The British presence in the Mediterranean: memory footprints and present-day challenges.

Abstract : The British presence in the Mediterranean: memory footprints and present-day challenges. La présence britannique en Méditerranée : traces mémorielles, défis actuels  5 juin 2018  Billets, euroméditerranée/moyen-orient The British presence in the Mediterranean: memory footprints and present-day challenges. La présence britannique en Méditerranée : traces mémorielles, défis actuels Valérie André and Matthew Graves (OREMA-LERMA, Aix-Marseille Université) The resetting of the United Kingdom's relations with Europe in the aftermath of the June 2016 referendum is a time to reassess Britain's place on the southern seaboard of the continent, in the Mediterranean world past and present, viewed through the lens of critical geopolitics and geographies of memory. Taking its cue from Braudel's invitation to "see the Mediterranean as the window onto an alternative view of history" (1986, p.14), our research brief is to examine the vestiges of British cultural, diplomatic and strategic engagement in the region and assess their continuing (or diminishing) relevance in the 21st century in the context of the post-Cold War power shift to the East, the conflicts in the Near and Middle East, the Brexit process and the foreign policy ambitions of "Global Britain". We shall be asking what are the geopolitical perspectives for the post-Brexit British presence in the region and what are the foreseeable impacts on those countries within its traditional sphere of influence? Does Brexit herald a 'West of Suez' moment, a British retreat from the liquid continent on Europe's southern borders, or a re-engagement on new terms? In his acclaimed trilogy The Liquid Continent (2010), the travel writer Nicholas Woodsworth perceives the Me-diterranean not as "an empty space surrounded by Europe, Asia and Africa, [but] as a single entity, a place from whose coastlines people look not outwards, to this country or that capital, but inwards over the water to each other" (p.29). From that perspective, the United Kingdom may be said to be 'in' but not 'of' the Euro-Mediterranean region today. The vestiges of its imperial presence are to be found in the British Overseas Territories of Gibraltar and the sovereign bases of Cyprus, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, which bear witness to a perennial strategic interest in the Suez Canal that has far outlived the British Protectorate in Egypt, the British Mandate in Palestine, the crisis of 1956 and the retreat from 'East of Suez'. If the century-long British colony of Mi-norca is a forgotten detail of 18th century history, the Commonwealth War Graves cemeteries and memorials which stretch in an arc across the southern and eastern Mediterranean basin, from Algeria and Tunisia, Israel The British presence in the Mediterranean: memory footprints an... https://orema.hypotheses.org/154
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [5 references]  Display  Hide  Download

https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02121365
Contributor : Matthew Graves <>
Submitted on : Monday, May 6, 2019 - 3:09:25 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - 1:31:29 AM

File

The British presence in the Me...
Files produced by the author(s)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-02121365, version 1

Collections

Citation

Matthew Graves, Valérie Auda-André. The British presence in the Mediterranean: memory footprints and present-day challenges.. 2018, https://orema.hypotheses.org/154. ⟨hal-02121365⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

20

Files downloads

21