Raffaella A. Del Sarto, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
Associate Professor of Middle East Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced Interntional Studies, SAIS Europe (Bologna campus, Italy). Previously part-time professor and ERC grand holder at the European University Institute in Florence; Pears Fellow at the Middle East Centre of St Antony's College, University of Oxford; Marie Curie Fellow at the EUI; PhD in International Relations.
Areas of expertise include the politics and international relations of the Middle East, the EU's / Europe's relations with North Africa and the Mediterranean Middle East, Israel's domestic politics and international relations, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, European-Israeli-Palestinian relations, the domestic-foreign policy nexus, and questions of borders, power, and interdependence.
Languages (besides English): German, French, Italian, Hebrew and some Arabic.
Middle East & North African Politics
Conflict Processes & War
Middle East Studies
Europe-Middle East Relations
Regional Order, Borders
European Neighbourhood Policy
North Africa MiddleEast
Countries of Interest
My research focuses on three main areas: first, I am interested in the international relations of the Middle East, here particularly in the nexus between domestic/regional policies and foregin policies, the regional order(s), and borders, power and interdependence. Second, my work focuses on relations between Europe/the EU and MENA/the Mediterranean Middle East; within this topic I have also worked on European-Israeli-Palestinian relations. Third, my research focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as on Israeli foreign and domestic policies
The article analyses the currently contentious nature of many borders in the MENA region by considering the often conflicting configurations of state authority, legitimacy and territoriality over time, with the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings marking the most recent of a series of critical junctures. Through this conceptual lens, the article provides a historical overview of key political developments and historical moments that have affected the configuration of these three elements from the formation of the modern state system in the Middle East up to the present. It considers developments at the international, regional and domestic levels, with attention to the links between them. On the basis of this discussion, and considering both the current changes affecting borders in the MENA region and the high levels of fluidity attending scholarly debates, it then addresses the question of whether prevailing conceptualizations of the state and its borders are adequate in arriving at a real understanding of past and present developments in the region
Focusing on the EU's relations with its periphery, this paper takes issue both with persistent ‘normative’ conceptions of the EU's international role in the European Studies literature and with the constructivist–rationalist divide in IR theory. The conceptualization of the EU – a vast, composite and ever‐expanding entity with ‘fuzzy’ borders – as an empire of sorts bridges the theoretical divide and offers a powerful explanation of the EU's behaviour vis‐à‐vis its vicinity. Through the transfer of rules and practices beyond its borders, the EU is indeed engaged in ‘normative’ policies, which however primarily serve the security and economic interests of the EU and its Member States. Thus, the EU's (allegedly) norm‐based behaviour is in itself a utility‐maximizing strategy, which also serves the construction of a normative identity. The EU's response to the Arab uprisings serves to illustrate the argument, with the concept of ‘empire’ resolving the puzzle of seemingly inconsistent EU policies.
This article investigates the rules and practices pertaining to visa regimes and the crossing of borders across the European Union, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Their consideration as three interlinked entities rests on the high degree of EU–Israeli interdependence, the EU's deep involvement in the Palestinian territories and Israel's control over the latter. The article evidences the existence of variegated borders regimes applying to different categories of Israelis, Palestinians and EU citizens, together with Israel's outstanding prerogatives in defining these practices. The analysis suggests conceptualizing the space comprising the EU and Israel/Palestine as overlapping borderlands, with Israel and the territories emerging as a single, yet highly fragmented, space in which borders are alternative expressions of power relations in protracted conflicts. With the EU being drawn into prevailing conflict dynamics, the type and extent of EU–Israeli–Palestinian interconnectedness thus undermine the coherent implementation of Brussels’ mainly bilateral policies towards Israel and the territories.
With the adoption of the European neighbourhood policy (ENP) in 2003, the European Union (EU) for the first time introduced benchmarking procedures in the realm of democracy promotion, while also establishing the principles of ‘positive conditionality’ and differentiation. In order to exploit its full potential, however, this strategy must be able to define how political development can effectively be measured and monitored, along with the benchmarks chosen for this purpose. Applying insights of democratic and transition theories to the Action Plans concluded with Jordan and Tunisia, the contribution shows that the ENP suffers from the absence of analytical depth as far as concepts and processes of democratization are concerned, along with an arbitrary and largely useless selection of pseudo-benchmarks. While undermining the effectiveness of the leverage model of democratization policies, the EU's lack of clarity and determination seriously contradicts the declared objectives of its democracy promotion policy.
