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Manual DEMOCRACY’S PLIGHT IN THE EUROPEAN NEIGHBOURHOOD

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With Kristina Kausch. Trends in Democracy Assistance: What has Europe been doing? A New Approach in the Great Lakes?

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Read more Partner institutions. PDF Richard. Research Area s History of economic ideas; classical political economy; global finance; the ethical dimension of economic analysis; International Political Economy theory; British politics.

Specific Research Interest s History of economic ideas, particularly the work of Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen and Karl Polanyi; the evolution of different styles of political economy analysis, particularly the shift from classical political economy to neoclassical economics; the operation of global financial markets; the political economy of modern asset markets; spectatorial theories of moral agency within classical political economy; current debates within International Political Economy theory; the process of British welfare state reform under New Labour. Suggested Fields of Inquiry International dimensions of democratisation; EU foreign and security policy; comparative democratisation; Western policies towards the Islamic world; integration and International Relations theory.

How would these changes translate into effective instruments to meet the new goals? The good governance framework was based on consequentialist logic, strategic constellations and the political choices of state leaders and oppositions to undertake policy changes and assess its outcomes. It was not evident, though, why authoritarian regimes should respond positively to external democracy promotion efforts, in particular given the unique combination of authoritarian regimes and strong statehood.

The EU privileged the LoA and declared its normative commitment to democracy promotion. The Arab uprisings marked a significant shift in the policy prioritization of the ENP. The EU moved away from its short-term calculus of material security interest, such as preventing conflict and setting up stable alliances, to a more long-term orientation that includes the risky policy of democracy promotion. As it is shown in Table I , the security—democracy nexus may be broken down into three different strategic logics of action:.

The EU under these conditions opts for the LoC and short-term security interests become more prominent.

The positive momentum of the local actor gives the EU clear behavioral guidance for policy choice and makes it more likely that the LoA will dominate. Between these two poles, there is a third possible trajectory, wherein the two logics of action tend to be invoked sequentially. The EU implements both logics when there is high threat perception but the partner country has a degree of democratic and institutional building commitment, or when there is an instable political context with low security threat.

Hence, a policy may constitute sequential ordering logics of action, so that different phases follow different logics and the bases of action change over time in a predictable and pre-emptive way. The EU refrained from taking on a risky policy of prioritizing democracy promotion for the sake of short-term security interests Radaelli, Rising threat perceptions from the local environment of the partner country may be interpreted here as a central hindering factor of democracy promotion. In the post-uprisings phase, decision makers in Brussels had to precipitously cut through the plethora of compound local contexts, which pushed the EU to assert its normative power in the Southern neighborhood.

Thus, the EU reframed its policy orientation and policy foundation in the region.

Human Rights and Democracy Report 2014

Vibrant civil society organizations became widely conceived as both bedrocks of successful democratic development and bulwarks against predatory power centers that breed violence COM, The inclusion of a civil society consultation mechanism in the EU policy formulation process marked a significant change in existing policy instruments. However, the plan lacked a clear vision on how the EED could potentially represent an important financial component of the EU political strategy of popular empowerment Pace, Furthermore, supporting popular movements that are heterogeneous, fluid, diverse, decentralized, and often loosely structured is challenging.

The foreign aid provider could be denounced of meddling in internal affairs if they support organized movements that contest the practices of allied partner governments Teti, Taken together, one can conclude that the most imperative policy change in the ENP — the differentiated approach — was triggered mainly by regime changes in the Arab world.

This pushed the EU to revert to its traditional LoC and sometimes mix it with the LoA to emphasize its commitment to declared normative objectives.

Andrew Moravcsik discusses democracy and the EU at a CEU conference

Shifting away from a LoC that favors a stabilization paradigm toward supporting grass-roots democratization in the region merits a positive assessment. Nevertheless, it is not just a question of assuring political and civil rights, but also of how the domestic regulatory framework and institutional setting are conducive to the evolution of vibrant civil society.

Elections 12222: Democracy in the face of majoritarianism

Assuming a normative role and adopting an actor-centered democracy promotion approach in intricate and fluid situations of radical change is a highly risky venture. The new policy of the EU underestimated the medium- and long-term repercussions of the political development in the Arab region, which created a misalignment between security needs and security policies. The complexity of MENA societies and the heterogeneity of domestic players in the Southern neighbors produced different conceptions of democratic change among secular nationalists, Islamists, liberals and anarchists and, as a result, diverse political trajectories in the post-Arab Spring phase Bauer, , p.

The question of the democratic and normative role of the EU will be examined by embedding actors in their strategic environment in three cases: Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Effective political society brings different forces into agreement on plans for the supplanting of authoritarian structures and institutional engineering Mora, In Tunisia, after the ousting of Ben Ali, a secure alliance has taken shape between the moderate Islamic movement and the liberal-leftist-religious-friendly parties. Post , Tunisian political forces have explicitly evoked the consensual legacy to reflect on their own thoughts and their hopes for the future of their country.

Throughout roughly a decade, the Islamic movement claims to have developed its philosophical doctrine and harmonized it with democratic principles. Islamic and secular leaders have worked to overcome their mutual fears and distrust by crafting agreements and credible guarantees in institutional engineering process.

This cooperative legacy and cumulative collaborative experience between different political and social forces created a permissive domestic political environment for democratic reforms.

Doomed to fail?

