Guest Post. Italian Foreign Policy: To Take Arms against a Sea of Troubles?

We’ve already talked about the special issue on Italian foreign policy recently published by the Italian Political Science Review / Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica.

Here below we present two very interesting papers published in the special issue.  We would like to thank the authors for the summary of their papers.

 

  • Italy and the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Playing the two-level game

By Andrea Cofelice*

“The Human Rights Council is built on the same foundations of our Constitution: human rights and international peace, to be sought through dialogue among peoples of different cultures”. This brief excerpt from a speech delivered by the former President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano in 2011, singles out a relevant component of Italy’s foreign policy, namely the promotion of human rights, multilateralism, and the international system governed by the rule of law. This “national role conception”, which is constantly reaffirmed by Italian highest-level political representatives and diplomats in multilateral contexts, does not denote a legitimization of an intransigent pacifism, but rather epitomizes a concrete political choice dictated by the realism suited to a middle-sized power, indicating the community of nations as the frame of reference for Italy’s place in the world.

Due to the relevance of human rights and multilateralism for Italy’s foreign policy, this article aims to assess Italy’s actual behaviour in the framework of the United Nations Human Rights Council, that is the main multilateral forum dealing with human rights at the global level. The focus, in particular, is on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), i.e. a peer review mechanism launched in 2008, through which all UN member states can make recommendations to each other regarding human rights practices. Since it represents a new global approach in the promotion of human rights, how it performs and how credibly its work is viewed will considerably impact on the perceptions of the Human Rights Council more broadly.

Drawing on role theory, liberal and constructivist institutionalism, and the two-level game approach, the analysis reveals that Italian decision-makers played parallel games at the domestic and international tables of the UPR, and managed to adapt country’s human rights foreign policy goals according to the different social contexts where they operated. Indeed, while in the review phase in Geneva, Italy sought legitimacy for both its policies and its status as an international ‘human rights friendly’ actor, at domestic level a policy of inactivity was chosen, in order to minimize the impact of the most costly UPR recommendations, and protect the dynamics of domestic politics. These findings concur to convey the idea that, in its foreign policy, Italy tends to adopt an instrumental approach towards human rights promotion in order to gain international reputation.

 

  • Italy and the Fiscal Compact: Why does a country commit to permanent austerity?

By Manuela Moschella**

The paper sheds light on the factors that led the Italian government to accede to the Fiscal Compact – an international Treaty whose implementation is, at least, problematic for a country with high debt and low growth as Italy is. Specifically, the paper investigates Italian policymakers’ preferences during the negotiations.

Based on a systematic examination of the public pronouncements of the key government officials that led the Italian negotiating team, the article found only limited support for the propositions according to which the government used the Fiscal Compact to led a dysfunctional political system to adopt sound macroeconomic policies. Likewise, the analysis does not support the conclusion that the Italian government supported the Compact out of a profound belief about the benefits of the enhanced fiscal discipline that the Treaty stipulates. Government members did not reject the principle of fiscal discipline as a good practice to be followed. However, they were not significantly persuaded that this was the best strategy to follow in the period under investigation. In short, the analysis thus not lend support to the basic propositions that underpin the logic of the ‘external constraint’ as articulated in most of the scholarship that examined the Italian stance in the negotiations for the Maastricht Treaty.

If the logic of the ‘external constraint’ is not substantially supported by the documentary evidence, the logic of punishment was key in inducing the government to support the Treaty. In particular, Italian government officials were deeply convinced that the country was in no position to articulate a serious criticism to the edifice of the Treaty because doing otherwise would have led to adverse market reaction. Interestingly, this conclusion was reinforced by the fact that, at the time the Fiscal Compact was negotiated, the Eurozone had still not developed its crisis management framework. Such an institutional gap in the EMU governance exposed Italy to the risk of entering into a financial crisis without a serious insurance from other Eurozone members. Furthermore, the fact that the Fiscal Compact was embedded in a larger set of fiscal rules that would remain in place, even if the Treaty were to be rejected, contributed weakening opposition to the new provisions.

In addition to the institutional set up, the documentary evidence reveals that the weight attributed to market instability was amplified by the pro-European attitude of key government officials. Specifically, the strong pro-European orientations of Monti and Moavero contributed to the conclusion that Italy had to remain at the negotiating table – its costs notwithstanding.

