Beyond the European Union’s Neighbourhood: Liberation Geographies in the Mediterranean

Cobarrubias, S. (2020) (2018-online) “Beyond the European Union’s Neighbourhood: Liberation Geographies in the Mediterranean.” Geopolitics. 25:4 pg. 887-915. DOI: 10.1080/14650045.2018.1508015.

The notion of a Mediterranean Neighbourhood points to how a specific geopolitical space is scripted, imagined and then translated into practice through the European Union’s foreign policy towards this region. I contend that the Arab Spring took place within this European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) framework contesting many of its underlying principles. This wave of social upheaval across a marked EU vs. non-EU space enabled a series of geographical imaginations and spatial practices able to rethink the Mediterranean region otherwise. This paper introduces three concepts developed by Hamid Dabashi to the geographical debates rethinking Europe’s contours through a post/de-colonial analytical lens. Drawing from the spatial thinking that characterises Dabashi’s recent work, this paper contributes to the rich critical literature on the ENP’s macro-regional imaginary. Concretely, building on Dabashi’s notion of “liberation geographies”, I emphasise how recent organising as well as ongoing migratory movements in the region constitute serious geopolitical interlocutors able to produce alternative Mediterranean spaces.

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