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  • Author: Raffaele Marchetti
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: There is a need for a reassessment of the Italian contribution to international affairs. If a more comprehensive and pluralist reading of Italian action at the international level is developed, an image of normative power Italy may emerge. Italian input has been crucial in a number of transnational campaigns that have had significant impact at the international level. The cases of the peace in Mozambique, the International Criminal Court, the Moratorium on the Death Penalty and, more recently, the Ban on Female Genital Mutilation all illustrate Italy's contribution to international affairs, especially the politics of norm change. These cases are all characterised by the presence of intense civil society-government synergy. In order to advance the understanding of the processes and impact of transnational mobilisations, this analysis examines the domestic conditions that facilitated such synergy, intended as key conditions for the empowerment of transnational activism itself.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Italy
  • Author: Lorenzo Mosca
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The enduring economic crisis, austerity measures and corruption scandals have created a favourable environment for the advent of new political actors all over Europe. During the last general elections (February 2013), Italy was shocked by the inexorable rise of the Five Star Movement. Beppe Grillo's creature upset the political system, occupying portions of the public sphere that had been ignored (the web) or gradually abandoned by traditional political parties (the squares). Its unusual campaigning style, its internet-based organisational structure, its atypical political positioning (beyond left and right), and its oversimplification of complex problems all help to explain its electoral performance, and distinguish it from similar anti-establishment parties that have emerged in Europe over the past decade.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Environment
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Piergiorgio Corbetta, Renaldo Vignati
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Italy is one the most europhile countries in the European Union. Nevertheless, as surveys show, over the last few years anti-European sentiments have increasingly surfaced among Italian citizens. Furthermore, there is now an important novelty regarding the relation between Italy and Europe: the Five Star Movement, a new party that expresses a peculiar and contradictory position towards Europe. Its leader, Beppe Grillo, sometimes advocates more, not less, unification, but he also proposes a referendum on Italian membership of the euro. Moreover, Grillo's blog frequently lends its voice to the choir of openly anti-European sentiment. Indeed, Grillo's call for direct democracy is plebiscitarian and his positions contribute to the weakening of a European project that is already facing grave difficulties of its own.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Francesco N. Moro, Fabrizio Coticchia
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Italian armed forces have undergone important transformations since the end of the Cold War. Exogenous changes in the strategic and operational environment have driven a reshaping of armed forces in all NATO countries, but the differences between the national responses that have emerged has not always been thoroughly analysed. Deep restructuring in military doctrine, field experience linked to intense force deployment and budgetary constraints interact in shaping the direction of transformation, sometimes in ways that deviate from classic hypotheses on what drives change in the military. The picture that emerges is a complex one, where relevant innovations co-exist with the persistence of problems that call into question the sustainability of the Italian defence model.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Italy
  • Author: Karim Mezran
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Muslims in Italy are now a consistent, although not new, phenomenon in the social and political panorama of the country. Like other communities, they are in search of an agreement with the state that would allow them to live and prosper within a legal framework that guarantees rights and duties. Unfortunately, attempts at achieving such an agreement have come up against a wall of prejudice and fear from the Italian population, as well as a lack of courage and foresight on the part of Italian state institutions. The problems and difficulties associated with the struggle of Italian Muslims in reaching an intesa are outlined and analytically presented along with a discussion of how integration may lead to the type of pluralism and tolerance enshrined in the Italian constitution.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Italy
  • Author: Giovanni Andornino
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Sino-Italian bilateral relations are eminently economic in their focus, with trade and investments working as the main drivers of engagement. Two distinctive features have marked the economic interaction in recent years: a pattern of asymmetrical competition, and an asynchrony of opportunities in bilateral trade and investment flows. Between 2009 and 2011, however, Sino-Italian relations underwent important changes. Against the background of the global financial crisis, China might become a key source of foreign investments for Italy. In addition, China's efforts to promote domestic demand under the Twelfth Five-Year Plan might create unprecedented opportunities for Italian exports.
