The Middle East in Transition
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The Middle East in Transition

The Centrality of Citizenship

Edited by Nils A. Butenschøn and Roel Meijer

The violent transitions that have dominated developments since the Arab Uprisings demonstrate deep-seated divisions in the conceptions of state authority and citizen rights and responsibilities. Analysing the Middle East through the lens of the ‘citizenship approach’, this book argues that the current diversity of crisis in the region can be ascribed primarily to the crisis in the relations between state and citizen. The volume includes theoretical discussions and case studies, and covers both Arab and non-Arab countries.
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Chapter 11: The EU and its southern neighbours: a fuzzy model of citizenship promotion?

Ruth Hanau Santini


The chapter investigates how conceptual models of state-society relations are formulated and translated into practice by the EU in its bilateral relations with the southern Mediterranean countries. It looks at the evolution of European foreign policy since the 2011 uprisings, empirically attesting the degree to which EU policies have been inspired by the new EU strategies. Different visions of democracy and citizenship can be extrapolated from EU documents, which are only partially then translated into practice. Among the different possible models the EU could have adopted in its democracy and citizenship approaches, rather than shifting from protective to developmentalist models, the EU has continued to focus on elections, procedural democracy, rule of law, civil society, restraining the more egalitarian and participatory aspects of democracy, and sacrificing the empowerment of both political and socio-economic rights on the altar of minimum advances in its human rights and procedural democracy agenda.

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