 

Here you’ll find the link to the whole Special Issue.

 

We would like to thank again the authors.

*ANDREA COFELICE Centre for Studies on Federalism, Turin.

** MANUELA MOSCHELLA Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa-Florence.

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Italian Foreign and Defense Policy at the Time of the ‘Bulldozer’

We are pleased to invite you at the panel we have organized at the next SGRI Conference.

The IX annual Conference of the Italian Standing Group on International Relations 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 2016 Conference will be held for the fifth time in Trento from June 23rd to June 25th and will be organized by the Bruno Kessler Foundation‘s Research Center on International Politics and Conflict Resolution (FBK-CERPIC).

Our panel focuses on “Italian Foreign and Defense Policy at the Time of the ‘Bulldozer’”. Since becoming prime minister in February 2014, Matteo Renzi has promoted a change of pace to the controversial debates over policy reforms in Italy. While the literature has devoted significant attention to the transformation occurred in the domestic context, few analyses have focused on the evolution of Italian foreign and defense policy in historical and comparative perspective. The panel aims at filling this gap, collecting different perspectives on diplomacy, security, foreign policy analysis, international and European politics. Finally, the supposed continuity or discontinuity of the Renzi’s foreign and defense policy will be assessed.

Here below the papers we will discuss:
1. Anna Caffarena and Giuseppe Gabusi (University of Turin), Making sense of a changing world: foreign policy ideas and Italy’s national role conceptions after 9/11

In a rapidly changing world, middle powers with no obvious place on the global scene have the difficult task to read the international environment in order to formulate and implement a coherent and possibly effective foreign policy. In order to do so, decision makers either reproduce old ideas or develop new ones. Considering the ideas put forward in their inaugural speeches by Prime Ministers and Foreign Affairs Ministers in office after 2001, the authors suggest that Italy’s institutional actors appear to be aware of the changes occurred in the international system after 1989, and in particular after 9/11. The National Role Conceptions sustaining Italy’s present foreign policy goals reflect such awareness, being quite different with respect to the picture offered by Holsti in his seminal work published in 1970. Ideas expressing foreign policy goals are also reasonably well grounded either in ideas on how the world works or in operational ideas, yet the country’s foreign policy appears feebly focused, even though focus is explicitly very much sought for. Some explanations for such a lack of focus which makes Italy’s foreign policy design rather ineffective are offered.

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2. Antonio Calcara (LUISS School of Government – Rome), Italy’s defence policy in the European context: the case of the European Defence Agency

The European Defence Agency (EDA), thanks to the adoption of a large number of strategic documents and reports, its expertise in the formulation of projects and data collection, has been able to spread an homogeneous discourse on the necessity of a common European defence approach. The EDA is pushing for a progressive “europeanization” of the defence field through pooling and sharing of resources, liberalisation of the defence market, europeanization of military standards and support to dual civilian-military research.
Italy has always had a pro-integration stance on defence matters and it presents the EU as the political and functional framework in which the Italian defence policy will develop – both at the strategic and at the procurement level – in order to rationalise the defence spending. However, going into detail, Italy’s engagement with EDA seems to be more nuanced, especially in the preservation of national sovereignty in some particular technological areas and, in general, has resulted in an ambiguos position between a pro-NATO’s view (and the related “Smart Defence” initiative) and a pro-european “Pooling and Sharing” process, under the EDA’s framework.
While academic literature has devoted significant attention to the transformations occurred in the domestic context, few analyses have focused on the evolution of Italian defence policy in the context of the European institutional framework.
This study is aimed to answer to the following questions: What is the relationship between Italy and the EDA? What is the role of Italy in the EDA? Do the collaborative activities promoted by the Agency have altered the Italian defense policy, especially concerning the new White Paper on International Security and Defence? Can we consider Italy as a “policy entrepreneur” in European defence matters or, beyond declaratory level, it continues to maintain a strong “national” approach?

