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Géopolitiques (euro)-méditerranéennes

Distance, Size and Turmoil: North-South Mediterranean Interactions

J. Patrick Rhamey, William R. Thompson et Thomas J. Volgy
p. 209-226

Résumés

L’aspiration au développement d’une région méditerranéenne cohérente a été et continue à être exprimée par des membres potentiels de l’Union, avec une forte rhétorique en faveur de l’intégration dans l’espoir d’une « prospérité partagée ». Nous tentons d’évaluer dans quelle mesure les 17 dernières années de leurs aspirations ont conduit à l’intégration économique et politique effective entre membres potentiels. Une région de la Méditerranée politiquement pertinente a-t-elle commencé à se structurer ? Comment les niveaux d’intégration ont augmenté ou diminué depuis l’aspiration initiale à l’intégration suite à la guerre froide ? Quels facteurs motivent l’intégration observée ? Pour mener à bien ce projet, nous avons d’abord évalué et discuté des niveaux d’intégration à travers une analyse de réseau qualitative des interactions politiques et des relations commerciales. Puis, nous avons identifié les contextes dans lesquels les pays méditerranéens du Nord interagissent avec le Sud, et si ces interactions sont coopératives ou conflictuelles. Les États du Nord semblent interagir avec leurs anciennes colonies, mais en évitant les états du Sud qui connaissent des troubles intérieurs. Cependant, les niveaux globaux de l’intégration sont réduits et en recul.

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1Relative to other states, it would appear European states in the Northern Mediterranean take greater notice of countries on the southern littoral of the Mediterranean. For example, as instability spread first to Egypt and then Libya during the Arab Spring, Northern Mediterranean states, in particular France, were quick to interject, supporting protestors and rebels. Likewise, as the Civil War in Syria continues to escalate, leaders of European states on the Mediterranean have more strongly advocated in favor of intervention than their counterparts in Northern Europe or the United States. Are these instances of European involvement scarce or the norm? Do Europeans also involve themselves with the south in the formation of cooperative architecture and economic integration?

2We suggest in this paper that while this behavior is quite scarce among Mediterranean states as a whole, it typically takes the form of large, North Mediterranean states interacting with former colonies contingent upon levels of domestic stability or turmoil. However, the extent to which these interactions take place is limited to these bilateral relationships, is inconsistent, and is decreasing over time, providing strong evidence for the absence of a politically salient Mediterranean region. Likewise, as these interactions become more limited, the prospects for future Pan-Mediterranean integration and the relative effectiveness of promoting regionalist integration through institutions such as the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership appear bleak.

3First, we discuss the existing literature on Mediterranean political and economic order and how such order may have an impact on states within the region. As with regions and neighborhoods elsewhere, these clusters of states with overlapping interests frequently provide the basis for emerging regional architecture and stability, and evidence of the Mediterranean region’s emergence would suggest hopeful prospects for increased stability in the future. Second, using network analysis, we analyze patterns of events over time to uncover the extent to which a region may be emerging, or alternatively, if the Mediterranean remains a centuries old geopolitical barrier. Through inspecting clusters and densities in political and economic relationships, our findings suggest differences in foreign policy portfolios between North and South are dramatic and do not reflect levels of multilateral cohesiveness present in other regional subsystems.

4However, the network analysis does suggest that some relationships are present despite the absence of more multilateral patterns of behavior. Finally, using a regression analysis of cooperative and conflictual events, we analyze the contextual factors that influence the degree to which Northern states are attentive to their Southern counterparts. Findings demonstrate that North states respond with conflict when conflict occurs in the South, but cooperate primarily with their former colonies during periods of domestic stability. However, the extent to which Northern states engage in either cooperation or conflict has gradually decreased since the initial period of decolonization following the Second World War.

The Problem and Importance of Regional Politics

  • 1  Susan O. Shapiro, “Proverbial Wisdom in Herodotus”, Transactions and Proceedings of the American P (...)
  • 2  Eric R. Dursteler, Renegade Women: Gender, Identity and Boundaries in the Early Modern Mediterrane (...)
  • 3  Claudia Esposito, The Narrative Mediterranean: Beyond France and the Maghreb, New York, Lexington (...)
  • 4  Richard Gillespie, “The Challenge of Co-ownership in the Euro-Mediterranean Space”, Geopolitics, N (...)
  • 5  David Attenborough, The First Eden: The Mediterranean World and Man, Boston, Little Brown and Comp (...)
  • 6  For a discussion of regional relevance, see Douglas Lemke, Regions of War and Peace, Cambridge, Ca (...)

5As a geopolitical entity, the Mediterranean possesses a unique yet diverse cultural and historical heritage, ranging from a cohesive political zone under the Roman Empire to a fractured and highly salient geographic feature serving as both a contact point and a dividing barrier between Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Muslim worlds. Likewise the field of Mediterranean studies spans across a range of fields including classics,1 history,2 literature,3 and political science.4 While the relevant collection of states and societies that comprise the proposed region is typically defined along the lines of common historical heritage, climate and agriculture, and anthropological development,5 analyzing a region as a unique space requires specification of regional identity within a pattern of interactions, political or economic, rather than arbitrarily fixed definitions lest issues of relevance bias our findings.6

  • 7  Fulvio Attina and Rosa Rossia (eds.), European Neighbourhood Policy: Political Economic and Social (...)
  • 8  Frédéric Volpi, “Regional Community Building and the Transformation of International Relations: Th (...)

