in: Third World Thematics. A TWQ Journal, 2:5, 637-657.
Adopting a perspective of resistance and appropriation on the ‘agency of the governed’, this article brings together the study of international cooperation with approaches borrowed from social anthropology in order to analyse the responses of Moroccan and Tunisian government officials to EU democracy promotion before and after the Arab uprisings of 2011. The comparison across countries and over time highlights how ‘subversive’ appropriation as ‘hidden’ resistance enables authoritarian regimes to deflect external demands while reaping the benefits of cooperation. It thus sheds light on the agency of ‘recipients’ of international democracy promotion efforts and their ability to shape the process and outcome of ‘transfer’ already at the level of intergovernmental relations.
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