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The Remaking of the Euro-Mediterranean Vision

Challenging Eurocentrism with Local Perceptions in the Middle East and North Africa


Edited By Aybars Görgülü and Gülşah Dark Kahyaoğlu

This edited collection is a timely and in-depth perception analysis of Euro-Mediterranean relations and the EU policy actions towards the Mediterranean region.

The book takes as its departure point the recent geopolitical developments in the Middle East and North Africa, urging the renewal of a Euro-Mediterranean partnership while challenging the ‘Eurocentric orientation of EU policies’ – a critical factor which explains why the EU has been unable to adjust its policies to the region’s fast-changing complexities.

The volume subsequently introduces the findings of an elite survey conducted between 2017–2018 with local stakeholders in 9 countries in the Mediterranean. The findings and policy recommendations presented in the book aim to contribute to making EU policies more responsive to major challenges in the region, more flexible on the multilateral and the bilateral level and more inclusive of key stakeholders.

This book will interest EU policy-makers, civil society, academics and researchers on EU policy, as well as IR experts in general.

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Zeynep Gülöz Bakır is a project manager at the Center for Public Policy and Democracy Studies (PODEM). She graduated from Boğaziçi University in 2012 with double major BA degrees in Sociology and Philosophy. She received her Master’s degree from Paris 1 Panthéon – Sorbonne University’s Political Science Department. In line with her specific interest in political culture and identity studies, her thesis focused on the political discourse of ordinary citizens in Turkey. After a short period of private sector experience, she joined PODEM where she conducts research and project management activities in political and social areas. She is currently pursuing her second Master’s degree in the Social Policy Department at Boğaziçi University, with a focus on rural sociology and development aspects.

Emir Bayburt works as a Project Officer at the Center for Public Policy and Democracy Studies (PODEM). He graduated from Tel Aviv University’s International BA in Liberal Arts Programme in 2015, majoring in Middle Eastern Studies. Following his BA graduation, he continued his education in Tel Aviv University’s Masters in Middle Eastern Studies Programme, graduating in 2016. Throughout his BA and MA programmes, he was taught by the faculty members in the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, where he focused on the issues of secularism, democracy and education in contemporary and Republican Turkey.

Samir Bennis is a political analyst. He is currently a senior political adviser in Washington DC. He worked for eight years as political adviser to an Arab country’s mission to the United Nations. He received a PhD from the University of Provence in France. He also holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Toulouse I, a Master’s degree in Iberian Studies from the University of Toulouse II, a Master’s degree in Diplomatic Studies from the Center for Diplomatic and←305 | 306→ Strategic Studies in Paris and a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish studies from the University of Fez. He pursued post-doctoral research at the Diplomatic School of Madrid. His areas of academic interest include relations between Morocco and Spain and between the Muslim world and the West, as well as the global politics of oil. He has published over 200 articles in Arabic, French, English and Spanish, and authored Les relations politiques, economiques et culturelles entre le Maroc et l’Espagne: 1956-2005, which was published in French in 2008. He is the co-founder of Morocco World News. He lives in Washington DC.

Nimrod Goren is the founder and Head of Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, and a Teaching Fellow in Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He holds a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and Political Psychology from the Hebrew University, where his dissertation topic was “The Role of External Incentives in Promoting Peace: The Cases of Israel and Turkey”. After completing his doctorate, Nimrod was selected to take part in Public Policy training at Syracuse University as the Israeli participant in the 2009–2010 US State Department’s Fulbright Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program. Nimrod is the former Executive Director of the Young Israeli Forum for Cooperation (YIFC), and in this capacity he was awarded the 2009 Victor J. Goldberg IIE Prize for Peace in the Middle East. In addition, he has worked at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, the Nehemia Levtzion Center for Islamic Studies and the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace. He is also a Board Member at MALI – The Center for Enterprising Citizens, and his areas of expertise include the Middle East peace process, Israel’s foreign policy, and Turkish politics and foreign policy.

