Culture, interests, multidimensional threats, and Italian defence policy

We are pleased to talk about a paper that has been just published on the Italian Review of Political Science. The article, which is part of an interesting Special Issue on Italian foreign policy, focuses on the Italian military post-Cold War dynamism, aiming at assessing the role played  by interests and culture in addressing multidimensional threats to national security.

The paper (Stick to the plan? Culture, interests, multidimensional threats, and Italian defence policy“) is co-authored by (our) Fabrizio Coticchia and Michela Ceccorulli.

Here the link to the paper (gated)

Here below you can find the abstract:

The international context seems to be increasingly exposed to multidimensional and transnational challenges, ranging from irregular migration and piracy to the violation of basic human rights. Rather than excluding a potential role for the military, many European states rely on it to face a complex security scenario. What are the reasons behind this activism? Taking Italy as a case study, this article works out two main arguments (ideational factors and interests relating to the so-called military–industrial complex) and tries to intercept their weight in the national debate leading to the decision to intervene militarily (or not) in Sri Lanka (2004–05), Haiti (2010), and in the Central Mediterranean (2015–). Ultimately, this effort contributes to understanding the role of the military instrument in Italy, a state particularly exposed to the new challenges ahead, and offers tools for research to be potentially applied in other countries that make similar use of armed forces to deal with non-conventional security threats.

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Italy’s military interventions and new security threats

The end of the Cold War represented a turning point for Italian defense. The bipolar constraints vanished and Italy was “allowed” to adopted a more dynamic military approach, sending troops in several operations abroad. The military missions  addressed also multidimensional threats: illegal migration, humanitarian crises, piracy, organized crime, etc..

But what has pushed Italy to intervene specifically through armed forces (instead of using other tools, such as Civil Protection or diplomacy)? Michela Ceccorulli and (our) Fabrizio Coticchia answer the above-mentioned  question through their latest paper, which examines the missions in Somalia, Darfur and Haiti, assessing three different hypotheses.

Here below the abstract:

Recently, Italy has employed the military instrument abroad to deal with new, multidimensional and transnational challenges, ranging from irregular migration and piracy to the violation of basic human rights. What has pushed the country to intervene specifically through armed forces? Through three main arguments (strategic culture, domestic interests and international norms) emerging from the interplay between internal and external dynamics, the paper analyses the national debate in the run-up to the decision to intervene militarily in Darfur (2007–2010), Somalia (2009) and Haiti (2010). In so doing the work hopes to contribute to understanding the role of the military tool in Italy, a country particularly exposed to new challenges ahead.

Here you’ll find additional info on the paper.

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ViA at the Italian Standing Group on International Relations (SGRI)

Venus in Arms will present two papers at the VIII annual Conference of the Italian Standing Group on International Relations (SGRI). The event is a “two-day session that brings together scholars, researchers and PhD students from Italian academia to discuss issues related to global politics, European studies, foreign policy, regional dynamics and international theory“.

The 2015 Conference will be held for the fourth time in Trento from June 26th to June 27th and will be organized by the Bruno Kessler Foundation‘s Research Center on International Politics and Conflict Resolution (FBK-CERPIC).

Here you’ll find the updated programme of the conference, with panels and papers.

Here the details of the venue.

As stated before, ViA will present two papers:

  • Italy’s military intervention to face new security threats: an analysis of the national debate in three intervention cases (Darfur, Somalia and Haiti)“, Fabrizio Coticchia and Michela Ceccorulli. The panel, chaired by Pierangelo Isernia, focuses on “Italian Foreign Policy in Comparative Perspective”.  The session II analyses: “The Italian Foreign policy on Military interventions and Humanitarian aid”
  • Learning from others? Emulation and adjustment in Italian military transformation“, Fabrizio Coticchia and Francesco N Moro. The title of the panel is panel is: “Catch me if you can! European Security and Defence Integration and International Relations”. The Chairs are Lorenzo Cladi and Andrea Locatelli

See you in Trento!

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