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Title: To what extent, is culture a divisive factor in international relations? : a case study of regional relations in the Mediterranean
Authors: Gatt, Francesca Maria (2003)
Keywords: Europe -- Foreign relations -- Mediterranean Region
Mediterranean Region -- Foreign Relations -- Europe
Civilization, Western -- Islamic influences
Islamic civilization -- Western influences
East and West
Issue Date: 2003
Citation: Gatt, F.M. (2003). To what extent, is culture a divisive factor in international relations?: a case study of regional relations in the Mediterranean (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: The concept of culture in international relations is nothing new. However in recent years debates have ensued especially since the publication of Samuel Huntington's, "The Clash of Civilizations?" in Foreign Affairs in 1993 and more recently since 9/11. Huntington predicted that violence resulting from international anarchy and the absence of common values and institutions would erupt among civilizations rather than among states or ideologies. Scholars have actively debated whether cultural differences hinder peace and co-operation. The interest lies mainly in the Muslim world. Islam and the West enjoy an uneasy relationship with each other. Islam cites many reasons for this - from the crusades to the West's support of Israel. The West meanwhile worries that Islam is hostile to democracy and that Islam is an intolerant and aggressive religion. The question being asked here is the following: to what extent do cultural differences influence a state's decision in forming relations with others? The scope of this paper, by examining European regional relations in the Mediterranean, is to analyze the concept of culture in international relations, discuss if cultural differences do exist and if the EuroMed partnership provides the best framework where cooperation can take place. Particular emphasis is made on the cultural sphere of the partnership, particularly what is taking place at the moment. This paper deals with mainly two civilizations present in the Mediterranean: the West and the Islamic. This does not mean that the Judeo civilization is not important or not present in the Mediterranean. On the contrary, the existence of Israel poses a real stumbling block for regional relations between the West and Islamic civilizations but this paper deliberately leaves out such a civilization to put emphasis on the relationship between the West and the Islam. Firstly the concepts of culture and civilization are explored and how they are applied in political science. Moreover these to concepts are further analyzed with regards to two theoretical paradigms: realism and liberalism. Globalization is also discussed with regards in this chapter due mainly to the fact that globalization is the preferred term used to describe our era. In addition, cultural differences are discussed taking language, religion and the political structure of societies as examples. In the second chapter the Mediterranean is studied. The term is defined and a brief history enlightening its importance throughout the centuries is given. After which the Western civilization and the Islamic civilization are examined and if a clash really exists between them. Chapter 3, analyzes in detail regional relations in the Mediterranean, first in the Cold War and then in the post-Cold War. The post Cold War period was a turning point in the European Union's relations with the Mediterranean countries, mainly with the establishment of the Barcelona Process. Finally, in the last Chapter the most recent events will be discussed in detail, mainly: the re-launching of the Barcelona Process in Valencia V, the Crete Conclusions, especially the decisions regarding the setting up of a Foundation for the Dialogue on Cultures and Civilizations.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsMADS - 1994-2015

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