniela Huber , Michelle Pace

Routledge Handbook of EU–Middle East Relations

Print publication date:  December  2021
Online publication date:  December  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367330767
eBook ISBN: 9780429317873
Adobe ISBN:


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Have relations between the European Union (EU) and the Middle East really changed substantially or is there actually more continuity than usually assumed? The aim of this introductory chapter is to take stock of the continuities, ruptures and entanglements in EU–Middle East relations. Since the end of the Second World War, the decolonisation process in the Middle East, the challenges of pan-Arabism, the US hegemony over the Middle East, the Venice Declaration, the aftermath of the Cold War, the intensification of US–European military presence in the Middle East and the Arab uprisings have all contributed to key moments of rupture in these relations. All these events represent flashpoints which expose vulnerabilities, weaknesses, fallacies and incoherencies in these relations. This introduction frames and presents the 41 chapters of this handbook which are organised in six parts – Historical Constructions/Perspectives; Theoretical Approaches/Perspectives; Multilateralism and Geopolitical Perspectives; MENA–EU Relations in the Contemporary World; Peace, Security and Conflict; and Development, Economics, Trade and Society. Each chapter and collectively these contributions highlight how EU–Middle East relations are multifaceted, varied and complex. This handbook provides a useful entry point for an informed exploration and nuanced understanding of the multiple themes, actors, structures and processes that mould these relations.

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