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3. Fabrizio Coticchia (University of Genoa) and Jason W. Davidson (University of Mary Washington), Explaining Renzi’s Foreign Policy: The International Effects of Domestic Reforms
Since becoming Italy’s Prime Minister in February 2014 Matteo Renzi has attracted a lot of attention for his domestic political reforms. Journalists and scholars have focused far less interest on Renzi’s foreign policy, however. This lack of attention is striking given some of the Renzi government’s actions on the international stage. For example, Italy has refused to participate in air strikes against ISIL in Iraq and has favored accommodation with Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Based on primary (interviews, official documents) and secondary sources, this paper attempts to explain the Renzi government’s foreign policy.
First, because Renzi is focused on domestic reform, foreign policy is an afterthought. Renzi’s government has avoided costly policies (e.g., air strikes, peace-enforcement mission in Libya, etc.) because they would undercut his economic plans. Second, because Renzi’s domestic reforms anger many on the left, he has chosen a foreign policy that appeals to–or at least does not create further problems with–the left (e.g., vocally asking for anti-austerity measures in the EU during the semester of Italian presidency). Finally, Renzi, who lacks foreign policy experience, centralized decision-making regarding international relations.

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4. Mirco Elena (USPID), Implications of different energy strategies on national security and on international relations

Several factors have to be considered while developing a national energy strategy: amount and cost of resources in the medium and long term, need to import primary energy, number and reliability of suppliers, suitability for the productive sector, vulnerability to uncontrollable external events, resilience of the supply chain in case of conflict, … Many of these elements have important implications from the point of view of a nation’s international relations.
Traditionally, energy production has favoured big, centralized infrastructures. If these are advantageous in terms of, e.g., power plant efficiency, there are also negative consequences which can make a nation much more vulnerable in case of war.
Modern technological developments in the energy field have major implications also with regard to national security and this fact should receive more attention from government authorities.

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5. Matteo Faini (University of Venice Ca’ Foscari)
For democratic countries, intelligence agencies are a threat and a necessity. They often provide vital information for national security, but they can also engage in unauthorized activities, like attempting or threatening to remove their own government, i.e. subversion.
I develop and test a typological theory of the relationship between intelligence agencies and policy-makers in democratic countries. I answer two questions: how can intelligence agencies be controlled? When will intelligence agencies engage in subversion?
Intelligence agencies will differ depending on who their main enemies are. An agency will be political if it has a strong domestic subversive movement as one of its main enemies. These agencies will not be politically neutral and the divide between foreign and domestic intelligence will be blurred. Because of these characteristics, it will be harder for policymakers to control them. They will engage in subversion when they perceive their own government as insufficiently dedicated to the anti-subversive fight and when an upcoming close election or divisions among the agency’s principals give them an opportunity to install a stronger government. Ironically, an agency that is designed to fight against subversion will be more inclined to subvert itself. Instead, if an agency does not have a strong subversive movement as one of its main enemies, it can afford to be non-political: politically neutral and with a sharp divide between foreign and domestic intelligence. Non-political agencies will be strongly controlled by policymakers and will not engage in subversion.
I test this theory on two case studies: British intelligence from 1909 to 1924 and Italian military intelligence from 1943 onward. I find that intelligence agencies shift from being non-political to being political when a strong subversive movement is included among their main enemies. Political intelligence agencies have attempted to remove governments even in rich democracies normally considered immune from coups-like phenomena, like the UK in 1920 and 1924.
I then draw implications for policymakers, focusing on the present-day Italian intelligence community. I argue that the current trend towards a non-political intelligence community is at risk of being reversed, under pressure from politically aligned appointments and the rise of political parties that can be construed as subversive.

The discussant will be J.P. Darnis (IAI – University of Nice)

Here additional details on the panel.

Here you’ll find all the panels at the SGRI Conference.

See you soon in Trento.

 

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Call for papers at SGRI2016: “Italian Foreign and Defense Policy at the Time of the ‘Bulldozer’”

We have organized a panel at the next SGRI (Italian Standing Group on International Relations) Annual Conference (which will be held at the FBK, Trento, June 23-25).

Here you’ll find additional details on the conference, which 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”.

