COVID-19, and REOPENING UPDATES: Click Here for Additional Information and Resources.

Skip navigation

Johns Hopkins SAIS Europe Professor Raffaella A. Del Sarto publishes new book on cross-border relations between Europe and MENA states

Combined with specific policy choices of Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments, Europe has contributed to rising socio-economic inequalities and strengthening authoritarian rule in the MENA region by selective expansion of its rules, practices, and disaggregated borders. Europe has also tolerated serious violations of refugee and migrant rights at its fringes. To address these issues, Raffaella A. Del Sarto, associate professor of Middle East Studies at SAIS Europe, proposes a profound rethink of the complex relationship between the Europe—the European Union and its members—and MENA states in her new book Borderlands: Europe and the Mediterranean Middle East. Challenging the self-proclaimed benevolent nature of European policies and the notion of 'Fortress Europe' alike, the book, published by Oxford University Press, aims to contribute to broader debates on power, dependence, and interdependence in the discipline of international relations.
Within the book, Del Sarto examines Europe-MENA relations through a borderlands prism that conceives of this interaction as of one between an empire of sorts, which seeks to export its order beyond the border, and the empire's southern borderlands. She also revisits the historical origins and modalities of Europe's selective rule transfer to MENA states, the interests underwriting these policies, and the complex dynamics marking the interaction between the two sides over a 20-year period from 1995 to 2015.
Del Sarto is available to discuss the following aspects of Europe-MENA relations explored in the book: 

  • Cooperation on security, borders, and migration control
  • Trade relations
  • The restructuring of socio-economic and political order in MENA states 

Access an open source copy of Borderlands: Europe and the Mediterranean Middle East here

Media Contact

Susannah Tillson
Director of Marketing and Communications
Johns Hopkins SAIS Europe
+39 328 759 4218 

About the Author

Raffaella A. Del Sarto is an associate professor of Middle East Studies and academic director of the Master of Arts in International Affairs degree program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, SAIS Europe. Del Sarto has published Israel under Siege: The Politics of Insecurity and the Rise of the Israeli Neo-Revisionist Right (Georgetown University Press, 2017) and Contested State Identities and Regional Security in the Euro-Mediterranean Area (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and served as editor of Resisting Europe: Practices of Contestation in the Mediterranean Middle East (University of Michigan Press, 2020) and Fragmented Borders, Interdependence and External Relations: The Israel-Palestine-European Union Triangle (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).
Del Sarto’s areas of expertise include the international relations of the Middle East and North Africa, particularly regarding Europe, the domestic-foreign policy nexus, questions of borders, power and interdependence, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Israel's foreign and domestic policies. Her articles have appeared in International Affairs, The Middle East Journal, Journal of Common Market Studies and Democratization, amongst others. 

Johns Hopkins SAIS

A division of Johns Hopkins University, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a global institution that offers students an international perspective on today's critical issues. For more than 75 years, Johns Hopkins SAIS has produced great leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of international relations. Public leaders and private sector executives alike seek the counsel of the faculty, whose ideas and research inform and shape policy. Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a global perspective across three campus locations: Bologna, Italy; Nanjing, China; and Washington, D.C. The school's interdisciplinary curriculum is strongly rooted in the study of international economics, international relations, and regional studies, preparing students to address multifaceted challenges in the world today.
For more information, visit or on Twitter @SAISHopkins

Friday, July 16, 2021