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In the Wake of the Revolutions: Rethinking Mediterranean Security and Strategy


The fact that change in the Arab world has come at a time of Western weakness means that, for transatlantic allies, a Mediterranean strategy will depend on coordinated action and greater reliance on regional partners even more greatly than in the past. The notion of a new division of labor might never be fully translated from words into deeds, but the development of a common assessment of security challenges and a broad agreement on main tasks can be explored. This paper is an attempt to outline the main characteristics of the rapidly evolving strategic environment of the Mediterranean region, identify some of the new priorities, and sketch out policy options and challenges for actors and institutions involved. Among other findings, the paper argues that the rise of democratic politics in the Arab world will expand and, in the short term, complicate the security agenda of Western actors. Concerns for human, food, and urban security, together with more conventional preoccupations for state and interstate stability, will figure prominently in the new security equation.

Paper based on discussions held at the fifth Mediterranean Strategy Group meeting, "After the Revolutions: Rethinking Mediterranean Security", organised by The German Marshall Fund of the United States in cooperation with the Centro de Estudios y Documentación Internacionales de Barcelona (CIDOB), the Patronat Catalunya Món and the IAI, Barcelona, 19-21 October 2011.