Introduction: Diverging or converging dynamics? EU and US policies in North Africa - an introduction
Cavatorta, Francesco and Durac, Vincent (2009) Introduction: Diverging or converging dynamics? EU and US policies in North Africa - an introduction. The Journal of North African Studies, 14 (1). pp. 1-9. ISSN 1743-9345
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According to a number of scholars of international relations, the transatlantic relationship is going through a very significant and possibly irreversible crisis. It is claimed that the different reactions of the United States and the European Union to both September 11th and the war in Iraq were the catalyst for a rift that had been deepening for some time, leading to competition between the two actors. The literature on the foreign policy of the US and the EU in the Middle East and North Africa also points to this rift in order to explain the seemingly contradictory policies that the two actors implement in the region, with the US being more forceful in its attempts to export democracy and in supporting Israel while the EU adopts a less confrontational attitude and is perceived to be more friendly to the Palestinians. This article, which introduces a special issue on the nature of US and EU foreign policies in North Africa, argues on the contrary that the transatlantic rift does not really exist. While there are certainly differences in discourse and policies, both the EU and the US share the same concerns and have similar strategic objectives in the region, leading the two actors towards cooperation and division of labour rather than confrontation.
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