Program Overview

Over the last decade, the Mediterranean region has experienced a wide range of profound and far-reaching social, political and economic changes that have caused unprecedented levels of volatility and uncertainty. These shifts have reshaped many of the traditional features of the regional geopolitical order in place for decades, while others have the potential to do so in the near future. Consequently, understanding the nature, scope and depth of these transformations becomes crucial in order to fully understand the current state of affairs and the parameters of the future geopolitical order in the Mediterranean area.

This MA. program builds on understanding the anchors of the interrelated dynamics of development, security and governance which constitute the cornerstones in the study of the Mediterranean. The program studies the distinct character of this region in terms of the basic social, cultural, political, and economic features. It aims at developing the students’ knowledge of the main political, economic, and social trends that have been rooted in the wider Mediterranean region and which have impacted on the region in the contemporary era, from security and regional conflicts to the problems of economic development, governance and the involvement of external powers in the area.

Specifically:

  • Firstly, the program looks into the evolving endogenous sociopolitical and economic transformations taking place in a plurality of Mediterranean societies. By grasping who the main actors involved in these processes are, examining their objectives and capabilities, and investigating how they relate with each other, the program addresses the need to understand old and new leaderships, the role of religious factions, ethnic groups and civil society organisations, and the impact of social cleavages (like urban-rural and religious-secular) upon domestic and regional orders.
  • Secondly, it examines the current geopolitical order and assesses the possible impact of Mediterranean’s on-going multifaceted transformations (normative, civic, power relations etc.) on the region’s place in global politics. Thus, the program aims at analyzing the transnational political dynamics affecting the Mediterranean region, and the role of extra-regional stakeholders including the United States, China and Russia.
  • Thirdly, the program has a distinct focus on the regional context and it addresses the issue of fostering understanding of amity/enmity lines in the region; the prospects for cooperation and conflict within the region; and the impact of potentially destabilising factors upon the regional order (such as forced migrations and changes in the distribution and importance of natural resources).
  • Finally, it concentrates on the role of the European Union, as one of the key actors in the region, and analyses relevant aspects of its regional policies as they have developed in the last decades (such as the Union for the Mediterranean).