6On issues of political interaction, much of the extant literature on Mediterranean politics highlights the possibilities and interests surrounding what might or should emerge in the geopolitical space rather than what is truly present.7 However, these prescriptive discussions aimed toward engineering policies fostering a Mediterranean community have demonstrated limited support for a “convergence of civilizations” since the Barcelona Declaration of 1995.8 While the desire and foundations of cooperative institutional structure may be present, the integration goal of a free trade area by 2010, for example, has not yet been met.

  • 9  With the exception of interest in Poland; see Thomas J. Volgy, J. Patrick Rhamey, and Elizabeth Fa (...)

7In this respect, the Mediterranean represents a similar trend in regional analysis of a failed attempt at region or neighborhood cohesion exhibited in Central Europe following the Visegrad agreement. While like the Mediterranean, the idea of a Central European region has strong historical inspiration and geopolitical precedent, the political application of the idea into a unique set of multilateral relationships failed to coalesce as economic policy was superseded by the broader European Union, and Poland sought stronger relationships with Western Europe and exhibited almost no interest in its own neighborhood.9

  • 10  Kristina Kausch and Richard Youngs, “The End of the Euro-Mediterranean Vision”, International Affa (...)
  • 11  Paul A. Silverstein, “France’s Mare Nostrum: Colonial and Post-Colonial Constructions of the Frenc (...)
  • 12  Jon Marks, “High Hopes and Low Motives: The New Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Initiative”, Medite (...)
  • 13  Roberto Aliboni, “Confidence-Building, Conflict Prevention and Arms Control in the Euro-Mediterran (...)

8To the extent that observable trends are present, the literature emphasizes the degeneration of cooperative possibilities toward more conflictual concerns surrounding security maintenance, often unilaterally driven by French activism.10 Indeed, according to some, the very idea of a Mediterranean region is a neocolonial French construction to further French interests.11 What non-security interactions remain are limited to bilateral rather than the desired multilateral economic interactions, usually surrounding a North Mediterranean reliance on southern oil exports.12 While EU states do not perceive direct interstate threats as emerging from the south, internal conflicts from within and between southern states have led to a more detached security approach.13

  • 14  Muriel Asseburg, “The EU and the Middle East Conflict: Tackling the Main Obstacle to Euro-Mediterr (...)
  • 15  Eberhard Kienle, “Destabilization through Partnership? Euro-Mediterranean Relations after the Barc (...)

9The breakdown in European commitment to the Barcelona process can be partially attributed to the continued instability in the Middle East and Maghreb. Bilateral relations by European states have shifted away from economic development toward conflict management and containment, evident in the empirical findings of this paper, and have met somewhat limited progress.14 Indeed, some conclude that these pressures enshrined in the push toward regional construction have had destabilizing effects.15

  • 16  Liudmila Kudrina, “Muslim Migration to the European Union”, in Fulvio Attina and Rosa Rossia (eds. (...)
  • 17  Andrea Gallina, “Migration, Financial Flows and Development in the Euro-Mediterranean Area”, The J (...)

10In many respects, this deterioration of North-South relationships represents a reversal of Cold War politics in the Mediterranean, complicated by unidirectional migration patterns to Western Europe from the Middle East and Maghreb.16 The observer is left with the impression of an inter-regional process of limited interaction between neighboring groups fueled by intra-regional instability in the southern littoral of the geopolitical space. As the threat of increased migration returns, Europeans hesitate in spreading neoliberal economic policies that would provide possibilities toward region formation and integration.17

  • 18  As an example of arbitrary regional composition potentially driving findings, see Etel Solingen, “ (...)
  • 19  See the discussion in Chapter 1 of Peter J. Katzenstein, A World of Regions: Asia and Europe in th (...)

11However, within the context of political analysis, non-arbitrary means of identifying political cohesion is necessary prior to analyzing regional outcomes (e.g. the amounts of cooperation, levels of architecture, or management of security concerns). Misspecification of regional membership may lead to improper measurement in both independent and dependent variables,18 a conflation of global with regional behaviors,19 or a biased conceptualization of regional membership, often from a US or Eurocentric perspective, leading to an inaccurate interpretation of the presence or absence of multilateral behaviors.

  • 20  For a review of the field of comparative regionalism, see Amitav Acharya, “The Emerging Regional A (...)

12In evaluating whether the Mediterranean exists as a politically relevant subset of states rather than simply a rhetorical aspiration of potential members, we determine the extent to which states exhibit “regional” patterns of behavior apart from the broader international system that would signify a meaningful cluster of states ripe for the type of analysis typically conducted in comparative regionalist research.20

Group Cohesiveness

  • 21  For further discussion, see William R. Thompson, “The Regional Subsystem: A Conceptual Explication (...)
  • 22  Correlates of War Project, “State System Membership, v2011”, online, http:correlatesofwar.org, 201 (...)
  • 23  H. J. Mackinder, “The Geographical Pivot of History”, The Geographical Journal, No. 23, 1904, p. 4 (...)
  • 24  Thomas Risse, “Social Constructivism and European Integration”, in Antje Wiener and Thomas Diez (e (...)
  • 25  Kathy L. Powers, “Regional Trade Agreements as Military Alliances”, International Interactions, vo (...)

