No time for Uncertainty. The European Defense and Security in the Time of Terror: Threats, Challenges and Opportunities

We are organizing a panel at the next SGRI conference (Trento, June 29-July 1).

As reported in there website: The annual SGRI Conference is an opportunity for scholars throughout Italy to come together and discuss topics that are relevant to international relations. The 2017 Conference will be held for the sixth time in Trento from June 29th to July 1st and will be organized by IPLab (International Politics Laboratory), a joint venture involving the Bruno Kessler Foundation and the University of Trento.

Here you’ll find a list of the all panels.

Here below the details of “our” panel (“No time for Uncertainty. The European Defense and Security in the Time of Terror: Threats, Challenges and Opportunities“):

Chair: Giampiero Cama (University of Genova)
Discussants: Francesco N. Moro (University of Bologna) & Fabrizio Coticchia (University of Genova)

Date: TBD
Room: Sala Grande

According to the European Union Global Strategy “terrorism, hybrid threats, economic volatility, climate change and energy insecurity” are significantly endangering Europe (EUGS, 2016). The EUGS emphasizes the need for an “appropriate level of ambition and strategic autonomy”, enhancing common efforts especially on cyber, counterterrorism, energy and strategic communications. In other words, Member States should “move towards defence cooperation as the norm”, providing a greater contribution to collective security, working closely with its allies and partners, such as NATO. The panel aims at collecting empirical papers that, through different methodological perspectives, try and understand how current transformations (political, such as Brexit and Trump election but also technological, such as the “rise” of drones) are impacting traditional European and national security practices.

The panel explores how Member States, as well as the EU, have faced so far the above- mentioned challenges, examining in details the following key-areas: (a) shared assessments of internal and external threats (e.g., Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, including the role of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and satellite communications); (b) the evolution of digital capabilities to secure data, networks and critical infrastructure; (c) the transformation of (national and European) counter-terrorism; civil-military relations in operations; (d) the development of European procurement (especially regarding full- spectrum land, air, space and maritime capabilities); (e) the military doctrines at the national and regional level.

Confirmed Papers: 

  1. Edoardo Baldaro (Scuola Normale Superiore – Pisa), The EU in the Sahel: Assessing Strengths and Limits of the European Integrated Approach to Conflict
    Nowadays the EU is facing renewed security threats coming from its instable Eastern and Southern borders. State fragility and civil conflicts in the peripheries are considered as factors that can endanger European internal security and cohesion, asking for concrete initiatives and responses by European institutions. The European Union Global Strategy (EUGS)introduces a new ‘integrated approach to conflict and crisis’, in order to propose innovative and shared solutions concerning conflict-management and crisis-relief.Adopting an ideational and social constructivist approach to the study of European foreign policy, this article aims to explore the “fragile state” and “resilience” concurring policy paradigms informing this new European strategic concept. Analysing the EU’s initiatives in the Sahel, one of the regions where the EU elaborated and tested its renewed approach, the paper underlines ideational and practical weaknesses of the European action, focusing the attention on three dimensions: 1) inter-agency efficiency and cooperation; 2) EU – member states coordination; 3) effects on local governance and environment. We finally argue that even if the EUGS is going in the right direction, the EU still suffers from cognitive problems and lacks internal cooperation.

    In the conclusion I argue that even if the EUGS is going in the right direction, the EU still suffers of cognitive and normative problems and pays a lack of internal cooperation, all factors that can still put into question the EU’s approach to fragility and conflict in the South.

  2. Eugenio Cusumano (Leiden University), Migrant Rescuing as Organised Hypocrisy: EU Maritime Missions Offshore Libya Beyond Humanitarianism and Border Control
    In October 2014, the Italian Navy maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) operation offshore Libya Mare Nostrum was replaced by the EU border agency Frontex operation Triton, followed in 2015 by the Common Security and Defence Policy mission EUNAVFOR Med ‘Sophia’. Both Triton and EUNAVFOR have increasingly advertised their  involvement in SAR operations. As the two missions focused on reducing illegal entries to Europe rather than SAR, their commitment to migrant rescuing was not matched by consistent action. This paper conceptualizes the mismatch between humanitarian rhetoric and activities primarily meant to reduce migrant flows as a form of organised hypocrisy. Based on a decoupling between talk and action, organised hypocrisy allowed EU maritime missions to reconcile contradictory pressures from their external environment, such as EU willingness to reduce maritime migrations and the normative imperative to act against the loss of life at sea
  3. Artem Patalakh (University of Milan Statale), Soft Power Revisited: How Attraction Works in International Relations
    The paper puts forward a constructivist interpretation of how Joseph Nye’s soft power works in International Relations (IR). In particular, it focuses on the functioning of attraction, soft power’s main pronounced mechanism. On the basis of a theoretical literature review, the author identifies three primary issues that require further specification in Nye’s account, namely a clear disentanglement between hard and soft power, a psychological mechanism behind attraction and the relationship between agentic and structural forces in the soft power relationship. To address these issues, the author locates soft power in the constructivist IR paradigm, viewing power in its broadest terms (as including all the four “faces” of power). Then, the author applies French and Raven’s typology of power bases to build a framework that classifies attraction into three types, each with a particular psychological mechanism: “rational” attraction (which means that actor A is positively evaluated by actor B of the basis of its actions that do not aim at other IR actors), “social” attraction (which implies that A is positively evaluated based on how it treats other IR actors) and “emotional” attraction (which happens if B is positively evaluated by A, because B is useful for A to fulfill its identity, its perceived position among other IR actors). Having said this, the author uses insight from social psychology to provide theoretical explanations for each type of attraction, illustrating them with relevant examples from contemporary international politics.

