If your are interested in Foreign Policy Analysis, and especially you are working on Italian Foreign Policy, you should look at this new book by “our” Fabrizio Coticchia (along with Jason W. Davidson: “Italian Foreign Policy during Matteo Renzi’s Government A Domestically Focused Outsider and the World” (Lexington 2019)
This book sets out to explain the foreign policy of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (February 2014 to December 2016). It offers a unique analytical framework to make sense of Renzi’s foreign policy: the domestically-focused outsider. It argues that to untangle Renzi’s foreign policy one must first understand that his clear priority was enacting domestic economic and political reforms. Domestic focus means that Renzi made foreign policy decisions with a sensitivity to public opinion and party unity. The book also argues that Renzi’s status as an outsider in Italian politics—having previously served only as the mayor of Florence—provides critical insight into his foreign policy. Renzi was prone to skepticism of the establishment and dramatic, symbolic gestures rather than patient coalition building. The book applies this framework to the five most important foreign policy issues Renzi’s government faced: migration, finance and the EU, Russia, ISIL, and Libya. The book’s analysis of the cases benefits from over twenty elite interviews, including those with senior members of Renzi’s government
According to Sonia Lucarelli (University of Bologna):
Italian Foreign Policy during Matteo Renzi’s Government: A Domestically Focused Outsider and the World is a fascinating introduction to Renzi’s foreign policy. Fabrizio Coticchia and Jason W. Davidson offer a provocative key to understand the domestically-driven policy of an outsider eager to present himself as a “dynamic scrapper of the status quo”.The elegant analysis of Renzi’s management of migration, the economic crisis, Russia sanctions, the fight of ISIL and the Libya war, not only serves to understand the uneven foreign policy of a middle power, but provides a first application of a theory of foreign policy by ever more domestically-focused (when not populist) Western governments. An excellent read for scholars, students and interested public alike.
As stressed by Matt Evangelista (Cornell): Italy’s coalition of the populist Five Star Movement and the xenophobic (formerly Northern) League shocked the world with its reorientation of Italian foreign policy. The new government rejected the European Union’s economic austerity, cozied up to Vladimir Putin’s Russia, and sounded the alarm about an influx of migrants and refugees. Yet, as the authors of this trenchant study argue, the building blocks for the new policy were put in place already during Matteo Renzi’s term as prime minister. Promoting personality above party and running as an anti-establishment outsider preoccupied with domestic politics, Renzi unintentionally contributed to the destruction of the mainstream parties and opened the way to populist challengers who pursued many of the same foreign policies. Drawing on a wealth of evidence, including informative interviews with high-level Italian and international officials and experts, the authors make a convincing case that Renzi’s model of a “domestically focused outsider”applies not only to his successors but to politicians as otherwise different as Yanis Varoufakis and Donald Trump.
Here you’ll find other reviews.