Judeo-Christian civilizationism: Challenging common European foreign policy in the Israeli-Palestinian arena

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The EU’s identity is said to shape its role as a ‘normative actor’ promoting universal democratic values, including to its neighbourhood. Yet a competing civilizationist version of European identity–increasingly invoked on the radical right–frames Europe as representing ‘Judeo-Christian’ values in opposition to non-European cultures, especially Islam. This paper argues that these identity variations shape divergent responses to foreign policy challenges, by showing the growing influence of civilizationist discourse on European attitudes towards the Israeli-Palestinian arena. The paper focuses on Austria’s 2017–2019 ÖVP-FPÖ coalition to identity links between rising civilizationist politics and significant policy shifts regarding the Israeli-Palestinian arena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-450
Number of pages21
JournalMeditteranean Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


This work was supported by a post-doctoral fellowship of the Israel Institute; and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 845179.

FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions845179
Israel Institute


    • Austria
    • Civilizational identity
    • European foreign policy
    • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    • populism; role theory


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