13Definitions of regions vary quite dramatically,21 including spaces defined by arbitrary geographic designations,22 the systemic interactions of major powers,23 shared historical or cultural attributes among states,24 and/or shared state institutional membership.25 For the purpose of evaluating the regional aspirations of the Mediterranean expressed in the 1990s, it is unnecessary for us to take sides in this conceptual debate. We do instead explore the patterns of interactions, cooperative, conflictual, institutional, and economic, that the comparative regionalist literature would generally expect to be present to some degree in a relevant region and that should increase over time if the attempts at regionalization articulated in the Barcelona declaration are meaningfully impacting state behaviors.

14To evaluate the shifting cohesiveness of potential Mediterranean group members over time and the underlying variables that contribute to these changing values, we employ both qualitative and quantitative approaches. To judge the evolution of the Mediterranean over the past two decades, we employ a qualitative, comparative analysis of interstate interactions in the Mediterranean Basin from 1993-2002 and 2003-2012 using network analysis. The primary empirical question of this analysis lies in both the strength of region members’ interactions as well as the change in those interactions across the two periods of examination. Observing cooperative and conflictual behaviors and trade relationships, we conclude that some possibilities of regional cohesion may have been present in the early period, coinciding with the articulation of aspirations in the Barcelona Declaration, but the second period exhibits a rapid erosion of these possibilities.

  • 26  Almost all of these states were also signatories to the Barcelona declaration. The notable excepti (...)

15To evaluate the degree of Mediterranean cohesiveness, we employ as our pool of possible members all states within the traditional anthropological geographic space of the Mediterranean Basin, including those states bordering the Mediterranean Sea plus Portugal.26 Given the established regional clustering of Europe, Middle East, and Maghreb across most definitions, our interest in gauging the extent of Mediterranean regional development lies in the degree to which bridging behaviors occur between these existing clusterings. Thus, we are evaluating the possible transition from rhetorical aspiration of meaningful interaction to manifest regional behaviors between North and South Mediterranean spaces, as opposed to the Mediterranean remaining or increasing as a salient geographic barrier to interactions.

  • 27 In the North: Portugal, Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, (...)

16The following network diagrams in Figures 1-4, divide the Mediterranean into Northern and Southern states, and we illustrate the number of meaningful interactions that occur between these two groups.27 In addition to the Mediterranean (nodes shown in green), we include as a baseline for comparison the surrounding regional clusters: non-Mediterranean Europe (blue), West Africa (red), and the Middle East (yellow). Relative position in the illustration between nodes denotes the level of similarity states have in their patterns of behavior through a principal components layout.

  • 28  Notably, shifting the threshold higher, such as one standard deviation above the global mean, does (...)

17For all diagrams across all periods, a meaningful amount of interactions is a dyad in which the two states exhibit above average amounts of interaction relative to all dyads globally. For example, if there is a line shown between Spain and Morocco in the trade diagram, it means that the amount of trade as a proportion of each state’s gross domestic product (GDP) within the dyad is above average compared to all other dyads, globally, within the year. The selected threshold is a very minimal amount of interaction that may constitute a meaningful relationship across our three metrics.28 For each metric, we then sum the number of interactions that we observe between North and South and compare the degree to which they change across the two periods.

  • 29  Note country abbreviations are those used in the Correlates of War series of data projects.
  • 30  Doug Bond, Joe Bond, Churl Oh, J. Craig Jenkins, and Charles Lewis Taylor, “Integrated Data for Ev (...)
  • 31  The Goldstein scale modifies the weighting from 1, representing a positive comment, to 10, represe (...)

18Figure 1 illustrates the relationships between states on political cooperation from 1993-2002.29 For cooperation, two states have a tie if they have above average levels of cooperation exhibited between them as a percentage of their total cooperation globally, compared to the behaviors of all states, globally. As an example, Turkey and Libya have a tie. That tie means that the percentage of Turkey’s cooperation directed toward Libya, and vice versa, is above average compared with all dyads globally. Our measure of cooperative events is extracted from the Integrated Data for Events Analysis (IDEA).30 The data lists individual events across each dyad. We take the dyadic totals across the ten year period to calculate the proportion of a state’s cooperation directed toward another state. Following Goldstein, we scale the relative value of each event by its severity.31

19Immediately obvious is the clear gulf between the North Mediterranean, clustering with the blue nodes in Europe, and the South Mediterranean, clustering primarily with the Middle East in yellow, signifying at least some meaningful division in the patterns of behavior between states on either side of the Mediterranean, albeit quite a few ties exist. As a percentage of all possible ties between North and South, 35% are present in the 1993-2002 period.

20Figure 2 shows the same illustration of cooperation but for the 2003-2012 time period. First, the behaviors are somewhat less polarized as evidenced by the more even distribution of nodes in the illustration compared to Figure 1. This decline in observed clustering is likely a result of increased interactions centering on the European Union by most states in the diagram. However, the amount of meaningful interactions between North and South Mediterranean states actually decline to 16% of possible ties, less than half the number of meaningful ties from the previous period. The differences between which states choose to strongly interact with may be declining (particularly the major powers), but their levels of cooperative interaction with one another, an important possible indicator of a distinctive region, dramatically decline.