Karina Goulordava holds a BA in Communication-Rhetoric and Spanish Literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, she is near completion of her Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the American University of Beirut. Previously, she received a Fulbright research grant which was conducted at the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Utrecht University and resulted in the publishing of←306 | 307→ a peer-reviewed article. Academically, she is particularly interested in interdisciplinary research spanning urban planning, anthropology and economy. Professionally, she has been working in NGO management for the past 6 years with Lebanese and international organizations.

Aybars Görgülü is a founding member and Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy and Democracy Studies (PODEM). He worked for the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) from 2007 to 2015. He received his PhD in Political Science from Sabancı University in 2014. He holds an MA degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from the University of Clermont-Ferrand, and a BA degree in Social and Political Sciences from Sabancı University. Dr Görgülü teaches on Turkey’s foreign policy and Caucasus politics at Istanbul Kültür University and has several publications on Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy issues.

Sabiha Senyücel Gündoğar is a Senior Researcher/Policy Analyst and a founding member of the Center for Public Policy and Democracy Studies (PODEM) in Istanbul. She served as Research Director at PODEM from 2015 to spring 2018. She previously worked at the Turkish Economic and Social Foundation (TESEV) for 12 years, the last five years heading the Foreign Policy Department. She is continuing her PhD studies on Political Science at the Istanbul Bilgi University. She has been involved in various research projects supported by the EU, government agencies and international platforms. Her main areas of expertise are Turkey’s foreign policy, migration studies, Europe, the Middle East and Mediterranean studies.

Omar Iharchane is Professor of Public Law and Political Science at the Faculty of Juridical, Economic and Social Sciences in Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech. He is the Director of the Moroccan Centre for Studies and Policy Analysis, and Coordinator of the yearbook in Arabic Morocco in a Year, published since 2009 and written by a group of over 40 researchers. Iharchane contributes to various media outlets as opinion writer, and collaboratively researches issues of political Islam and democratic transition with numerous studies and research centres.←307 | 308→

David Ramin Jalilvand is a Berlin-based analyst and consultant. His work focuses on the interplay of energy and international politics in Iran and the Middle East. Between 2015 and 2018, he led the Iran programme of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Berlin. He earned a PhD in Political Science from the Free University of Berlin in 2016. Previously, he studied at the London School of Economics, the Moscow State Institute for International Relations and Erfurt University.

Gülşah Dark Kahyaoğlu is Project Officer at the Center for Public Policy and Democracy Studies (PODEM) where she has been involved in research and coordination of projects in the areas of the European Union, the Middle East and North Africa region, and migration. She received her BA in Translation and Interpreting from Istanbul University in 2012. She holds an MA degree in Translation Studies from the University of Surrey. She has professional experience in translation/editing and in the media industry. She previously worked as translator and later Features Editor at Daily Sabah, an English-language newspaper based in Istanbul, from 2014 to 2017.

Robert P. Parks is a political scientist and founding Director of the Centre d’Études Maghrébines en Algérie, in Oran, Algeria. He received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011. His current research focuses on bottom-up political processes in Algeria and Tunisia, political economy and social movements, and has been published in The Arab Reform Bulletin, Jadaliyya, The Journal of North African Studies, The Middle East Journal and The Middle East Report. He contributed to The Politics of Islamic Finance (Edinburgh University Press 2004), The Arab Spring (Palgrave Macmillan 2014) and The Middle East (CQ Press 2016), and co-edited Global and Local in Algeria and Morocco: The World, The State and the Village (Routledge 2015). He is currently an associate editor for Insaniyat: Revue algérien d’anthropologie et de sciences sociales, Algeria’s premier scientific journal for the social sciences.

Eyal Ronen is currently an Associate Postdoctoral Fellow at the Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a member of the Mitvim Institute’s task team for enhancing relations between Israel and the European Union.←308 | 309→ His main fields of interest are political economy, international trade, the European economy and Israel–EU relations. As a Marie Curie Research Fellow under the DISSETTLE Project (Dispute Settlement in Trade: Training in Law and Economics), he has completed his PhD dissertation entitled “Policy Implications of Non-Tariff Measures on International Trade”. Dr Ronen has rich professional experience as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Israeli Mission to the European Union and prior to that in various economic positions in the Manufacturers Association of Israel.←309 | 310→