The article investigates the envisaged bilateral relations between the European Union (EU) and Israel according to the EU-Israel Action Plan of December 2004. Negotiated in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the document is notably vague on the envisaged political cooperation, thus reflecting the need to reconcile divergent positions on the desirable type of relations in general, and the EU's role in Middle East peace making in particular. Moreover, the expectations raised by the initial ‘wider Europe’ initiative on the Israeli side, along with EU-internal divergences on the ‘right’ approach toward Israel and the Palestine conflict, affected the negotiations on the Action Plan. However, while the bilateral Action Plan must be seen in the context of the EU's increased assertiveness on the international stage, implementing the ambiguous Action Plan is likely to be more difficult than agreeing on it. The future of EU-Israeli relations and the influence of the ENP with regard to Israel will depend on a number of developments, most notably the future of Middle East peace making, along with a change of attitudes of each side vis-à-vis the respective other.
Since 9/11, inter-cultural dialogue, in the Euro-Mediterranean area and beyond, has unintentionally reproduced the ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis. A rethink of the concepts of ‘cultures’, communities and their representatives points to the agenda-setting function of inter-cultural dialogue, which also legitimises specific interpretations of regional and international politics. In spite of some positive developments within the EMP's inter-cultural dialogue, this article recommends a departure from the rhetoric of ‘inter-cultural dialogue’ altogether. Instead, a clear distinction between cultural co-operation and the promotion of sustainable development and human rights is necessary, along with the establishment of a trans-cultural dialogue that defines similarities and differences across states and regions along thematic lines.
with Tobias Schumacher
Raffaella A. Del Sarto examines the creation of Israel's neo-revisionist consensus about security threats and regional order, which took hold of Israeli politics and society after 2000 and persists today. The failed Oslo peace process and the trauma of the Second Palestinian Intifada triggered this shift to the right; conflicts with Hamas and Hezbollah and the inflammatory rhetoric of Iranian President Ahmadinejad additionally contributed to the creation of a general sense of being under siege. While Israel faces real security threats, Israeli governments have engaged in the politics of insecurity, promoting and amplifying a sense of besiegement. Lively political debate has been replaced by a general acceptance of the no-compromise approach to security and the Palestinians. The neo-revisionist right, represented by Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud, has turned Israel away from the peace process and pushes maximalist territorial ambitions. But they have failed to offer a vision for an end to conflict, and there has been little debate about whether or not the hardline policies toward the region are counterproductive. The book explains this disappearance of dissent and examines the costs of Israel's policies. It concludes that Israel's feeling of being under siege has become entrenched, a two-state solution with the Palestinians is highly unlikely for the foreseeable future, and Israel's international isolation is likely to increase.
This book investigates relations between Israel, the Palestinian territories and the European Union by considering them as interlinked entities, with relations between any two of the three parties affecting the other side. The contributors to this edited volume explore different aspects of Israeli-Palestinian-European Union interconnectedness.
The book argues that internal disputes over national identity limit the ability of states to participate in regional forums. This is a close look at problems faced in negotiating the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) as a regional security project, with particular attention to case studies of Israel, Egypt and Morocco.
Recent efforts by the United States and its allies to promote democracy, security, and stability in the Middle East owe much to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) - also known as the Barcelona Process - an important region-building plan in the Mediterranean region since 1995. The Convergence of Civilizations represents the output of an innovative and much needed collaborative project focused on the EMP. Editors Emanuel Adler, Beverly Crawford, Federica Bicchi, and Rafaella A. Del Sarto have set out to show that regional security and stability may be achieved through a cultural approach based on the concept of regional identity construction, and aim to take stock of the EMP in relation to this goal.The contributors to this collection focus on the obstacles Mediterranean region construction faces due to post 9/11 regional and global events, the difficulties of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, tensions between the EU and the US over Iraq, and the expected consequences of EU enlargement. They also seek to bring the EMP and region-making practices to the attention of American scholars in order to promote a more fertile academic exchange.Ultimately, the contributors demonstrate that the EMP and related region-making practices, while failing so far to promote the development of a Mediterranean regional identity and to achieve regional stability, suggest nonetheless a viable model for regional partnership and cooperation, and thus, for preventing a 'clash of civilizations' in the long haul. The Convergence of Civilizations will be an important tool for meeting the current global challenges being faced by nation-states as well as those in the future.
