Moyen-Orient

Revue

Géopolitique - Institutions

The Mediterranean: When Prospects for a Bright Future Recede

The end of 2020 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Conference, which began the process of the same name that sought to bring the countries from the two shores of the Mediterranean together to make this region a zone of peace and prosperity. A quarter of a century later, we have to admit that this admirable aim—to which we should undoubtedly still cleave—is a long way from being achieved. On the northern side, the countries bordering the Mediterranean have seen a succession of socio-economic crises. On the southern side, between the (often thwarted) revolts of the ‘Arab spring’, the war in Syria and the stalemate in the Israel-Palestine conflict, regional peace is still very far off. As for dialogue and rapprochement between the northern and southern sides, there has been barely any progress, as Sébastien Abis shows here.

Recalling the developments in the Mediterranean region in recent decades and how hard it has been to advance Euro-Mediterranean relations, this article highlights the main sticking points. It also points out how varied the interests of the different parties are and how greatly Mediterranean countries are integrated into globalization, with their trade and relationships being in no way restricted to Europe and its periphery. Will the region be able to overcome its current difficulties? Will it become part of a regional process? Will solidarity win out over rivalries? As Sébastien Abis shows here, a bright future for the region is not entirely to be ruled out, but it still seems a considerable way off.

Bibliography

Géopolitique

Arab Futures 2.0 : The Road to 2030

Arab Futures 2.0: The Road to 2030

À première vue, les pays du Moyen-Orient et de l’Afrique du Nord (MENA) se prêtent difficilement à une étude prospective, tant l’imprévu ponctue leur actualité. Mais c’est précisément pour éviter que les décisions ne soient prises dans l’urgence d’une crise existentielle qu’un travail prospectif s’impose. C’est ainsi que Florence Gaub introduit son rapport sur le monde arabe à l’horizon 2030, écrit dans le cadre des « Chaillot Papers » de l’European Union ...

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Bibliography

Géopolitique

Sortir du chaos. Les crises en Méditerranée et au Moyen-Orient

Sortir du chaos. Les crises en Méditerranée et au Moyen-Orient

Engagé jusque dans sa personne physique du fait de la sentence de mort prononcée par le califat de Daech à son encontre, Gilles Kepel livre ici une analyse dense et documentée des différentes étapes de la radicalisation de l’islam politique au Moyen-Orient. Dans un style narratif mêlant illustrations et références, il nous fait partager le récit contemporain de la lente dégradation de la situation géopolitique de cette région qui aura connu, en moins d’un demi-siècle, davantage de bouleversements ...

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Bibliography

Géopolitique

L’Invention tragique du Moyen-Orient

L’Invention tragique du Moyen-Orient

Le Moyen-Orient cristallise les tensions internationales. Ce constat, connu et omniprésent dans l’actualité, ne doit pas masquer les ressorts historiques et géopolitiques de cette sismicité régionale. Les blocages sur le dossier israélo-palestinien, le terrorisme djihadiste, les guerres civiles en Irak et en Syrie, les secousses chroniques au Liban, la vulnérabilité de la Jordanie, sans oublier les ingérences de puissances extérieures sur les affaires moyen-orientales rarement traitées par les seuls protagonistes locaux : autant de dynamiques qui perdurent depuis des années ...

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Bibliography

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Le Système agricole et alimentaire de la région Afrique du Nord-Moyen-Orient à l’horizon 2050. Projections de tendance et analyse de sensibilité

Le Système agricole et alimentaire de la région Afrique du Nord-Moyen-Orient à l’horizon 2050. Projections de tendance et analyse de sensibilité

L’INRA a conduit une étude intitulée « Le système agricole et alimentaire de la région Afrique du Nord-Moyen-Orient à l’horizon 2050 », pour le compte de Pluriagri, une association formée par des acteurs des filières de grande culture et Crédit agricole S.A. Ce travail, présenté au public lors d’une conférence le 28 octobre 2015, se compose d’un rapport final de 138 pages en français, d’un résumé de 8 pages, en anglais et en français, d’une ...

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Note de veille

Géopolitique

Yemen, a Factor of Regional Destabilization ?

Based on a note by Jérôme Lavandier The erosion of central government, the rise of terrorist movements and warlords, the break-up of the national territory—we are seeing a ‘Somalization’ of Yemen and, unfortunately, it is happening at a point when Western public opinion is focused on the Levant. Yet the potential for crisis that is brewing in Yemen seems as great as in Syria, as a consequence of the structural weaknesses that have long afflicted the country. For those ...

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Note de veille

Géopolitique

Yémen : effondrement et déstabilisation régionale

« Regardez les Somaliens : ils sont trois millions et ils créent des problèmes pour le monde entier. Les Yéménites sont 24 millions et ce sont de rudes guerriers. Et […] ils n’ont rien à perdre [1] » : telle était, début 2009, la mise en garde d’Abdel Karim Ismaïl Al-Arhabi vice-Premier ministre yéménite des Affaires économiques. L’ampleur des défis démographiques, politiques, alimentaires, économiques et sécuritaires que devait alors relever le pays était déjà gigantesque et préoccupante. Depuis 2015, ces problèmes se ...

