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EU Democracy Assistance Discourse in Its New Response to a Changing Neighbourhood

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by Andrea Teti
ECIA Senior Fellow
Democracy and Security, Volume 9, Issue 1-2, 2013

Drawing on Critical Discourse Analysis, this article by Andrea Teti, with Darcy Thompson and Christopher Noble, compares the structure of key policy documents on European Union (EU) democracy promotion in the Southern Neighborhood before and after the “Arab Uprisings.” With reference to the key document presenting the EU’s revised conception of democracy and strategic vision in the Southern Neighborhood, this article argues that, despite assertions of a paradigmatic shift in the EU’s approach to democracy, the conceptual structure of these documents maintains unaltered the substantively liberal model for both development and democratization. This is likely to leave the EU’s pre-Uprisings reputational deficit concerning democracy promotion unaltered.

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