The stability syndrome: EU and US democracy promotion in Tunisia

Brieg Tomos Powel

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22 Citations (SciVal)


Despite very public disagreements over Iraq and other areas of the Middle East and North Africa, European Union (EU) and United States (US) strategies in the region offer much scope for cooperation. Both actors have stressed the potential of democracy to prevent conflict. The US's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) Partnership Initiative, and the EU's Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) all emphasise the need for democratic reform in Middle Eastern states. Tunisia has been included in all of these initiatives, often voluntarily, and has consequently become a subject of their drive for political reform. Yet despite a lack of progress in political reform, the US and the EU seem reluctant to place any great pressure on Tunisia to conform to the demands of the policy initiatives. In fact, by including Tunisia within wider regional frameworks, both the US and the EU have shifted their focus to maintaining stability through the status quo rather than risk the unpredictable outcomes of political reform.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-73
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of North African Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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