Imperialist or Neighbour? A New Architecture for Relations between Europe and North Africa
Western intervention in Mali and Libya suggests the old imperial toolbox is being reopened. Yet state power to control people and capital is declining, ceded to multinational corporations and transnational networks, while individuals have become empowered vis-à-vis established authority. While the media has focused on the perceived threat of Islamic fundamentalism, the real challenge is to grasp the shift from the megaplayers of yesterday to the microplayers of today, and concentrate on become better neighbours. We will have to live with the multiple insecurities that exist on both shores of the Mediterranean and in the relations between North Africa and Europe. Those looking for a clear road-map for a world which has lost its compass will be disappointed - we are witnessing the biggest redistribution of power for 200 years, one which, unlike the 19th or 20th centuries lacks a hegemon to impose cooperation among nations and establish an imperial order.