The Maghreb states : regional and foreign policies 1973-1987
By 1973, the period of uncertainty that followed independence in the Maghreb was over, and the regimes in place - whether civilian or military were there to remain. Legitimising formulas were no longer rested on the ideological rhetoric that had been derived from the euphoria of independence, and by now the Maghrebi elites had to seek other legitimising sources. Thus they embarked on consolidating the state through institutionalisation and through new policies that sought to associate key constituencies with the conduct of the government. The intense social transformation over the last two decades, with greater access to education, has been coupled with the new emphasis on the state. Ideology has retreated before the advance of pragmatism and a greater awareness of the developments both at home and abroad. Accordingly, our work suggests that foreign policies of the Maghreb States, in the period under study have been executed in accordance with, and in response to, the exigencies of 'national interest'. The thesis is divided into five parts: The First Part, discusses different theories of foreign policy-making and sets out our suggested framework for analysis; The Second Part, deals with the conflicting and competitive nature that commands Inter-Maghrebin relations. The strife and rivalry for leadership and supremacy in North Africa has been a crucial factor dictating Maghrebi policies in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and beyond; The Third Part, treats Maghrebi relations with the Arab World and their attitudes with regard to issues ranging from the Arab Israeli conflict to the Iran-Iraq War, while competing for support and allies in their inter-Maghrebin altercations; Part Four, is concerned with the Maghrebi African policies. While the continent became a battle ground for the struggle against Isreal, it has also become a forum that for long has been dominated by inter-Maghrebin rivalries; Finally, the Fifth Part, deals with the Maghrebi foreign policies with regard to Europe and the super powers. As in the case of their relations with the Middle East and Africa, relations with Europe and the super powers have also been conflicting and competitive as far as the Maghreb states are concerned. Here, however, Maghrebi pragmatic approach has prevailed through the divorce of the foreign policy utterances from economic practices.