Borderlands: Europe and the Mediterranean Middle East, Raffaella A. Del Sarto

Reviewed by Kelsey P. Norman

Del Sarto’s Borderlands examines Europe’s colonial past and quasi-imperial present to understand the disconnect between the European Union’s (EU) alleged normative aims of spreading democracy and economic prosperity in its neighborhood versus the content and impact of the policies themselves. The disconnect is not so difficult to understand, Del Sarto argues, if we conceive of the European Union as an empire, which, just like empires of the past, seeks to stabilize its periphery and draw economic advantages from it. As Del Sarto writes, “Europe does what it does because it is what it is” (31). With an imperial borderlands framework, Del Sarto aims to understand how Europe’s policies have impacted countries across the Mediterranean Middle East, looking specifically at the policy areas of trade, security, and migration. The book’s primary focus is the period between 1995, when Europe launched its Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, and the present, with a particular look at the years following 2011, as uprisings gave way to authoritarian retrenchment throughout the region.

After grounding her arguments in Europe’s colonial history and formation of the European Union, Del Sarto thoroughly examines Europe’s technocratic external economic policies. Specifically, she looks at how Europe’s neoliberal tra

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor


Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.


A Purple Agenda For The Next Four Years
June 20, 2024
7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m. ET


Editor’s spotlight

Virtual Issue

Introduction: Black Power and the Civil Rights Agendas of Charles V. Hamilton
Marylena Mantas and Robert Y. Shapiro


Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

China in a World of Great Power Competition   CHINA IN A WORLD OF GREAT POWER COMPETITION

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS