The growing international relevance of Mediterranean politics

Authored by: Richard Gillespie , Frédéric Volpi

Routledge Handbook of Mediterranean Politics

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138903982
eBook ISBN: 9781315696577
Adobe ISBN:


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For decades regarded as something of a backwater of global and international politics, the Mediterranean has again become a focus of international attention, in some ways sadly, for this is mainly as a result of the internal destructiveness and spill-over from conflicts. Certain flashpoints still tend to monopolize the media attention, yet the connectivity of the area more generally has grown, as illustrated by the refugee crisis. This shows the importance of analysing the Mediterranean holistically. Together with evidence of diversity and fragmentation, a number of global themes are to be found in Mediterranean politics, such as the largely unsuccessful attempts at Euro-Mediterranean region-building and insurrectional efforts to change regimes. While there is no single linear story to tell about the Mediterranean, there are certainly some practical and conceptual synergies that can be identified in its multifaceted regional processes. National and supra-national processes that aimed at forging more cohesive political identities have repeatedly created not only a higher degree of social, economic and cultural integration, but also multiple resistances and alternative solidarities; with the use of repression or structural violence inducing in turn various forms of grassroots rejection.

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