  • Topic: Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Italy
  • Author: Jonathan Hopkin
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Italy is firmly in the grip of an austerity programme mandated by the European Union institutions, and executed by an unelected technocrat. This state of affairs is at once the result of the acute and unexpected crisis of the financial and economic integration of the eurozone, and an expression of the failures of the Italian political class. Although the euro crisis has been mishandled by European elites, Italy's long-term economic decline, and the inability of Italian party politicians to generate a sustainable coalition to address Italy's economic problems, hinders an exit from the crisis.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Raffaello Matarazzo, Jacopo Leone
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: More direct involvement in the EU decision-making process has traditionally been an ambition of the Italian parliament. The implementation of the Lisbon Treaty has prompted parliament to maintain tighter scrutiny of the EU legislative process, not only through the use of the new subsidiarity control mechanism, but in particular by exerting a stronger influence on the government on EU affairs. The latter will be the key challenge in the post-Lisbon era. It is too early to say, however, whether this will have a positive or negative impact on the EU's democratic legitimacy.
  • Political Geography: Italy, Lisbon
  • Author: Arturo Varvelli
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Italy and Libya have always enjoyed a special relationship based on reciprocal economic interests. The 2008 Friendship Treaty and the formal apologies for the colonial past have paved the road for more stable cooperation between the two countries in other sectors as well. Libya has started a gradual and prudent reform that, minimising the risks of destabilisation, is meant to attract foreign investments outside of the hydrocarbon sector in an attempt to diversify the economy. As its major political and economic partner, Italy is playing an important role in the Libyan transformation process.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Libya, Italy
  • Author: Francesco Sisci
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Italy's political vision of China has been tainted by prejudice. In past decades, before China's rapid development, it was a positive prejudice. People on the right saw China as a bulwark against the Soviet Union, people on the left viewed it as model of socialism. In recent years, the prejudice has changed in nature. Those on the right, defending Italy's small and medium-sized enterprises beleaguered by Chinese competition, accuse Beijing of unfair trade practices, those on the left, fearing that workers might lose their jobs to China, blame Beijing for exploiting workers. In either case, Italy is not interested in discovering the true reality of China, which remains an exotic mystery. This lack of knowledge is the root of Italy's policy problems with China.
  • Political Geography: China, Shanghai, Beijing, Soviet Union, Italy
  • Author: Andrea Coppi, Andrea Spreafico
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Muslim community in Italy does not benefit from official recognition, which could, among other things, provide it with access to state funding. Nor does its fragmented nature favour a process of aggregation leading to the formation of a single representative body delegated to dialogue with the institutions. The government initiative establishing the Council of Italian Islam (Consulta) sought to encourage an original course in this direction, but it seems that the body is unlikely to solve the problem. The solutions adopted in various European countries and the proposals put forward by experts suggest that legal recognition cannot sidestep the question of representation and therefore calls for a process of cultural mediation.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Antonella Guarneri
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Immigration towards Italy is on the increase and, as a part of it, the Muslim presence is too. The range of countries of origin of Muslim immigrants in Italy is very broad and this multi-ethnicity, along with the divisions in the Muslim faith itself make the Muslim presence difficult to understand and quantify. In addition, this fragmentation poses a dilemma for the state between considering immigrants an unicum or devising different policies for specific immigrant groups or communities. It also makes it easier for the uninformed Italian public, with the help of the media, to equate all Muslims with fundamentalism, terrorism and crime, spawning ungrounded fears. While waiting for a comprehensive bill on freedom of worship that would facilitate official recognition of Islam, Italian society will have to become more knowledgeable and open towards the Muslims in its midst.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Italy
  • Author: Natalino Ronzitti
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The end of the Cold War brought about a change in US basing policy in Italy. Some bases were dismantled, while others, like the one in Vicenza, were strengthened raising considerable local protest for environmental reasons. The article examines whether agreements establishing the US bases have a solid foundation in the Italian Constitution and whether the weapons detained there are in conformity with the disarmament treaties binding Italy. Since the bases are now employed for NATO "out-of-area" operations and have become a part of the US strategy of "war on terror", they inevitably influence Italy's foreign policy and its option to stay out of ongoing conflicts. The article also considers the continuing need for US bases from the point of view of Atlantic solidarity.