Figure 1. Patterns of Cooperation, 1993-2002

Figure 1. Patterns of Cooperation, 1993-2002

Figure 2. Patterns of Cooperation, 2003-2012

Figure 2. Patterns of Cooperation, 2003-2012
  • 32  Barry Buzan and Ole Waever, Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security, Cambridge (...)
  • 33  Similar to the Goldstein scaled values on cooperation, conflict ranges from 1 representing a negat (...)
  • 34  As with the cooperation in the later period, the distance between Europe and the Middle East appea (...)

21Alternatively, given recent developments in the Arab world, it may be that the Mediterranean has evolved to be a uniquely interactive set of states centered around conflictual behaviors in spite of Barcelona’s intentions. A set of unique, local security concerns may provide the catalyst for regional formation and engagement, as conflictual activities, not infrequently originating within states, may spread to engulf the broader regional space.32 Following a similar course of action as was utilized in analyzing cooperative interactions, we examine conflictual interactions.33 Figure 3 shows the above average conflictual interactions between states from 1993-2002. Unlike cooperation in the first period, conflictual patterns are somewhat low, with only 14% of possible ties present. Figure 4 also demonstrates that the conflictual interactions in the second period exhibit little change in the level of interaction between North and South, again remaining at only 14% of possible ties observed.34

Figure 3. Patterns of Conflict, 1993-2002

Figure 3. Patterns of Conflict, 1993-2002

Figure 4. Patterns of Conflict, 2003-2012

Figure 4. Patterns of Conflict, 2003-2012
  • 35  Kathy L. Powers, “Regional Trade…”, art. cit.
  • 36  The figure is taken, with consent of the author, from Ana Bojinović Fenko, “The Mediterranean as a (...)

22While levels of cooperation appear to be deteriorating across the Mediterranean, and conflict remains fixed, other evidence for regional formation may exist. As Powers and Goertz suggest, regional economic institutions play a pivotal role in the development of multilateral cooperation in both economic and security arenas.35 One possibility is that despite the decline in high level interactions that may be picked up by IDEA, meaningful architecture has developed to facilitate a set of more informal interactions. Figure 4 shows the contemporary inter-regional formal intergovernmental organizations across the Mediterranean.36 Clearly, in terms of formal architecture, the two groups of states remain even more strongly divided, with only one shared tie between France and Morocco.

23Figure 5 should not suggest that attempts at inter-regional architectural development do not exist. Failed efforts in inter-regional architectural development abound: The Mediterranean Dialogue in 1990; Council of the Mediterranean in 1992; Réserve Internationale Maritime en Méditerranée Occidentale in 1993; Mediterranean Forum in 1994; the Barcelona Declaration of 1995. Unfortunately these meetings, plans, and aspirations have yet to develop into effective, formal intergovernmental organizations that span both the northern and southern rims of the Mediterranean Basin.

Figure 5. Inter-Regional Formal Intergovernmental Organizations, 2010

Figure 5. Inter-Regional Formal Intergovernmental Organizations, 2010
  • 37  Katherine Barbieri and Omar Keshk, Correlates of War Project Trade Data Set Codebook, Version 3.0, (...)

24There is an additional possibility that may lend evidence to the development of interesting regional interactions in the Mediterranean Basin that would not necessarily be evident in the previous networks of cooperation, conflict, and institutional formation. While formal political structures may not demonstrate meaningful cross-regional development across the twenty-year period, perhaps more informal interactions have coalesced over time. In this respect, one possible measure that may provide insights is the level of trade interdependence between states in the region. Unlike previous measures, trade generally involves economic decisions made typically by individual and firms within states, while states generally manage the terms of such economic interaction. Figure 6 illustrates the network of meaningful trading relationships between European, West African, Maghreb, and Middle East Countries from 1993-2002, where similar to the diagrams of cooperation and conflict, a meaningful relationship between two states represents an above average amount of trade between the countries as a proportion of their total trade, relative to all dyads globally – a very low threshold. Trade data is taken from the Correlates of War dataset of bilateral trade.37

25Similar to patterns of political cooperation between states, this first time period (1993-2002) provides some suggestion of regional coalescence, overlapping with the Barcelona meeting in 1995. Tight clustering in trade behavior similarity is somewhat evident, with Portugal, Turkey, Croatia, Malta, and Greece clustering closely with Israel, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and Syria. However, their proximity in positioning on the diagram merely suggests that they have similar ties in how they behave with all other nodes, not that they necessarily have relationships with one another. In fact, only 14% of the possible ties between North and South Mediterranean are made, suggesting that their behaviors are instead directed toward actors outside the Mediterranean Basin. These similar ties outside the region are with the large non-Mediterranean European economies such as Russia and Germany, which is why Mediterranean states appear to behave similarly to states in the Middle East and West Africa. Each of these geographic spaces on the periphery of Europe trades strongly with the largest economies in the European region.

Figure 6. Patterns of trading relationships for 1993-2002

Figure 6. Patterns of trading relationships for 1993-2002
  • 38  The bilateral trade data is available only through 2009.

