Past eventResearch Event

Relations Reconfigured: Transatlantic Strategy and the Arab Mediterranean

8 November 2012 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Chatham House, London


Dr Gary Bunt, Reader in Islamic Studies, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Cesare Merlini, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center on the United States and Europe, Brookings
Olivier Roy, Professor of Social and Political Theory, European University Institute, Florence
Chair: Dr Claire Spencer, Head, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House



The profound changes in the Arab Mediterranean of the past two years highlight the need for a reconfiguration of relations with the West. The European Union and the United States, caught unprepared by the Arab uprisings, must now address the inescapable challenges of fundamental transitions in governance, and new social, cultural, and religious dynamics across North Africa. 

This roundtable discussion will explore the ways in which the West will respond to these new realities, particularly in light of international economic uncertainty, EU ambivalence toward a 'cohesive foreign policy,' and declining US influence abroad. The speakers will say that with or without US support, Europe needs to revisit the ambitions of its 1990s Euro-Mediterranean Partnership to make 'common cause' with its near neighbours in a reconfigured Mediterranean sub-region, in ways that fully reflect the new political, economic and social realities on both shores of the Mediterranean.

This event marks the UK publication of Arab Society in Revolt: The West's Mediterranean Challenge by Cesare Merlini and Olivier Roy, published by Brookings Institution Press. 

Dr Claire Spencer is currently working on a Chatham House report on refocusing transatlantic strategy in the Mediterranean region, due to be published in 2013. 


For more information please contact Sophie Grant.