Strengthening authoritarian rule through democracy promotion? Examining the paradox of the US and EU security strategies: the case of Bin Ali's Tunisia
Cavatorta, Francesco and Durac, Vincent (2009) Strengthening authoritarian rule through democracy promotion? Examining the paradox of the US and EU security strategies: the case of Bin Ali's Tunisia. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 36 (1). pp. 3-19. ISSN 1469-3542
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Since the end of the Cold War, much has been made about the crises that recurrently characterize the transatlantic relationship. Since the attacks of September 11th and the war in Iraq, such a crisis, according to many, has developed into a fully-fledged rift, which is beyond repair. The different views and policies of the US and EU in the Middle East are usually held as a paradigmatic example of the differences that exist between the two actors. The paper challenges this assumption and argues that the transatlantic rift, once the rhetoric is set aside, is not as deep as many suggest. In fact, through an in-depth analysis of how the democracy-promotion policies on the EU and the US are implemented, the paper shows that they are attempting to achieve similar objectives, under similar constraints and suffer from similar contradictions and shortcomings. The paper investigates such policies in the context of Tunisia, a country which, at least theoretically, should be moving forward towards democracy given the pro-democracy environment in which it operates.
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