  • Topic: NATO, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States, Italy
  • Author: Nicoletta Pirozzi, Ferdinando Salleo
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Responding to the increasing inadequacy of the UN and especially the Security Council (SC) in dealing with today's challenges and threats, Italy has actively taken part in the reform debate. Since the 1993 Memorandum and through the experience of the Coffee Club in the 1990s, the United for Consensus movement initiated in 2004 and its current mandate as non-permanent member of the SC for the 2007-08 period, Italy has campaigned against any increase in the number of individual permanent seats, which it feels would undermine its role and be an obstacle to a genuine European approach to SC issues. Yet, given the difficulties of SC reform, Italy cannot afford to limit itself to a merely obstructionist policy, which could prove sterile in the long run. Italy must promote and implement concrete initiatives that have the potential to re-establish the body's authority and relaunch multilateral dynamics at the international level, while reaffirming its own importance in the global arena.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Elisabetta Brighi
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Conventional wisdom has it that the new government of Romano Prodi managed to effect a significant "shift" in Italy's foreign policy away from the course of the centre-right in the proverbial first 100 days of government. A number of discontinuities with the foreign policy of the Berlusconi government have been invoked, ranging from Italy's relations with Europe and its transatlantic posture, to its engagement with areas of crisis such as the Middle East. But these claims have to be substantially qualified. In fact, it appears that the foreign policy of the Prodi government has rather pragmatically blended elements of change and continuity, and that the shift which has occurred in some areas should be understood more as a combination of domestic and international developments than a result of the change in government alone. Moreover, in order to really change Italy's foreign policy - and change it for the better - the government should focus on a different set of priorities, mainly the institutions, instruments, politics, and ideas of foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Jean-Pierre Cassarino
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: A number of factors explain why some EU member states, particularly France Italy and Spain are gradually opting for informal patterns of cooperation on readmission issues with Mediterranean and African countries. This adaptive inclination is more of a necessity than an option. It reflects the more urgent need of some EU member states to find flexible solutions for cooperation on readmission rather than to conclude bilateral readmission agreements. The agenda remains unchanged, but there has been a shift in priority actions with regard to these countries. The operability of cooperation on readmission has been prioritised over formalisation.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Canada, Shanghai, France, Spain, Italy
  • Author: Francesco Palermo
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: What does regional external power mean? To what extent is it allowed? What are the limits for its exercise? And how is it carried our in today's quasi-federal Italy? Not only is regional foreign policy a litmus test for the legal development of a compound system; it is also extremely telling as far as the political maturity of the actors in a multi-level governmental system is concerned. In the present constitutional and political framework in Italy, there is a cleavage between the rather developed normative framework and the immature practical reality. Regional foreign policy is something very important about which too little ado is made.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Italy
  • Author: Bart Kerremans, Edith Drieskens, Daniele Marchesi
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Both Belgium and Italy want to give their current mandate in the UN Security Council a European dimension. Yet, the conclusion that they are natural partners in doing so may be premature. Before focussing on Belgian and Italian objectives, the article presents the current state of the ongoing reform processes in Brussels and New York and of EU actorness in the Security Council more generally, as both are critical for estimating the prospects for a stronger European profile. It concludes by discussing the possibilities and constraints that the non-permanent members face within this framework.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: New York, Europe, Belgium, Italy, Brussels
  • Author: Roberto Menotti
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: NATO, the EU, and the UN have been the cornerstones of Italy's foreign policy since WWII: although they continue to provide a point of reference, these institutions are undergoing major changes that reflect - and partly create - a very unpredictable international environment. The evolving security agenda, choices made by key allies (especially the United States), and domestic political forces, are putting Italian decision-makers under pressure. There is a serious problem of resource constraints while the country is still unwilling to make clear-cut choices based on unavoidable tradeoffs. The past few years witnessed a mix of continuity and change due to the political orientations of successive governments under these challenging circumstances.
  • Topic: Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: United States, Italy
  • Author: Claudia Astarita
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: Il secolo cinese : storie di uomini, città e denaro dalla fabbrica del mondo, Federico Rampini, Mondadori, 2006 and La Cina alla conquista del mondo : la società, la politica, l'economia e le relazioni internazionali, Maria Weber, Newton Compton, 2006.
  • Political Geography: China, Italy