Superpower Rivalry and the Third Way(s) in the Mediterranean


Date: Mar 24, 2010 - Mar 27, 2010

The Cold War was fought globally on a multitude of regional fronts. In the Mediterranean area it was shaped by the legacies of European colonialism, the competing interests of the Superpowers and local conflicts. The premise of this workshop is that the Cold War was especially disruptive in the vast, diverse region encircling the Mediterranean Sea. The onetime European colonial powers withdrew or were expelled from the eastern and southern coasts, reorganizing themselves in the European Community with a Northwestern and Transatlantic orientation. American analysts remapped the area in terms of “security regions,” and Soviet experts, in terms of the USSR’s quest for strategic partners. The newly emancipated countries stretching across North African and eastern coasts were obstructed from forming cross Mediterranean solidarities by Superpower interference and by local national, religious, and development conflicts aggravated by appealing to outside powers. To understand the Cold War’s impact in the region, we need a substantial effort to bridge areas of study-Southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East-that have come to be analyzed separately. The Non-Aligned Movement was established to coordinate cooperation outside of the Cold War blocs. The movement was shaped similarly by the radicalization of politics in the Cold War. From this region’s perspective, we reconsider the meaning of nonalignment, its protagonists, and its ramifications for a “third way” between the Blocs.

Date: Mar 24, 2010 - Mar 27, 2010

The Cold War was fought globally on a multitude of regional fronts. In the Mediterranean area it was shaped by the legacies of European colonialism, the competing interests of the Superpowers and local conflicts. The premise of this workshop is that the Cold War was especially disruptive in the vast, diverse region encircling the Mediterranean Sea. The onetime European colonial powers withdrew or were expelled from the eastern and southern coasts, reorganizing themselves in the European Community with a Northwestern and Transatlantic orientation. American analysts remapped the area in terms of “security regions,” and Soviet experts, in terms of the USSR’s quest for strategic partners. The newly emancipated countries stretching across North African and eastern coasts were obstructed from forming cross Mediterranean solidarities by Superpower interference and by local national, religious, and development conflicts aggravated by appealing to outside powers. To understand the Cold War’s impact in the region, we need a substantial effort to bridge areas of study-Southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East-that have come to be analyzed separately. The Non-Aligned Movement was established to coordinate cooperation outside of the Cold War blocs. The movement was shaped similarly by the radicalization of politics in the Cold War. From this region’s perspective, we reconsider the meaning of nonalignment, its protagonists, and its ramifications for a “third way” between the Blocs.

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