26But do strong trading relationships increase in the recent time period? Given the emphasis of Mediterranean aspirations on greater economic cooperation, we may expect that economic ties should be the ones that are most likely to demonstrate evidence of regional development over time. Figure 7 illustrates trading relationships for 2003-2009.38 While the states in the Mediterranean again display a similar focus on the large European economies, along with the states of the West Africa and the non-Mediterranean Middle East, interactions between the states on the Mediterranean Basin decline substantially to only 4%. The only strong North-South trade relationships that remain in the most recent time period are Slovenia-Israel, Croatia-Israel, and Turkey-Israel. To an extent, the illustrations of trading relationships do suggest that while the Mediterranean states do not cluster consistently as a separate group apart from Europe, they are focused on European economic actively, broadly defined, particularly those in the Maghreb. However, the possibility of a unique subset of states that would fit the definition of a region or neighborhood, or fit the aspirations expressed in the Barcelona declaration, appears to be absent.

Figure 7. Patterns of trading relationships for 2003-2009

Figure 7. Patterns of trading relationships for 2003-2009

Who Interacts When?

  • 39  See Figure 1 in the Appendix.
  • 40  See Figures 2 through 5 in the Appendix.

27While clear evidence of a unique Mediterranean region may not be present in observations of states’ political and economic interactions, it is clear that some states seem to be consistently active (France, Israel). These patterns of behaviors by the few engaged states may shed light on the contextual elements or impediments to the potential region’s evolution from aspiration to practice. For example, France typically directs at least five to six times more of its foreign policy interactions as a proportion of its total foreign policy toward the South Mediterranean than other members of the North Mediterranean.39 Furthermore, despite the presence of multilateral interactions, special bilateral relationships consistently appear in the data, such as Spain and Morocco, Italy and Libya, or Slovenia and Israel.40 These may take the form of high level cooperative and conflictual political events surrounding migration or oil exports, as in the case of Italy and Libya, or strong economic relationships, such as the exchange of heavy machinery for agricultural products between Slovenia and Israel.

28To explore the generalizable context of when these unique relationships occur, we engage in a regression analysis of the proportion of a North state’s total foreign policy activity directed toward southern states. Given the sporadic nature of the interactions from the preceding network analysis, we hypothesize that North states choose to avoid southern states given the levels of domestic instability present within South states. Not only would this domestic instability argument capture the reluctance of North states to expend scarce economic and political resources on fostering relationships with states in the South, but it would also explain why the southern states that do receive attention from the North (Morocco and Israel), unlike their neighbors, experience these actions.

  • 41  Edward E. Azar, “Conflict and Peace Data Bank (COPDAB), 1948-1978”, Ann Arbor, Inter-University Co (...)

29To test our hypothesis, we use as the dependent variable a North state’s cooperative or conflictual interactions with South states as a proportion of the North state’s total global cooperation or conflict, where the unit of analysis is the directed dyad-year. As with our network analysis, we test cooperative and conflictual interactions separately to explore whether there are different dynamics for the two types of behaviors. Furthermore, we conduct this test for two times periods, the 1988-2012 period covered by IDEA and discussed above, as well as the political behaviors 1950-1980 coded by the Conflict and Peace Data Bank (COPDAB).41 COPDAB is coded similar to IDEA, albeit differences in coding sensitivity, news sources, and event severity weighting require the two times periods to be tested separately. Furthermore, a separate test can control for the effect the Cold War may have on Mediterranean behaviors.

  • 42  Multicolinearity is not an issue between the two measures, there exists almost no correlation (.02 (...)
  • 43  Nils Petter Gleditsch, Peter Wallensteen, Mikael Eriksson, Margareta Sollenberg, and Håvard Strand (...)

30Our independent variable of interest is domestic instability, based on the internally coded events within COPDAB and IDEA, and weighted by severity (e.g. a civil war, coup, or riots). Given the types of events coded, these domestic conflictual events present a suitable measurement of the levels of domestic instability within a state. Anecdotally supporting the measurement’s validity, the greatest levels of domestic conflict in the data are associated with Libya in 2011. As an alternative measure,42 we also include the Uppsala Conflict Data Program’s measure of domestic armed conflict experiencing at least 25 battle deaths.43

31As controls we include whether the southern state in the directed dyad is a former colony of the northern state, as clearly post-colonial relationships may provide important foundations (or impediments) for further interactions. We also include economic growth in the Southern state, measured as the change in GDP per capita annually, as Northern states may develop greater interests in booming economies to the south. As a final control, we also include a simple time counter to control for the temporal nature of the data. Given the clear changes over time illustrated by our network analysis, we expect that the effect of time will likely be significant and negative, corresponding with the steady decline of interactions between North and South discussed above.

32The results of our regression analyses are shown in Table 1. In the Cold War period, domestic conflict appears to operate counter our expectations. In Model 1, testing for conflict by northern states directed toward southern states in the Cold War, we find that the presence of a large violent conflict within a South state increases the amount of conflict directed toward the South state by a North state by 10%. In Model 2, the test of cooperation directed toward South states in the Cold War, neither domestic conflict variable is significant, with northern states cooperating less with former colonies compared with other South Mediterranean states by 2%. In both models, as expected, the time counter is significant, with the amount of interactions decreasing by ≈ 1% annually.

