The OSCE's Mediterranean Rimland: Ten Years of Arab Uprisings
As the various domestic implications of the “Arab Spring” upheavals continue to reverberate and morph across MENA countries, a set of regional and global actors equally continue to shape the fate of the region. Against this compounded new paradigm of instability and multi-faceted interference, the OSCE’s efforts to foster regional security cooperation face a host of emergent challenges. In order to frame the predicament of the OSCE’s Mediterranean efforts, this paper addresses the consequences and unfulfilled aspirations of the Arab uprisings, the emergence of assertive regional players seeking to shape the region as well as the evolving roles of global powers with a stake in the MENA region. Based on interviews with selected OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation and the group’s current chairperson-in office, the contribution seeks to understand if the challenge is mostly of a technical-procedural nature or if the lack of a shared Mediterranean vision of cooperative security undermines the emergence of a dynamic partnership.
Paper prepared in the context of the New-Med Research Network, December 2021.
1. Ten years of Arab uprisings: Local, regional and global implications
1.1 The Arab uprisings: Causes, unfolding and effects
1.2 Political trajectories and conflict theatres
1.3 Perennial unrest: A morphing shatterbelt
2. Multilateralism and its discontents: Evolving geopolitics
2.1 The United States, Putin’s Russia and the evolving global order
2.2 The new MENA conflict landscape: Collective insecurity vs. cooperative security
2.3 The OSCE’s standing in the international arena
3. The view from the South: Arab and Israeli perspectives on the OSCE and the Mediterranean Partnership for Co-operation
3.1 The OSCE’s Mediterranean outreach from dialogue to partnership
3.2 Extra-regional trust-building?
3.3 The OSCE chairperson and Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation
3.4 Cooperation issues and outlook