After tense negotiations, Tunisian elites managed to come to an agreement to craft a new constitution that adheres to the pillars of democratic governance and civic state Stepan, , p. In this context, EU support for civil society has gained momentum in Tunisia after being obstructed by the previous autocratic regime.

The EU funded several actions to strengthen the capacity building of civil society actors and promote an open dialogue. During the first phase of democratic reform, many civil society groups in the EU and its member states developed programs to strengthen their Tunisian counterparts and to promote a more structured dialogue between the EU and civil society organizations. Poland, for example, set up a financial and training program to support Tunisian civil society and democratic transition within the framework of Support for Democracy The program included projects aimed at not only developing civil society activities but also educating the participants on the significant role of active citizenry and their relation to the state in a functioning democratic context.


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Implementing these projects in the Tunisian permissive environment reflected the new shift of the ENP strategy to boost civil society alongside the traditional task, which targets polity and democratic institutions. Soon after Mubarak stepped down in February , the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces SCAF ran the country till the first presidential elections in the post-transition period took place in June Contrary to Tunisia, Egypt has done remarkably little to create an effective political society in the post-Mubarak era. In a period of less than three years, Egypt had four different heads of the state, and seven cabinets with six different prime ministers.

The instability in governments was accompanied by a change in the composition of the legislative body after the Islamists dominated the elected parliament in Contrary to the Islamists in the Tunisian case, Islamic forces received a much bigger piece of the pie in Egypt, and the liberal and secular forces were skeptical about any potential collaboration with them.

The introduction of Islamic forces to the Egypt-EU relationship was a new phenomenon. Islamists lacked any clear understanding of genuine democratic practices, which affected the appropriate role and argumentation of the EU in promoting democracy. The EU needs, and is open to developing its dialogue with these parties as well as with all democratically elected governments. Moreover, the proliferation of NGOs and other forms of licensed association was not a significant indicator of anchoring democratic rule. In Egypt, the combination of effectively inherited authoritarian power and the limited mobilizational capacities of NGOs prevented new social forces from playing an active political role in a transition period irrespective of their genuine democratic aspirations.

According to Abdelrahman , p. Under such circumstances, civil society institutions are more a reflection of authoritative structure than a mechanism of collective empowerment. Thus, political forces in Egypt, contrary to their counterparts in Tunisia, evoked a conflict-ridden legacy that impeded the meaningful operation of democracy promotion action. The LoA was subjected to constraints of unpredictable consequences and the EU had to refine its previous decision of supporting grass-roots movements. The EU, however, refrained from dubbing the military action a coup, to secure a stable alliance with the new ruling elites.

Qaddafi had ruled the country without a modern public-sector bureaucracy and police apparatus; he relied, instead, on kin networks to provide security service. Libyan society and the military institution, therefore, were fractured by kinship and regional cleavages.

Executive Summary

Whereas social protests in Tunis and Cairo successfully pushed autocratic leaders to step down and ensue political transformation, Tripoli slipped into a protracted civil war that has lasted well past the death of al-Qaddafi Anderson, The bloc undertook wide-ranging drastic measures against the systematic human rights infringements and brutal repression carried out by the regime. Restrictive measures included arms embargoes, asset freezes, a travel ban and trade sanctions.

In the meantime, the domestic political context was not favorable to democratic and institutional reform measures. Revitalizing trust across clans and provinces, rebuilding public administration, and constructing political parties became the most vexing and daunting tasks of the post-Qaddafi regime. Thus, the EU opted to focus on security concerns and humanitarian and technical aid. The EU has defined its priorities in Libya in three support areas: improving the quality of human capital;.

However, the migration issue has been the topmost security issue of the EU strategic policy toward Libya. Under the thematic program for asylum and migration, the EU allocated 33 per cent of the total fund to support Libyan governments in dealing with migration flows and to provide assistance and voluntary repatriation to the migrants.

EIDHR - EUROPEAN INSTRUMENT FOR DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS - Programme from European Commission

The main target of this program is to strengthen administrative capacities of the Libyan authorities in regard to border management and control COM, b. Still, the EU supplemented the LoC with purposeful logic of supporting democracy in Libya as a part of long-term peace-building process among combatants. The program aims to create a conducive environment for the social sector and promote political dialogue with national and local authorities COM, b.

In sum, examining the three local contexts shows how the EU relegated democracy promotion priorities to each context to frame its substantive interest in different hierarchies of logics. The EU launched a joint consultation paper on March 4, , meant to start a debate with member states and other stakeholders on how to revise the ENP.

The EU reshuffled its strategic priorities and logic of action to overcome protracted migration problems across its borders, and respond to the Islamic State spreading its tentacles in the Mediterranean Singh, The latest ENP entails acceptance of and thus support for autocratic rule in the Southern neighborhood. For example, according to an updated country progress report, the EU faces difficulties in supporting civil society groups in Egypt because of governmental stricter controls COM, c.

Banning foreign funds has long been an effective tool in that country to disempower and undermine domestic civil society. The Ministry of Social Solidarity registers and licenses NGOs and monitors their budgets and activities as stipulated by an amendment to the already restrictive Law on Community Associations and Foundations — Law 84 of — restricting foreign support for civil society and targeting international flows of democracy aid. The legal constraints hinder essential material and technical assistance to social groups that monitor the government, promote human rights, and support the democratic process Weinstein, , p.