May 2019 The Shaping of Anti-Democratic Discourses and What to Do About It

Abstract

Democracy and human rights featured prominently in Euro-Mediterranean relations starting with the 1995 Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona and until the eruption of Arab revolutions. The uprisings, some of which failed to achieve their goals, marked a shift in those relations and raised some doubts about whether democracy remains a priority for Europe’s relations with the Southern Mediterranean. The securitisation of the European Union (EU)’s approach towards its Southern Neighbourhood mirrored a securitisation of the domestic discourse in Southern Mediterranean countries themselves, which put on the back burner other important issues such as state reform and socioeconomic development. This paper examines, first, the context in which the securitisation trend has gained ground in a number of countries and, second, provides a detailed analysis of the shaping of anti-democratic discourses in some specific countries.