Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 92

Why was Giulio Regeni killed? As reported by The Guardian in this article, a month after he was last seen alive, speculation as to why he was targeted remains just that.

Are we preparing the war in Libya? Looking at the decision-making process of some European countries, the answer seems positive…

During electoral debate everyone complaints about “polarization“. However, as stressed by Torben Iversen and David Soskice (here), polarization could be interpreted also as the sign of a healthy democracy.

From politics to “realpolitik“. The War on the Rocks provides a “complex history” of realpolitik, offering a comprehensive literature review of the concept.

Finally, the NYT reveals (here) the U.S. Plans to put advisers on front lines of Nigeria’s War on Boko Haram

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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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“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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