Table 1. Regression results for the effect of Domestic Stability on North-South Interactions

1950-1978

1988-2012

Conflict

Cooperation

Conflict

Cooperation

Colony (0, 1)

-.01 (.01)

-.02 (.01)**

.004 (.002)*

.004 (.002)*

Domestic Conflict Events

-.00 (.00)

.00 (.00)

-.000001 (.0000002)**

-.000001 (.0000002)**

Domestic Armed Conflict

.1 (.05)**

.00 (.02)

-.01 (.01)

-.00 (.01)

Change in GDP per capita (%)

.00 (.00)

-.00 (00)

.00 (.00)

.00 (.00)

Time Counter

-.002 (.001)**

-.001 (.0003)**

-.0004 (.0001)**

-.0004 (.0001)**

Constant

.08 (.02)**

.05 (.01)**

.02 (.01)**

.02 (.01)**

Adj. R2

.01

.04

.04

.03

N

430

434

1224

1224

Coefficient (standard error); * significant at .1; ** significant at .05

33Close examination of these Cold War conflicts suggests that Cold War intervention in post-colonial political development is strongly affecting our findings. The former colony variable is not significant, but the large, violent conflicts in the data during this time period typically have some relationship to the broader systemic struggle between East and West and experience external intervention, such as the Syrian coup d’état in 1962 or the 1958 Lebanon Crisis. Our findings in Models 3 and 4 for the post-Cold War period, however, fit the expectations of our hypothesis. Each Goldstein scaled domestic conflictual event decreases the amount of conflict directed toward the southern state by the northern state by .000001%.

34While at first this may seem a substantively very small amount, a state like Egypt experiences approximately four thousand Goldstein scaled events annually, meaning only a ten percent increase in the amount of domestic conflict would results in a decrease of approximately .04%, significantly meaningful given that the average proportion of a northern state’s foreign policy directed toward southern states is less than 1 percent. Similarly, domestic conflicts in southern states correspond with observed avoidance of northern states in their cooperative behaviors as well, with each Goldstein scaled domestic conflict event corresponding to a decline in the proportion of a northern state’s cooperative behavior directed toward the southern state by .000001%. Also unlike the previous period, former colonies appear to experience both greater conflict and cooperation from their former colonial masters, by approximately .4%. Like Models 1 and 2, time remains a significant factor, with each additional year decreasing the proportion of North state’s activity directed to the south by ≈ .04% per year.

Conclusions

35Evaluating the development of the Mediterranean as a region, we believe the evidence suggests that this geopolitical space remains more an aspiration than an actual unique clustering of multilateral behaviors. To the extent similarities do exist, they exist in the state’s similarity in economic orientations toward the large economies of non-Mediterranean Europe. This is not to say that no interactions exist. France remains active, particularly with its former colonies in the post-Cold War period, yet is somewhat alone in engaging the region broadly. A few strong bilateral relationships exist, either through economic exchanges as the case of Slovenia and Israel, or both cooperative and conflictual interactions, as in the case of Libya and Italy. However, these instances of engagement remain restricted to isolated bilateral interactions and do not represent broader regional engagement.

36Particularly troubling for the future of Mediterranean aspirations is the clear deterioration of interaction between states in the Mediterranean with one another over the past decade. With the increased monetary, economic, and political integration of the European Union, it is intuitively reasonable that most North Mediterranean states have increased their relative focus to Europe to the exclusion of the South Mediterranean states.

37Given the strong driving focus of the EU in the broader geographic area, the best course of action for the Mediterranean may be greater inclusion in the broader European space than a separate region or neighborhood unto itself. Indeed, the network diagrams of trading relationships indicate that this may be occurring informally along economic lines. Missing, however, is the political engagement and formal institutional architecture. As our empirical findings suggest, this political hesitance is no doubt driven by continuing domestic instability in the Maghreb and Middle East. Political engagement by the North more broadly, as opposed to just France, may further aim at inclusion of the Mediterranean space within the broader European cooperative architecture, fostering greater economic and political stability for both North and South states.

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Annexe

.

Appendix

Figure 1. Foreign Policy Directed toward South Mediterranean States

Figure 1. Foreign Policy Directed toward South Mediterranean States

Figure 2. Cooperative Interactions between North-South Dyads, 1993-2002

Figure 2. Cooperative Interactions between North-South Dyads, 1993-2002

Figure 3. Cooperative interactions between North-South Dyads, 2003-2012

Figure 3. Cooperative interactions between North-South Dyads, 2003-2012

Figure 4. Conflict Interactions between North-South Dyads, 1993-2002

Figure 4. Conflict Interactions between North-South Dyads, 1993-2002

Figure 5. Conflict Interactions between North-South Dyads, 2003-2012

Figure 5. Conflict Interactions between North-South Dyads, 2003-2012
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Notes

1  Susan O. Shapiro, “Proverbial Wisdom in Herodotus”, Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, No. 130, 2000, p. 89-118.

2  Eric R. Dursteler, Renegade Women: Gender, Identity and Boundaries in the Early Modern Mediterranean, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.

3  Claudia Esposito, The Narrative Mediterranean: Beyond France and the Maghreb, New York, Lexington Books, 2013.

4  Richard Gillespie, “The Challenge of Co-ownership in the Euro-Mediterranean Space”, Geopolitics, No. 18, 2013, p. 178-197.

5  David Attenborough, The First Eden: The Mediterranean World and Man, Boston, Little Brown and Company, 1987.

6  For a discussion of regional relevance, see Douglas Lemke, Regions of War and Peace, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2002.

7  Fulvio Attina and Rosa Rossia (eds.), European Neighbourhood Policy: Political Economic and Social Issues, Catania, Jean Monnet Centre, 2004.

8  Frédéric Volpi, “Regional Community Building and the Transformation of International Relations: The Case of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”, Mediterranean Politics, No. 9, 2004, p. 145-164.

9  With the exception of interest in Poland; see Thomas J. Volgy, J. Patrick Rhamey, and Elizabeth Fausett, “Is Central Europe a Region? A View from Outside the Neighborhood”, in Zlatko šabič and Petr Drulák (eds.), Regional and International Relations of Central Europe, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, p. 62-82.

10  Kristina Kausch and Richard Youngs, “The End of the Euro-Mediterranean Vision”, International Affairs, No. 85, 2009, p. 963-975.

11  Paul A. Silverstein, “France’s Mare Nostrum: Colonial and Post-Colonial Constructions of the French Mediterranean”, Journal of North African Studies, No. 7, 2002, p. 1-22.

12  Jon Marks, “High Hopes and Low Motives: The New Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Initiative”, Mediterranean Politics, No. 1, 1996, p. 1-24.

13  Roberto Aliboni, “Confidence-Building, Conflict Prevention and Arms Control in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”, Perceptions, No. 2, 1998, p. 73-86; Gareth Mark Winrow, Dialogue with the Mediterranean: The Role of NATO’s Mediterranean Initiative, London, Taylor & Francis, 2000.

14  Muriel Asseburg, “The EU and the Middle East Conflict: Tackling the Main Obstacle to Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”, Mediterranean Politics, No. 8, 2003, p. 174-193.

15  Eberhard Kienle, “Destabilization through Partnership? Euro-Mediterranean Relations after the Barcelona Declaration”, Mediterranean Politics, No. 3, 1998, p. 1-20.

16  Liudmila Kudrina, “Muslim Migration to the European Union”, in Fulvio Attina and Rosa Rossia (eds.), European Neighborhood Policy…, op. cit.

17  Andrea Gallina, “Migration, Financial Flows and Development in the Euro-Mediterranean Area”, The Journal of North African Studies, No. 11, 2006, p. 17-34.

18  As an example of arbitrary regional composition potentially driving findings, see Etel Solingen, “Pax Asiatic versus Bella Levantina: The Foundations of War and Peace in East Asia and the Middle East”, American Political Science Review, No. 101, 2007, p. 757-780.

19  See the discussion in Chapter 1 of Peter J. Katzenstein, A World of Regions: Asia and Europe in the American Imperium, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2005.

20  For a review of the field of comparative regionalism, see Amitav Acharya, “The Emerging Regional Architecture of World Politics”, World Politics, No. 59, 2007, p. 629-652 and Alberta Sbragia, “Review Article: Comparative Regionalism: What Might It Be?”, Journal of Common Market Studies, No. 46, 2008, p. 29-49.

21  For further discussion, see William R. Thompson, “The Regional Subsystem: A Conceptual Explication and a Propositional Inventory”, International Studies Quarterly, No. 17, 1973, p. 89-117; Andrew Hurrell “The Regional Dimension of International Relations Theory”, in Mary Farrel (ed.), Global Politics of Regionalism, London, Pluito Press, 2005; Alberta Sbragia, “Review Article…”, art. cit.; Luk Van Langenhove, Building Regions: The Regionalization of World Order, London, Ashgate, 2011.

22  Correlates of War Project, “State System Membership, v2011”, online, http:correlatesofwar.org, 2011; World Bank, World Development Indicators, Washington, The World Bank, 1998.

23  H. J. Mackinder, “The Geographical Pivot of History”, The Geographical Journal, No. 23, 1904, p. 421-437; Peter J. Katzenstein, A World of Regions…, op. cit.

24  Thomas Risse, “Social Constructivism and European Integration”, in Antje Wiener and Thomas Diez (eds.), European Integration Theory, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 159-176.

25  Kathy L. Powers, “Regional Trade Agreements as Military Alliances”, International Interactions, vol. 30, No. 4, 2004, p. 373-395.

26  Almost all of these states were also signatories to the Barcelona declaration. The notable exception are the former Yugoslav states, many of which did not yet fully exist in 1995. However, in the second period of study, they exhibit very strong interactions with South Mediterranean states (particularly Slovenia), and thereby merit inclusion in our analysis.

27 In the North: Portugal, Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus. In the South: Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.

28  Notably, shifting the threshold higher, such as one standard deviation above the global mean, does not meaningful affect our conclusions.

29  Note country abbreviations are those used in the Correlates of War series of data projects.

30  Doug Bond, Joe Bond, Churl Oh, J. Craig Jenkins, and Charles Lewis Taylor, “Integrated Data for Events Analysis (IDEA): An Event Typology for Automated Events Data Development”, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 40, No. 3, 2003, p. 733-745.

31  The Goldstein scale modifies the weighting from 1, representing a positive comment, to 10, representing the political union of two states. For further discussion see Joshua S. Goldstein, “A Conflict-Cooperation Scale for WEIS Events Data”, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 36, No. 2, 1992, p. 369-385.

32  Barry Buzan and Ole Waever, Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003.

33  Similar to the Goldstein scaled values on cooperation, conflict ranges from 1 representing a negative comment, to 10, representing a war.

