Accepted paper:

EU civil society funding and conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa - lessons from Algeria


Jessica Northey (Coventry University )

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines international donors, the EU in particular, in conflict affected countries in the Middle East and North Africa. It explores the impact of donor funding on local civil society in three different countries, arguing that lower donor budgets have given more promising results.

Paper long abstract:

How have international donors such as the EU supported civil society in conflict affected countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) since the early 1990s? Which mechanisms do they use, how have these evolved and how inconsistent are the approaches? The shifting paradigms in development policy are examined through a study of recent debates, exploring the reasons behind the EU's drive to invest resources in developing civil society in different regions. The chapter analyses EU exceptionalism in countries of the MENA region and in Algeria in particular, in its co-operation agreements and discourses. It examines the tools used by the EU to support civil society in Algeria, comparing them with interventions in Palestine and in Lebanon where in a number of cases EU support has exacerbated tensions and conflict on the ground. Finally, it introduces the paradox, that the more modest EU budget for civil society in Algeria may have generated in fact more promising results, than in other countries in the region.

panel C02
Donor responses to insecurity and global inequalities (Paper)