  4. Mirco Elena (USPID)

 

 

See you soon in Trento…

 

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Mapping European Security: The EUISS Yearbook 2014

Some weeks ago the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) has published the second edition of the Yearbook of European Security (YES). The EUISS, which was set up in January 2002 as an autonomous agency under the CSFP (Common Foreign and Security Policy), is the Union’s agency dealing with the analysis of foreign, security and defence policy issues.

The “EUISS Yearbook of European Security 2014” provides a “comprehensive survey of the EU ‘toolbox’ as well as a “targeted analysis of European defense spending”.

Here you’ll find the link to the document.

Just at the beginning of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU, it is worth reading a detailed analysis of the current state of the play concerning security and defense in Europe.

In addition, the authors (Antonio Missiroli, Florence Gaub, Olivier de France and Daniel Fiott) assess “the changes and developments that have occurred in three ‘signature’ countries of the so-called Arab Spring”: Libya, Tunisia and Egypt.

Here below a selected passage from the foreword:

2013 was a remarkable year for the Union’s foreign, security and defence policy. The latter, in particular, concentrated the minds and mobilised the energies of all EU institutional actors in the run-up to the European Council meeting of December focused on ‘defence matters’ (the Documents section of this volume includes the full reproduction of relevant texts). Furthermore, the issue of cybersecurity gained in saliency and even urgency due to both internal policy developments and external political challenges. For its part, EU diplomacy proved its worth by facilitating both a landmark agreement between Belgrade and Pristina (in the spring) and a preliminary deal between the so-called ‘3+3’ and Tehran on Iran’s nuclear programme (in the autumn). Meanwhile, the Union’s neighbourhoods have remained a major source of concern, with growing instability in both the South – including our neighbours’ neighbours, from Mali to Sudan – and the East, where signs of turmoil started to become apparent well before the end of the year. 2014 will mark the conclusion of the post-Lisbon phase of European integration, characterised by the gradual implementation of the new treaty provisions and the establishment of a new institutional ‘system’ for the EU’s foreign and security policy – both carried out at a time of deep economic crisis inside the Union and rapid political change outside”.

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The VII annual Conference of the Italian Standing Group on International Relations (SGRI): Final Programme

The VII annual Conference of the Italian Standing Group on International Relations (SGRI) will be held for the third time in Trento from June 27th to June 28th and will be organized by the Bruno Kessler Foundation‘s Research Center on International Politics and Conflict Resolution (FBK-CERPIC).

This years topic will be: «Security and Cooperation in a Changing International System».

Here you’ll find the final program me of the 2014 Conference

 

Venus in Arms and Stratgroup will organize the panel: “The winter of our consent? Italian foreign and defense policy and the contemporary security challenges”.

Here below the details of the panel:

Chairs: Francesco Moro (University of Milan ‘Bicocca’) and Fabrizio Coticchia  (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna – Pisa)
Discussants:  Francesco Moro (University of Milan ‘Bicocca’)  and Andrea Locatelli  (Catholic University, Milan)

Friday, 27th June, 2014 – Aula Grande

In the post-Cold War era Italy has been one of the most active contributors to international security, constantly providing troops for military operations around the world.Italywas the only major European country to send forces to all major operations that have been undertaken by Western countries in the post-9/11 era (Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Libya). Italian public opinion has regularly supported the “peace operations” undertaken by the Italian armed forces, which have been “used” also to face non-military threats, such as migration, piracy or transnational organized crime.

Despite such relevant contribution, Italy has been constantly overlooked by literature. The panel aims to fill this gap, examining how the Italian foreign and defense policy has faced the new challenges posed by the current financial crisis. The severe defense spending review, the huge cuts in diplomacy and development aid, the reduction of troops deployed abroad and the drop of public opinion support towards military operations abroad could represent the first effects of the crisis.

The panel, through different perspectives, provides empirical material to understand how these dynamics are transforming traditional national security practices

Normative power at work. Assessing EU crisis management operations
Eugenio Cusumano, Baltic Defense College
Francesco Giumelli, University of Groningen

Commercialization of security in Italy
Stefano Ruzza, University of Turin

The Italian Defence Policy after the Cold War. Europeanisation, American Influence, or Strategic Adjustment?
Andrea Locatelli, Catholic University, Milan

A two-level game? The determinants of the Italian military intervention in Libya: strategic culture, international norms and domestic dynamics
Michela Ceccorulli, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and University of Bologna at Forlì
Fabrizio Coticchia, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

The Strategy of a Middle-Power in the Post-Bipolar World
Marco Valigi, University Roma Tre

Transitions in European Security Structures and Doctrine. Towards the Adoption of Cultural Awareness Training for European Battle Group Soldiers
Blaise Nkfunkoh Ndamnsah, University of Ljubljana

 

See you there!!

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