Principal researcher: Maria Cardeira da Silva
External principal researcher: Ana Planet Contreras (UAM)
Research group: Circulation and Place-Making
Crisis | Western Mediterranean | Diaspora | Islam | Spain | North Africa | Mobilizations | Representation
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (coord.); Universidad de Salamanca; Qatar University; CNRS; Instituto de Empresa, S.L.
During the last decade, both shores of the Western Mediterranean have had to deal with a convergence of crises of different intensities that have had repercussions on public policy, systems of representation, and regional and transnational relations, while also affecting migration movements for work purposes and the settlement of migrant populations in Europe. The deepening crisis and the collapse of the Libyan state have intensified instability in the area and once again placed security questions at the front and centre of the regional agenda. The closure of borders in Eastern Europe has displaced part of the flow of refugees fleeing civil war in Syria and Jihadist groups in the region to the western part of the Mediterranean. The starting hypothesis for this project is that the crisis overlap is domestically, regionally and internationally producing changes in a region in which Spains safety, economic and political interests are concentrated in a broad sense. The economic and financial crisis in the Eurozone has particularly intensely affected the countries in Southern Europe. Fiscal adjustments and the intervention of the EU in some economies have had an impact on public policy (immigration, refugees, social cohesion, development cooperation, foreign relations). In the Spanish case, these developments have limited the states ability to influence decisions made in the EU and the immediate surrounding area. The context of global economic crisis has also been felt intensely in North Africa since 2010, revealing and accelerating unrest among broad sectors of North African societies regarding their governments. The protests in various countries share the conviction that the problems resulting from the lack of opportunity, social justice, bad governance and corruption have domestic roots tied to the persistence of authoritarian regimes, and demand their overthrow or reform, depending on the case. Six years later, the initial expectations for democratic transformation in the region have given way to various types of processes of change, although the underlying causes behind the protests have not disappeared, as evidenced by the demonstrations that took place last year in the south of Algeria and Tunisia and in the Moroccan Rif region, with important repercussions for Europe and a clear transnational dynamic. A systematic analysis of the new political developments and discourses and a systematic accounting of these domestic and international processes are essential steps if Spains influence in the region is to be correctly calibrated. Since this sub-regional system is closely connected via history and political and social dynamics, it must be approached with a multi-disciplinary perspective and an extensive team of specialists located on both shores of the Mediterranean.
Circulation and Place-Making
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