Strangers in Plain Sight: Conceptions of Democracy in EU Neighbourhood Policy and in Public Opinion across North Africa

Pamela Abbott* (Corresponding Author), Andrea Teti

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

We draw innovatively on new and existing public opinion survey data carried out across North African countries since 2011 to provide a ‘view from below of the type of democracy that citizens of North African countries want and compare this conception with the type of democracy the European Union (EU) ‘offers’ its counterparts in the ‘Southern Neighbourhood’. This comparison shows there is a mismatch between what citizens want and what the EU is offering. While citizens want a ‘thicker’, socially just democracy, the EU ‘offers’ a market democracy that prioritises a limited number of civil and political rights. Social and economic rights are discursively constructed as macroeconomic issues relevant to the stability and consolidation of democracy rather than human rights as integral to democracy as their civil-political counterparts
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-713
Number of pages24
JournalThe Journal of North African Studies
Volume27
Issue number4
Early online date4 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • European Union
  • Arab Spring
  • European Neighbourhood Policy
  • Democracy
  • Neoliberalism
  • Social and Economic Rights
  • Human Rights

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