In Colin Shindler (ed.) Israel and the Great Powers: Diplomatic Alliances and International Relations beyond the Middle East, London: I.B. Tauris, pp. 155-186.
In: Dimitar Bechev and Kalypso Nicolaidis (eds.), Mediterranean Frontiers: Borders, Conflicts and Memory in a Transnational World, London: I.B. Tauris, pp. 149-167.
Identity politics are not a new phenomenon in the Middle East, The current era is characterized by a distinctive level and intensity of identity politics, however, which must be seen as an integral part of the emergent structure of regional politics. This essay advances three main claims:. first, the rise of ethno-religious politics cannot be explained in terms of the specificities of Arab politics because the trend is not limited to Muslim majority countries. Israel offers a prominent but generally overlooked example. Second, the sharpening of ethno-religious difference is the result of strategic action under specific enabling conditions. The sense of insecurity and fear in periods of transition is a crucial enabling condition. Ironically, however, a heightened sense of insecurity not only acts as an enabling condition but is also the outcome of the politics of fear adopted by political leaders in the region. Third, the rise of identity politics is a trend on a broader scale, as seen in the United States and Europe. The memo concludes by reflecting on the role of local actors and developments as well as on the implications of the growing power of ethno-religious politics in the Middle East—and beyond.
MENARA Report no. 1, February, with Helle Malmvig and Eduard Soler i Lecha.
With Jean-Pierre Cassarino, September 2018
MENARA Working Papers No. 14, October 2018, with Silvia Colombo (lead author), Enrico Campelli, and Francesca Caruso
MENARA Working Papers No. 18, October, with Eduard Soler i Lecha
Types of Cookies we use
This site employs two first-party cookies (served from us and by us that are essential for the site to operate) and two third-party cookies that deliver external services.
We use a server-generated session cookie to remember you when you are logged in to the site. This is essential to making sure that your profile details are those that are updated when you log in to make changes. This also lets us know who is logging into the site and when.
This site also uses a cookie that is created by your browser to remember when you agree to the cookie notice popup. This cookie stores nothing but the word "true" if you have agreed to the terms and is deleted when you close your browser. This cookie's only function is to prevent the cookie notice from popping up every time you refresh the site's homepage.
How to Disable Cookies Altogether
Information on how to disable cookies in your browser can be found here. Please keep in mind that disabling cookies will prevent the essential functions of most interactive websites and web applications, this site included.
This privacy notice discloses the privacy practices for (womenalsoknowstuff.com). This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this website. It will notify you of the following:
Information Collection, Use, and Sharing
If you have any questions about this Privacy Notice, or need to contact us, we can be reached at .
Terms and Conditions
Last updated: August 04, 2019
Please read these Terms and Conditions ("Terms", "Terms and Conditions") carefully before using the http://womenalsoknowstuff.com website (the "Service") operated by Women Also Know Stuff ("us", "we", or "our"). Your access to and use of the Service is conditioned upon your acceptance of and compliance with these Terms. These Terms apply to all visitors, users and others who wish to access or use the Service. By accessing or using the Service you agree to be bound by these Terms. If you disagree with any part of the terms then you do not have permission to access the Service.
Our Service allows you to post, link, store, share and otherwise make available certain information, text, graphics, videos, or other material ("Content"). You are responsible for the Content that you post on or through the Service, including its legality, reliability, and appropriateness. By posting Content on or through the Service, You represent and warrant that: (i) the Content is yours (you own it) and/or you have the right to use it and the right to grant us the rights and license as provided in these Terms, and (ii) that the posting of your Content on or through the Service does not violate the privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, contract rights or any other rights of any person or entity. We reserve the right to terminate the account of anyone found to be infringing on a copyright. You retain any and all of your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Service and you are responsible for protecting those rights. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for Content you or any third party posts on or through the Service. However, by posting Content using the Service you grant us the right and license to use, modify, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce, and distribute such Content on and through the Service. You agree that this license includes the right for us to make your Content available to other users of the Service, who may also use your Content subject to these Terms. Women Also Know Stuff has the right but not the obligation to monitor and edit all Content provided by users. In addition, Content found on or through this Service are the property of Women Also Know Stuff or used with permission. You may not distribute, modify, transmit, reuse, download, repost, copy, or use said Content, whether in whole or in part, for commercial purposes or for personal gain, without express advance written permission from us.