Here all the panels on “Exploring Foreign and Security Policy in International Relations

Here below the structure of the panel we have organized:

Italian Foreign and Defense Policy at the Time of the ‘Bulldozer’
Chairs: Fabrizio Coticchia (University of Genoa) and Francesco N Moro (University of Milan – Bicocca)

Discussants: Jean-Pierre Darnis (Istituto Affari Internazionali – Rome and University of Nice)

Date: TBD
Room: TBD

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Since becoming prime minister in February 2014, Matteo Renzi has promoted a change of pace to the controversial debates over policy reforms in Italy. While the literature has devoted significant attention to the transformation occurred in the domestic context, few analyses have focused on the evolution of Italian foreign and defense policy in historical and comparative perspective. The panel aims at filling this gap, collecting different perspectives on diplomacy, security, foreign policy analysis, international and European politics. Finally, the supposed continuity or discontinuity of the Renzi’s foreign and defense policy will be assessed.

 

So, we are waiting for your papers (please send the abstract to fcoticchia@consules.org)

For further information about the 2016 SGRI Conference: sgri@fbk.eu

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ViA at the SISP Annual Conference

 

Venus in Arms comes back to work after summer break. ViA will be at the SISP (Italian Political Science Association) Annual Conference. As illustrated in a previous post, the SISP Meeting will be held in Perugia at end of the next week (11-13 September).

The conference is organized by the Department of Political Science of the University of Perugia and the Department of Human and Social Sciences of the University for Foreigners of Perugia. The conference venue will be the Department of Political Science, University of Perugia, Via Pascoli, 20 – 06123 Perugia.

Here you’ll find the final programme of the conference. The abstracts of papers, panels and sections are here.

Venus in Arms will be present in four panels, focusing on intelligence, foreign policy analysis and Italian defense.

We will discuss the relationship between intelligence and national interest in a globalized world. We also present a paper on the historical evolution of Italian defense, stressing main innovations and obstacles. Finally, a co-authored work (with Michela Ceccorulli) will assess different interpretations of the Italian military engagement in Libya.

See you there

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Conferences, Seminars, Workshops: Venus in Arms on Tour (June 2014)

June has been a very busy month for Venus in Arms. In fact, we have presented our research at several academic conferences/public workshops around Italy and Europe (while watching almost all the matches of the 2014 World Cup)

Here below you’ll find a very brief list of the main issues we faced in our papers.

1) White Paper 2014

Venus has provided its contribution to the current preliminary debate regarding the forthcoming White Paper 2014. After a two-days meeting with practitioners, “experts” and academics, the Ministry of Defense has collected several policy papers full of (general) suggestions and recommendations on the White Paper. Here the link to the document.

2) The Italian Left and Foreign Policy

ViA has presented the paper “The Irrelevance of Radical Parties in Coalition Foreign Policy: Italy and the Extremity Hypothesis”, (with Jason Davidson), at the conference “The Italian Left and Foreign Policy” (Cambridge, 9th June 2014). The next Italian presidency of the EU and the recent political success of Renzi have been the issues at the stake.

In our paper we’vefocused on Italy’s post-Cold War center-left governments and decisions on military operations. Scholarly consensus suggests that coalition governments produce more polarized foreign policies than single party governments. This, the literature argues, is especially likely when coalition governments include radical parties that take extreme positions on foreign policy issues and are “critical” to the government’s survival as the radical parties push the centrist ones toward the extremes. The case of Italy provides an important counterpoint to the polarization hypothesis. In all cases we’ve analysed (Albania 1997, Kosovo 1999, and Afghanistan 2007), the parties took a position against military operations but did not prevent the government from engaging in/extending operations by threatening survival or forcing the government’s fall. What are the possible explanations of the irrelevance of leftist radical parties in Italy?

A) Radical parties are reluctant to threaten/force government collapse as this can lead to a center right coalition coming to office and voters’ blame for the outcome;

B) Relative salience has been critical: foreign policy has been less important to radical parties than domestic issues and it has been more important to center-left parties than radical ones;

C) Radical parties have appealed to their voters through theatrical politics (e.g., attending protests) and have affected the implementation of military operations.

Here you’ll find a link to the presentation.

3) The transformation of Italian Armed Forces

We have been at the conference: “The Crisis in EU and US” (Pisa, 12-14 June 2014). Venus in Arms has presented its ongoing research on Italian and European military transformation.