34  As with the cooperation in the later period, the distance between Europe and the Middle East appear to lessen to some degree. This may signify that while bridging is not occurring between North and South Mediterranean states, the broader space as peripheral to the European Union is slowly developing similar foreign policy orientations, as signified by increased similarity in meaningful relationships (and hence the lesser distance observed between the European and south Mediterranean nodes). However, along these same lines, the West African states are more similar in foreign policy orientation than the Middle Eastern and south Mediterranean states, granting further credence to the claim that the region remains an aspiration.

35  Kathy L. Powers, “Regional Trade…”, art. cit.

36  The figure is taken, with consent of the author, from Ana Bojinović Fenko, “The Mediterranean as a Region in the Making”, in Thomas Volgy, Zlatko Šabič, and Petra Roter (eds.), Mapping the New World Order, Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell, 2009, p. 217-246.

37  Katherine Barbieri and Omar Keshk, Correlates of War Project Trade Data Set Codebook, Version 3.0, Online: http://correlatesofwar.org, 2012; Katherine Barbieri, Omar M. G. Keshk, and Brian Pollins, “TRADING DATA: Evaluating our Assumptions and Coding Rules”, Conflict Management and Peace Science, No. 26, 2009, p. 471-491.

38  The bilateral trade data is available only through 2009.

39  See Figure 1 in the Appendix.

40  See Figures 2 through 5 in the Appendix.

41  Edward E. Azar, “Conflict and Peace Data Bank (COPDAB), 1948-1978”, Ann Arbor, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, 2009, http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07767.v4.

42  Multicolinearity is not an issue between the two measures, there exists almost no correlation (.02).

43  Nils Petter Gleditsch, Peter Wallensteen, Mikael Eriksson, Margareta Sollenberg, and Håvard Strand, “Armed Conflict 1946-2001: A New Dataset”, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 39, No. 5, 2002, p. 615637.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1. Patterns of Cooperation, 1993-2002
URL http://cdlm.revues.org/docannexe/image/7840/img-1.png
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Titre Figure 2. Patterns of Cooperation, 2003-2012
URL http://cdlm.revues.org/docannexe/image/7840/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 1,1M
Titre Figure 3. Patterns of Conflict, 1993-2002
URL http://cdlm.revues.org/docannexe/image/7840/img-3.png
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Titre Figure 4. Patterns of Conflict, 2003-2012
URL http://cdlm.revues.org/docannexe/image/7840/img-4.png
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Titre Figure 5. Inter-Regional Formal Intergovernmental Organizations, 2010
URL http://cdlm.revues.org/docannexe/image/7840/img-5.png
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Titre Figure 6. Patterns of trading relationships for 1993-2002
URL http://cdlm.revues.org/docannexe/image/7840/img-6.png
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Titre Figure 7. Patterns of trading relationships for 2003-2009
URL http://cdlm.revues.org/docannexe/image/7840/img-7.png
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Titre Figure 1. Foreign Policy Directed toward South Mediterranean States
URL http://cdlm.revues.org/docannexe/image/7840/img-8.png
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URL http://cdlm.revues.org/docannexe/image/7840/img-9.png
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Titre Figure 2. Cooperative Interactions between North-South Dyads, 1993-2002
URL http://cdlm.revues.org/docannexe/image/7840/img-10.png
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Titre Figure 3. Cooperative interactions between North-South Dyads, 2003-2012
URL http://cdlm.revues.org/docannexe/image/7840/img-11.png
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Titre Figure 4. Conflict Interactions between North-South Dyads, 1993-2002
URL http://cdlm.revues.org/docannexe/image/7840/img-12.png
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Titre Figure 5. Conflict Interactions between North-South Dyads, 2003-2012
URL http://cdlm.revues.org/docannexe/image/7840/img-13.png
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J. Patrick Rhamey, William R. Thompson et Thomas J. Volgy, « Distance, Size and Turmoil: North-South Mediterranean Interactions », Cahiers de la Méditerranée, 89 | 2014, 209-226.

Référence électronique

J. Patrick Rhamey, William R. Thompson et Thomas J. Volgy, « Distance, Size and Turmoil: North-South Mediterranean Interactions », Cahiers de la Méditerranée [En ligne], 89 | 2014, mis en ligne le 01 juin 2015, consulté le 28 juin 2017. URL : http://cdlm.revues.org/7840

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Auteurs

J. Patrick Rhamey

Jr J. Patrick Rhamey, Jr. is an assistant professor at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. His recent research includes analysis of status-seeking in the Olympics, published in International and Area Studies Review, and the behavior of major powers, published in Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy. rhameyjp@vmi.edu

William R. Thompson

William R. Thompson is Distinguished Professor and Donald A. Rogers Professor of Political Science at Indiana University. Recent work includes How Rivalries End (Pennsylvania, 2013, with Karen Rasler and Sumit Ganguly) and Transition Scenarios: China and the United States in the Twenty-first Century (Chicago, 2013, with David P. Rapkin). wthompso@indiana.edu

Thomas J. Volgy

Thomas J. Volgy is professor of political science in the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona, and is executive director of the International Studies Association. He has publishes over 50 articles in political science and international relations journals, and several books, which most recently include Major Powers and the Quest for Status in International Politics (Palgrave/MacMillan, 2011), Mapping the New World Order (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), International Politics and State Strength (Lynne Rienner, 2003). volgy@email.arizona.edu

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