Europe has been seeking in recent years to put its relations with the Arab countries of the Mediterranean region onto a new footing. In 1995, the Euro-Mediterranean initiative was launched by the European Union at Barcelona. This book sets the subsequent development of the initiative in context. On the Arab world itself, it sets out a historically informed and up-to-date synopsis of its current regimes, the opposition coming from a highly politicised and ideologised form of Islam, and civil society, particularly the non-governmental sector. On the wider international scene, it takes a critical view of globalization and the US unremitting pursuit of hegemony over the Middle East.