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Ringvorlesung am 07.02.2023, 18:00 bis 20:00 Uhr in Marburg
Vortrag von Prof. Dr. Rachid Ouaissa (Philipps-Universität Marburg)


The Maghreb refers to the countries of the western Mediterranean and the “setting sun”. Today it includes Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia and, by extension, Libya and Mauritania. The Maghreb has always been considered an attractive backyard of the European powers. Likewise, as part of the Mediterranean, it was considered the promised land of all Mediterranean imperialisms: Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs and Turks, not to mention the French, who infiltrated the entire region. The history of the intertwining between the Maghreb and Europe is a history of domination, conquest, colonialism and exploitation. The insularity of the Maghreb, isolated between the Mediterranean and the great desert, and the easy access to the area facilitated control by potential conquerors, which often led to assimilation, fusion between the conquerors and the local cultures. Economically, the Maghreb functioned as a reservoir of primary products and an important spine for imperial strategies of the conquerors.
As in most non-European countries, the main events in the history of the 19th and 20th centuries were the relations of these countries with the capitalist and industrial powers. The colonial triumphs caused serious inequalities and contradictions that led to liberation movements. The history of the colonial construction of the region is also the history of the emergence of colonial techniques of power and colonial dynamics to create geographical realities as well as postcolonial entanglements.
For even in the post-colonial phase, the Maghreb and Europe are closely linked. With a clear dominance of Europe, the EU dictates migration, security, trade and energy policies and has a monopoly of knowledge in the Mediterranean and the Maghreb. The question here is whether we are dealing with a kind of colonial and even imperialist longue durée!

Short Bio

Prof. Dr. Rachid Ouaissa is a Professor of Middle Eastern politics at the Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies (CNMS) at the Philipps University of Marburg. His research and teaching focuses on North-South relations, the rise of fundamentalist movements, EU-Mediterranean policy, and rent economies and systems of rule in the Middle East and North Africa. He has many years of experience with collaborative projects and international cooperation. He was and is project leader of the BMBF-funded research network: “Re-Configurations. History, Memory and Transformation Processes in the Middle East and North Africa”. Since April 2021 he is the German director of the Merian collaborative project MECAM in Tunis.

Lecture Video