We have discussed the paper: “The Redesigning of Italian Armed Forces in a Time of Crisis”, focusing on the co-evolution of budget and doctrine in the post-2001 Italian defense policy. We have illustrated the preliminary findings of our research. All the results will be collected in the forthcoming: “Adapt, Improvise, Overcome? The Transformation of Italian Armed Forces in Comparative Perspective”, Ashgate.

4) Technological innovation and demographic trends

ViA participated at the SGRI VII Annual Conference in Trento (26-28 June 2014). We’ve presented a paper on the growing importance of technology in international politics, focusing on innovation, relevant actors in R&D process, military equipments.

The paper (“Diffusion or concentration? The geography of technological innovation”) was part of a broader research agenda on demography and security. A very interesting panel has hosted several contributions on such topic.

What will be the world’s demographic outlook in 2035? What factors will shape it and with what consequences? The world’s population is expected to reach more than 8.7 billion by 2035, but this growth will be unbalanced with diverse regional trends and impacts. Demographic factors – fertility rates, life expectations, migration, population age and composition – do not develop in isolation, but interact with other trends in the economic, technological, environmental, health, energy and political domains to shape complex evolutionary scenarios. The panel has hosted papers looking at the demographic trends and their relationship with trends in the aforementioned areas, to provide a forecast of how they will interact by 2035.

5) The determinants of the Italian military intervention in Libya

Venus discussed another paper at the SGRI Conference: “A two-level game? The determinants of the Italian military intervention in Libya: strategic culture, international norms and domestic dynamics” (with Michela Ceccorulli). We’ve illustrated the preliminary research on the ways through which Italy adopts military tools in order to face non-military threats (PRIN project: The Italian Foreign Policy in front of the new challenges of the international system: actors, institutions and policies”).

The paper focuses on the 2011 naval operation in Libya, which is a paradigmatic case regarding the growing interaction of new security challenges: region instability, transnational organized crime, and illegal immigration. Why has Italy employed the military instrument to face transnational and non-military threats? The paper looks at the political debate over the decision-making process, assessing three possible determinants for decisions: strategic culture, international norms and domestic dynamics.

So, a very busy month.  After the (deserved) summer break we will be also at the SISP Annual Conference (Perugia 11-13 September). See you there.

 

 

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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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“The Italian Left and Foreign Policy”: Conference Programme

As already illustrated in a previous post (here), the conference “The Italian Left and Foreign Policy” will be held in Cambridge (UK) on 9th June 2014.

Here you’ll find the (very promising) the conference programme

Venus in Arms will be at the conference, participating at the SESSION III – PANEL VI (The post-Cold War: A Post-ideological Left for a Post- Foreign Policy?) with the paper: ‘The Irrelevance of Radical Parties in Coalition Foreign Policy: Italy and the Polarization Hypothesis’ (Jason Davidson – Mary Washington & Fabrizio Coticchia – Sant’Anna, Pisa).

Here below the abstract

Scholarly consensus increasingly suggests that coalition governments produce more polarized foreign policies than single party governments. This, the literature argues, is especially likely when coalition governments include radical parties that take extreme positions on foreign policy issues and are “critical” to the government’s survival as the radical parties push the centrist ones toward the extremes. A look at Italy’s post-Cold War center-left governments and decisions on military operations provides an important counterpoint to the polarization hypothesis. In three high profile cases of military operations–Albania 1997, Kosovo 1999, and Afghanistan 2007–Italy had a center-left government that depended on radical parties for its survival. In all cases the parties took a position against military operations but did not prevent the government from engaging in/extending operations by threatening survival or forcing the government’s fall. Our paper seeks to explain the irrelevance of leftist radical parties in Italy in the post-Cold War period. We argue first that radical parties are reluctant to threaten/force government collapse as this can lead to a center right coalition coming to office and voters’ blame for the outcome. Second, we argue that relative salience has been critical: foreign policy has been less important to radical parties than domestic issues and it has been more important to center-left parties than radical ones. Finally, we argue that radical parties have appealed to their voters through theatrical politics (e.g., attending protests) and have affected the implementation of military operations.

See you there

 

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Call for Papers: The VII SGRI Conference

The 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”.The conference is a two-day session that brings together scholars, researchers and PhD students from Italian academia to discuss issues related to global politics, international security, foreign policy, international political economy and international theory.

