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conceptual mapping >  globalization and international relations  > The adaptation of EU and US democracy promotion programmes to the local political context in Jordan and Palestine


The adaptation of EU and US democracy promotion programmes to the local political context in Jordan and Palestine

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> Dorothée Schmid and Fares Braisat, EuroMeSCo Research Report n° 50, october 2006, 26 p.

The purpose of this report is to compare the priorities and methods of American and European administrations for the promotion of democratic values and institutions in the Middle East, taking Jordan and the Palestinian territories as case-studies. This paper try to evaluate the consistency of the Western powers’ democracy-promotion policies, especially pondering the influence of regional strategic parameters on the implementation of co-operation programmes on a local scale.

Democracy has even explicitly become a top priority on the Middle Eastern agenda of American foreign policy, while the EU’s vocabulary remains more vague. Then, if American and European political priorities seem to roughly converge, their methods and tools of intervention are not entirely comparable, thus revealing the experimental bias of democracy-promotion policies and also the underlying principles and values driving them. Whereas both the US and the EU claim to be generally advocating a rather determined democratic model, some local variants may be observed, primarily addressing the « needs » on the field as perceived by the donors. At the same time, the contents of co-operation programmes depend on the particular political constraints locally met.

The discourse and effective actions undertaken to encourage political change under such a strong external constraint are likely to meet the regional strategic priorities of both external powers, notably confirming the difficulty to solve the democracy vs/ security dilemma. Recent Western attitudes with regard to the internal political dynamics of the Palestinian territories offer a striking illustration of these difficulties.

document de référence rédigé le : 1 October 2006

date of on-line publication : 9 February 2007

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