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Forum

Géopolitique

Super-Daesh: A Worst-Case Scenario

In late 2010/early 2011, the various “Arab Springs” brought a glimmer of hope for democracy and human rights in North Africa and the Near East, but, with these developments coming to a sudden end in a number of countries (Libya, Egypt and Syria in particular), a period of instability and violence has opened up, enabling Islamist groups to prosper against a backdrop of civil war in Syria and declining government power in Iraq. In this regard, the case of Daesh is emblematic. Created in 2006 and almost unknown until 2012, this self-proclaimed Islamic State group has gradually expanded across Iraqi and Syrian territory, establishing a caliphate in the various regions conquered and becoming, partly through very vigorous media activity and propaganda, a major regional actor, albeit a pariah organization that many states would like to see disappear.

Yet, as Matthieu Anquez shows here in this piece of political fiction, the worst-case scenario cannot be ruled out. What would happen if, for want of adequate international coordination, Daesh were, by exploiting the chaotic state of the region, to overturn the current political order and take power in Saudi Arabia, for example? In unfolding the script of such a scenario, Anquez points up the failings and weaknesses that might possibly enable it to come about. However, this foresight exercise may also serve as a warning and encourage the various regional and international actors to equip themselves to combat Daesh. Given the reactions to the Paris attacks of 13 November 2015 (which occurred after this article was accepted for publication), let us hope that it will strengthen their conviction and motivate them to act as quickly as possible.

Tribune européenne

Géopolitique

Is Europe Under Siege?

As it has been built up and extended over time, the European Union has managed, in some five decades, to form itself into a peaceful grouping of 28 member states and eliminate the serious rivalries that caused such bloodshed on the continent in the 19th and 20th centuries. This is undoubtedly a great achievement but, some 25 years after the ending of the Cold War, new conflict zones are emerging or consolidating themselves on the periphery of the Union, raising the question of what political and security responses the EU can muster.

As Jean-François Drevet shows here, the deterioration of the situation in North Africa, the Sahel, the Middle East and the former Soviet republics increasingly suggests that Europe is besieged. In this context, the EU hasn’t yet proved able to develop a truly convincing response capacity. It is high time, however, that it concerned itself with these issues and, as this column suggests, took advantage of the five-yearly renewal of Community institutions to equip itself to react concretely to these geopolitical developments and safeguard the security of the whole European entity.

Tribune européenne

Géopolitique

Europe and the Middle East

After dealing with the initial fallout from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the disappearance of the “Iron Curtain”, particularly in the Balkans and even today in Ukraine, the European Union now finds itself directly affected by proliferating conflicts and disorder on its south-eastern flank. With civil war in Syria, a jihadist offensive in Iraq and the possible emergence of an autonomous Kurdistan, the Middle East remains a powder keg. The roots of this situation go back into European history, and the way it develops in the future will have consequences for the “old continent” in terms of politics, economics and migration.

This month, Jean-François Drevet devotes his column to the various Middle-Eastern hotspots that have significant implications for EU foreign policy. As he stresses, there is hardly any other option than to intervene, but it is not easy either to say what form such intervention should take to stem the current tide of troubles or to agree on effective neighbourhood policies in such a context.

Tribune européenne

Géopolitique

Europe in the Middle East. Can Morality Stand in for Politics?

The tragic fighting seen in Syria over the last two years or more and the chemical weapons attack of this August have stirred diplomatic services –particularly Western ones– into action in recent months. As is often the case in Europe, the question has been about the limits, particularly the ethical and moral limits, beyond which it becomes necessary to act and about appropriate types of action. In an effort to answer these questions, particularly where the Middle East is concerned, Jean-François Drevet begins by reminding us of the three major types of action resorted to by the USA in comparable contexts over the last 50 years (directing operations from behind the scene, threatening with the “big stick”, supporting “moderate” Islamist regimes) and the limits of those types of action. He stresses the particularly chaotic situation that has prevailed in the Middle East since the “Arab Springs” and the failure of the Islamist governments elected in the wake of those events. Lastly, he emphasizes the need for the European Union to show diplomatic coherence (to advance the humanitarian argument, but to do so without exception) and also to draw on its own experience to encourage regional integration that will, at the very least, make it possible to promote peaceful conflict-resolution.

Tribune européenne

Géopolitique

The European Union, Turkey and the Near East

It is more than seven years now since negotiations were begun on the possibility of Turkey joining the European Union (after nearly 40 years of “association” between Ankara and the European Community). Nonetheless, it seems increasingly difficult to believe that full membership will become a reality in the medium term. As Jean-François Drevet shows here, the policies adopted by the Turkish government in recent years, both internally (with regard, most importantly, to respect for human rights) and externally (with regard to Cyprus and the Near East –particularly Syria, Israel and Iran), together with the growing impact of the religious factor on its foreign policy, militate against Turkey’s incorporation into the EU. Whether this situation derives from a lack of motivation or a lack of clear-sightedness on Ankara’s part, the results are clear and, short of another partnership option being devised, the odds are that negotiations will be stalled for a very long time.

