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Security Challenges in the Mediterranean Region


The countries south of the Mediterranean are currently undergoing a profound security crisis. This crisis is evident to western countries and, because of the growing importance of Muslim communities and migration, is overtly or covertly affecting European daily life. This book was published while the November 1995 Euro-Mediterranean ministerial conference in Barcelona was trying to provide a first response to the possible consequences of such a crisis in terms of security and foreign policy. These consequences, however, are still not very clear to western and European public opinion and are not much more evident to governments. This book aims to contribute to the clarification of the challenges to western security emerging from the Mediterranean area. There kinds of challenges are taken into consideration by the contributors: first, political and institutional challenges and the Arab security perceptions on which western political responses have to be predicted; second, economic and social challenges; and third, the military dimension of security in the area and the low level violence expressed by terrorism. The risks arising from Islamism, terrorism and military factors are pointed out by the authors. These risks underline the need to reinforce economic and social co-operation and to promote international relations in the area.
Contributions to this book question the concept of the clash of cultures. The challenge to the West does not lie in the monolith of Islam turning aggressively outward to Europe and the US, but in the rivalries between regimes ruling over societies divided by an imbalance in wealth and power.

Versione rivista dei paper presentati al seminario internazionale "Security Challenges in the Mediterranean Region" organizzato a Roma il 23-24 settembre 1994 dall'Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) e dal NATO Office for Information and Press.