Islamist radicalisation: the challenge for euro-mediterranean relations

Islamist radicalisation: the challenge for euro-mediterranean relations

Is the EU contributing to the radicalisation of Islamists? Issues relating to political Islam continue to present challenges to European foreign policies in the Middle East and North Africa. In this volume, edited by Michael Emerson (CEPS), Kristina Kausch y Richard Youngs, European and regional experts analyse trends driving the radicalisation of political Islam as well as the contrary trend of de-radicalisation observed in some countries where Islamist parties have secured democratic political participation.

The question underlying the book is whether the EU should engage more specifically with the ‘moderate’ Islamist parties, and at least recognise radical Islamist movements that achieve democratic electoral success and legitimacy, such as the Palestinian Hamas. Current EU policies are largely negative on both accounts.

The conclusions of the book argue for a change in this stance, with a three-dimensional approach : a) to put pressure on incumbent regimes to abandon the repression of moderate Islamist movements, b) to influence the legal and political frameworks regulating social and political participation in a more open way and c) to engage in dialogue with non-violent opposition forces – both Islamist and non-Islamist. In the absence of such policies, the EU risks contributing to a re-radicalisation of movements that have become disillusioned with the failure of their political moderation to produce results.

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Algeria Authoritarian regimes Democratisation Egypt EU Foreign Policy European Union Fundamentalism Human rights Islam Jordan Lebanon Middle East and North Africa Morocco Political Reform Syria Tunisia

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Bio author: Michael Emerson

Michael Emerson is Associate Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) since 1998, and program director for Wider Europe; he participated in successive projects on the Balkans, Caucasus, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Cyprus, Middle East, conflict resolution, democracy promotion, Europe”s strategic security, political Islam and the crisis of multi-culturalism within the EU.

Bio author: Kristina Kausch

Kristina Kausch is a Researcher at FRIDE”s Democratisation Programme and focuses on European policies of democracy promotion in the European neighbourhood. She holds an MA in International Relations from the University of G?ttingen. Prior to joining FRIDE in 2004, she worked for several years on programmes of good governance and democratisation for the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), and at the Bertelsmann Foundation.

Bio author: Richard Youngs

Richard Youngs is Senior Research Fellow and Coordinator of the Democratisation programme at FRIDE. He also lectures at the University of Warwick in the UK. He studied at Cambridge (BA Hons) and Warwick (MA, PhD) universities.