When you create an account with us, you guarantee that you are above the age of 18, are a woman in the academic field of Political Science, and that the information you provide us is accurate, complete, and current at all times. Inaccurate, incomplete, or obsolete information may result in the immediate termination of your account on the Service. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account and password, including but not limited to the restriction of access to your computer and/or account. You agree to accept responsibility for any and all activities or actions that occur under your account and/or password, whether your password is with our Service or a third-party service. You must notify us immediately upon becoming aware of any breach of security or unauthorized use of your account.
The Service and its original content (excluding Content provided by users), features and functionality are and will remain the exclusive property of Women Also Know Stuff and its licensors. The Service is protected by copyright, trademark, and other laws of both the United States and foreign countries. Our trademarks and trade dress may not be used in connection with any product or service without the prior written consent of Women Also Know Stuff. Links To Other Web Sites Our Service may contain links to third party web sites or services that are not owned or controlled by Women Also Know Stuff Women Also Know Stuff has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third party web sites or services. We do not warrant the offerings of any of these entities/individuals or their websites. You acknowledge and agree that Women Also Know Stuff shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any such content, goods or services available on or through any such third party web sites or services. We strongly advise you to read the terms and conditions and privacy policies of any third party web sites or services that you visit.
We may terminate or suspend your account and bar access to the Service immediately, without prior notice or liability, under our sole discretion, for any reason whatsoever and without limitation, including but not limited to a breach of the Terms. If you wish to terminate your account, you may simply discontinue using the Service, or notify us that you wish to delete your account. All provisions of the Terms which by their nature should survive termination shall survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity and limitations of liability.
You agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Women Also Know Stuff and its licensee and licensors, and their employees, contractors, agents, officers and directors, from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debt, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees), resulting from or arising out of a) your use and access of the Service, by you or any person using your account and password; b) a breach of these Terms, or c) Content posted on the Service.
Limitation Of Liability
In no event shall Women Also Know Stuff, nor its directors, employees, partners, agents, suppliers, or affiliates, be liable for any indirect, incidental, special, consequential or punitive damages, including without limitation, loss of profits, data, use, goodwill, or other intangible losses, resulting from (i) your access to or use of or inability to access or use the Service; (ii) any conduct or content of any third party on the Service; (iii) any content obtained from the Service; and (iv) unauthorized access, use or alteration of your transmissions or content, whether based on warranty, contract, tort (including negligence) or any other legal theory, whether or not we have been informed of the possibility of such damage, and even if a remedy set forth herein is found to have failed of its essential purpose.
Your use of the Service is at your sole risk. The Service is provided on an "AS IS" and "AS AVAILABLE" basis. The Service is provided without warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement or course of performance. Women Also Know Stuff, its subsidiaries, affiliates, and its licensors do not warrant that a) the Service will function uninterrupted, secure or available at any particular time or location; b) any errors or defects will be corrected; c) the Service is free of viruses or other harmful components; or d) the results of using the Service will meet your requirements.
Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of certain warranties or the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages, so the limitations above may not apply to you.
These Terms shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of Arizona and the United States, without regard to its conflict of law provisions. Our failure to enforce any right or provision of these Terms will not be considered a waiver of those rights. If any provision of these Terms is held to be invalid or unenforceable by a court, the remaining provisions of these Terms will remain in effect. These Terms constitute the entire agreement between us regarding our Service, and supersede and replace any prior agreements we might have had between us regarding the Service.
We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to modify or replace these Terms at any time. If a revision is material we will provide at least 30 days notice prior to any new terms taking effect. What constitutes a material change will be determined at our sole discretion. By continuing to access or use our Service after any revisions become effective, you agree to be bound by the revised terms. If you do not agree to the new terms, you are no longer authorized to use the Service.
If you have any questions about these Terms, please contact us at .