Bibliography

Géopolitique de l’Afrique et du Moyen-Orient (2012)

Ce manuel est dédié à la géopolitique de l’Afrique et du Moyen-Orient. Il s’adresse principalement aux étudiants des classes préparatoires et à ceux des IEP (instituts d'études politiques). Il est composé de 26 chapitres répartis en 3 grandes parties. La première partie analyse les problèmes communs à l’ensemble des territoires africains et du Moyen-Orient. Les deux suivantes traitent des problèmes respectifs de chacune des régions. Chaque chapitre commence par une introduction replaçant en perspective le sujet ...

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CR intervention d'expert

Géopolitique - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Menaces sur la sécurité alimentaire en Afrique du Nord

Les crises qui secouent l’Afrique du Nord depuis plusieurs mois ne sont pas uniquement politiques : elles sont aussi en partie liées à des problèmes alimentaires. En effet, cette région, constituée du Maroc, de l’Algérie, de la Tunisie, de la Libye et de l’Égypte est particulièrement exposée aux risques alimentaires.Or, la hausse des prix alimentaires observée en 2008 doit être considérée comme la première manifestation d’une tendance de long terme. Ainsi, en février 2011, l’indice ...

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Chapitre de rapport annuel vigie

Géopolitique

Chapitre 4 du rapport Vigie 2010 : Géopolitique

PARTIE 1 : RAPPORTS DE FORCE Tendance 1 : Émergence de la Chine, résistance américaine Incertitude 1 : Le risque d’un « accident de parcours » PARTIE 2 : TERRORISME ET PROLIFÉRATION NUCLÉAIRE Tendance 1 : Essoufflement d’Al-Qaïda, persistance du djihadisme Tendance 2 : Vers un monde nucléaire multipolaire Incertitude 1 : Le risque d’attentat NRBC PARTIE 3 : GUERRES ET CONFLITS Tendance 1 : Diminution du nombre de guerres Incertitude 1 : De nouveaux ressorts de conflits ? PARTIE 4 : CYBERSÉCURITÉ Tendance 1 : La croissante cyberdépendance des sociétés Tendance ...

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Note de veille

Géopolitique

Yémen : le prochain Afghanistan ?

Depuis 2007, le Yémen ne cesse de gagner des places dans le Failed States Index, le classement des États les plus défaillants réalisé chaque année par la revue Foreign Policy, en association avec le think-tank Fund for Peace. Il est ainsi classé 18e dans l’édition 2009 et cette situation inquiète tant ses voisins que les États-Unis et ses propres dirigeants.

Note de veille

Économie, emploi - Géopolitique

Amérique latine / Moyen-Orient : quel rapprochement ?

Visites officielles, partenariats commerciaux, agricoles et financiers marquent, depuis peu, un rapprochement entre deux régions du Sud, l’Amérique du Sud et le Moyen-Orient au sens large. L’objectif commun et affiché de promouvoir un monde multipolaire semble passer par une coopération avant tout économique.

Revue

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Water-Related Violence in the Near East

World Water Day will be celebrated on 22 March 2008, as it has been in all of the previous 16 years. By highlighting the importance of this resource, the United Nations reminds us how essential water is to human life and how inequitably it is distributed over our planet, occasioning ever more conflicts or rivalries between countries or between variably endowed populations within a single country.
Pierre Blanc offers a survey here of what he terms "water-related violence" - indicating, not the imminent threat of "water wars", but a form of the violation of elementary human needs - in the Near East region. He first puts Lebanon under the spotlight, that country being a typical case of a state languishing under water domination, since a large proportion of its water resources have for many years been blocked by Israel, while supply, in the north, is dependent on the goodwill of Syria. He then covers the water violence specific to Egypt (the Nile Basin, in particular), recalling the "water riots" of Summer 2007, which pointed up the poor national management of water resources and purification. Lastly, after focussing on the city of Damascus and the differential treatment of cities and periphery (rich and poor), Pierre Blanc concludes that, at both national and international levels, the strongest (or richest) prevail in achieving access to water, and that this trend might, unfortunately, be with us for many years to come.

Revue

Économie, emploi - Institutions

Freedoms in the Arab World. On the Arab Human Development Report 2004

"The Arab World finds itself at a historical crossroads. Caught between oppression at home and violation from abroad, Arabs are increasingly excluded from determining their own future." So begins the cover blurb for UNDP's recent Arab Human Development Report 2004. Towards Freedom in the Arab World (New York: United Nations, 2005, 248 pp.).
Contrary to what some commentators might think, in particular given recent events in Lebanon, the Arab world is still far from embracing democratic principles as many wish that it would. For the moment, as Jean-Jacques Salomon argues in discussing the UNDP report, respect for basic freedoms is compromised in many Arab countries by dictatorship, authoritarian rule and their cultural heritage. Many lag behind in their respect for freedoms of various kinds and for human rights, but also with regard to female emancipation and improvements in education. Yet unless the Arab countries deal with these problems and institute "indigenous" democratic reforms, it is unlikely that a "renaissance of the Arab world" will ensue.