American Discourses and Practices in the Mediterranean since 2001: A Comparative Analysis with the EU

This paper examines US construction, representation and practices in the Mediterranean since 2001 with the aim of drawing comparative conclusions on degrees of convergence and divergence between US and EU roles in the Mediterranean space. The paper adopts a critical constructivism approach and extensive discourse analysis in assessing both actors’ perceptions and practices in the fields of security, democracy and economic development; and whether such practices denote complementarity or rivalry. While the analysis demonstrates an obvious divergence in the priorities that the US and the EU assign to various Mediterranean sub-regions and affairs, it equally denotes a remarkable similarity and complementarity in both actors’ approaches to rising security threats, democracy and governance efforts, and economic development projects in the Mediterranean. Particularly, it highlights the consistency in both actors’ practices in the securitization of weapons of mass destruction and energy issues as well as the politicization of democracy promotion and economic development in the Mediterranean for the sake of stabilization.

Roma, IAI, June 2017, 37 p.
Working Paper 4
Publication date: 

1. US Conception of and Interests in the Mediterranean Since 2001

1.1 The Mediterranean Sea: A Strategic “Pre-Positioning” for Rapid Military Engagement
1.2 Northern Allies: Western Europe, the Adriatic and the Aegean Sea
1.3 The Middle East and North Africa: “Vital Interests” and “Deep Engagement”
2. American Approaches to Security, Democracy and Economic Development in the Mediterranean, Compared with Those of the EU
2.1 Security
2.1.1 American Approaches to Mediterranean Sea Security: Different Priorities but Complementary Roles vis-à-vis the EU and NATO
2.1.2 Convergence and Divergence in US and European Approaches to WMD Proliferation
2.1.3 The Palestinian–Israeli Conflict: Necessitated Transatlantic Coordination
2.1.4 Energy Security: Coordination among Allies
2.2 Democracy
2.2.1 The Priority of Democratization
2.2.2 Selective Democratization
2.2.3 Approaches to Democratization
2.3 Economic Development

Research area