The keynote speakers will be Louise Fawcett, Stefano Recchia and Pascal Vennesson 

Here you’ll find the panels

Venus in Arms designed within the Stratgroup the panel: “The winter of our consent? Italian foreign and defense policy and the contemporary security challenges

Here below the abstract:

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

 

People interested in presenting a paper at the 2014 SGRI Conference should select a panel and send a short abstract to sgri2014@fbk.eu by May 13, 2014.

The deadline for paper submission is June 13, 2014. By that date, paper presenters should email their manuscript to sgri2014@fbk.eu. The papers will then be forwarded to Chairs and Discussants before the Conference

Here the Call for Papers

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“The Italian Left and Foreign Policy” (Cambridge, 9th June 2014)

A conference on “The Italian Left and Foreign Policy” will be held in Cambridge (UK) on 9th June 2014. The interdisciplinary approach will be the main feature of the event that aims at bringing together established academics and young scholars from different fields (History, IR, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Political Science, Economics, etc.) in order to discuss the relationship between Italian left and foreign policy. The upcoming Italy’s European Semester Presidency Italian is a scenario that requires a detailed analysis of the transformations occurred to Italian parties and policies.

Among the topics on the agenda:

  • The Italian Left between Americanism and Anti-americanism: historical and contemporary perspectives
  • Internationalism and a national way: the Italian Left faces the world
  • European priorities of the Italian Left: change or continuity?
  • The Italian Left, foreign policy and the use of force
  • Exit geopolitics? Strategic priorities in and beyond the three circles
  • The Italian Left, civil society and foreign policy
  •  Proposals for a ‘progressive’ reform of the foreign policy machinery
  • Foreign policy and the politics of the Italian Left: bridge over troubled waters
  • The Italian Left and Foreign Policy in a Comparative perspective: insights from European cases.

Venus in Arms aims at attending the conference with a paper on Italian radical parties and defense policy in the post-Cold War era. An attempt to test (or better, to confute) the “polarization hypothesis” in the Italian case. For a look at previous ViA works on similar issues check out here (gated)

Unfortunately the deadline of the call for papers is already expired. But the event is extremely interesting, thus we suggest a brief tour to Cambridge.

The conference is organised by Elisabetta Brighi, Lilia Giugni, and Marta Musso, in cooperation with the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge, the Association for the Study of Modern Italy (ASMI) and the Cambridge Italian Research Network (CIRN).

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XVIII Annual Conference of the Italian Political Science Association (SISP)

The annual meeting of the Italian Political Science Association (SISP) will be held in Perugia (11-13 September 2014). As stated by the official website: “The SISP Annual Meeting offers the opportunity to explore and discuss core issues, new theoretical and methodological perspectives and recent research results in political science

The conference is organized by the Department of Political Science of the University of Perugia and the Department of Human and Social Sciences of the University for Foreigners of Perugia.

Here you’ll find details on the full program.

The deadline for paper proposals is May 15, 2014.

The IR section, chaired by Emidio Diodato and Daniela Irrera, comprises several fascinating panels and a roundtable on Kenneth Waltz. Venus in Arms devotes a specific attention to the panels that focus on the following issues: intelligence and national interest, Italian foreign policy, rethinking strategy (a panel promoted by the Stratgroup, which collects Italian scholars working on security issues). A whole section focusing on Turkey is one of the main innovations of the conference.

You’ll find Venus in Arms at the panel 8.7 of the section: “Organized crime: Divergence and convergence in criminal organizations around the world”. As illustrated in the abstract:

This panel aims at exploring the varieties of organizational arrangements in illegal markets around the world, welcoming contributions on the determinants of the industrial organization of groups, comparative analyses on the internal governance of criminal organizations in relation with recruitment policies, division of labor, leadership turnover, resource management and redistribution. Additionally, contributions on the governance of illegal markets, and, in particular, on the institutionalization of cooperative mechanisms among different criminal groups both at national and transnational level will be welcome”.

If you have requests or want to send a proposal, you can write to Francesco Moro and Salvatore Sberna.

We hope to see you in Perugia!

 

 

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