Democracy promotion and stability in Egypt and Tunisia: Discursive configurations of the European Neighbourhood Policy after the Arab uprisings

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Democracy promotion and stability in Egypt and Tunisia: Discursive configurations of the European Neighbourhood Policy after the Arab uprisings

Type: Master thesis
Title: Democracy promotion and stability in Egypt and Tunisia: Discursive configurations of the European Neighbourhood Policy after the Arab uprisings
Author: Mari, Antoine
Issue Date: 2017-04-28
Keywords: European Union
Egypt
Tunisia
European Neighbourhood Policy
Critical Discourse Analysis
Differentiation
Stabilisation
Crisis
Narrative
Discursive configurations
Abstract: This thesis seeks to interrogate the response of the European Union to the events known as the Arab uprisings, with a particular focus on the political transitions experienced by Egypt and Tunisia since early 2011. It conducts a thorough textual analysis of major European Neighbourhood Policy documents and ‘speech acts’ related to Egypt and Tunisia, using Norman Fairclough’s three- dimensional Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). In each instance of ENP discourse, this study sees a text, a discursive practice and a social practice. It identifies the particular discursive configurations of democracy promotion in these text samples, noting a significant change in tone since the launch of the ENP in 2003. More specifically, it points to the new neighbourhood agenda developed by the EU since the wave of protests in the Middle-East and North Africa, characterised by greater ownership of ENP policies by EU partners, considerable differentiation in their objectives and a heightened concern for the stabilisation of the region. Rooted in a critical, constructivist approach to discourse analysis, it eventually contends that the seemingly less voluntarist narrative developed in South Neighbourhood policy documents is the result of higher threat perception in the Union. A threat narrative is indeed highlighted, as a particular instance of a crisis rhetoric, resulting in a notable downscaling of EU normative ambitions in the region. Investigation of the Egyptian and Tunisian cases since 2011 provides important information regarding these developments in the ENP. This thesis eventually points to civil society assistance as a narrative of inclusiveness which could prove to be a significant addition to ENP democracy promotion agenda, while recognising the limits of this endeavour.
Supervisor: Cusumano, Eugenio
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: International Relations (Master)
Specialisation: European Union Studies
ECTS Credits: 15
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/49716
 

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