1983 年 1983 巻 73 号 p. 86-103,L12
The contemporary societies of the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) are fundamentally ruled by three main relations: large scale relations with the industrialized countries, particularly with France, the former colonial power; sociocultural relations between the Maghreb states and informal Islamic institutions that structure the space of everyday life; and politico-economic relations with the Sub-Saharan African states.
The present article focuses upon the first set of relations as a way of posing and examining the followng questions:
(1) Why and how, even today, Maghreb's economic dependence upon industrialized economies is maintained through the emigration of Maghreb's labor force;
(2) How Maghreb's external trade relations based on raw materials determine the nature of the economic and social development of the Maghreb;
(3) How relations with the industrialized world can be placed in a Mediterranean geo-political context.
If most studies agree on the existence of dependent relations between Maghreb society and the industrialized world, the determination of the precise components of dependence varies from one study to another. An analysis of the cultural and agricultural aspects of the movement of labor allows us to understand the motivation and role of each emigrant in perpetuating the movement. On the other hand, the anatomy of a natural resource oriented economy shows us the limited possibility of autonomous development based on the international valorization of local resources. Further, the external prospects for Maghreb society are more uncertain than ever because of the sustained world recession. That is the reason why an alternative scenario of a Mediterranean bloc is being discussed professionally as one of the regional solutions to world-wide uncertainty.
This scenario corresponds with the mutually expanding interests of the EC and the Arab World. An example of the closer ties is a network of agreements which the EC has established with almost all of the Mediterranean countries, including those with the Maghreb, concluded in 1976. These treaties are restricted to economic relations. Another example is the Euro-Arab Dialogue (DEA). This idea appeared in the aftermath of the Arab oil embargo in 1973. In a series of negotiations between the EC and the Arab countries, politics in the Middle East has come to the surface as a policy issue, though policies are yet to be formulated. It is obvious that the geo-political location of the Mediterranean Sea is strategically important for both the Maghreb and France. Since the late 1970s, France in particular has advocated a regional plan of cooperation based on the strategic location of the Mediterranean region. In comparison with former plans, this plan mentions that France, as the sole nuclear power in the region, is expected to make a contribution to security in the area; second, the Mediterranean countries —Southern Europe, the Maghreb and the Middle East— are located on the periphery in the structure of world capitalism. How this scenario develops still remains to be seen.