Sisp Conference 2018. Call for papers (Italian military operations, Sahel, North Africa, defense, Europe, stabilisation…)

Several interesting panels at the next SISP (Società Italiana di Scienza Politica) Annual Conference (Torino, 6-8 September 2018).

Here you’ll find the call for papers. Deadline: May, 20th.

Within the section of “International Relations”, we are pleased to focus on the “Venus panels”. Indeed, “our” Francesco Moro and Fabrizio Coticchia are the chairs of the following 3 panels:

Panel 8.5 Assisting them at their home? Italian and European Security Policies in Sahel and North Africa

 Chair: Fabrizio Coticchia and Luca Raineri

In January 2018 Italy’s parliament approved an increased military presence in Libya and the deployment of troops in Niger and Tunisia. As stated by the Italian government, the goals of the missions were to “guarantee stability in the area”, providing security assistance and capacity building. Officially, Italy aims to support African countries mainly to “fight illegal trafficking of migrants and terrorism”. In line with the last White Paper (2015), Italian Defense started to focus on the “Enlarged Mediterranean” as a key-strategic area, relocating troops from Afghanistan and Iraq to Sahel and Northern Africa. At the same time, several diplomatic and development initiatives have been planned in the region. Also, the EU and European countries (such as France) have been extremely active in Sahel and Northern Africa, with manifold political and military efforts. By combining different methodological approaches, as well as junior and senior scholars from different fields (IR, security studies, defense and foreign policy, area experts), the panel aims to investigate the patterns of (political and military) involvement of Italy, the EU and other European countries in the region. A comparative perspective and a multi-scalar focus would allow analyzing variations across national and multilateral approaches, but also reconfigurations at local level. The panel would like to collect papers that provide new evidence on the ways through which Italy, the EU, and other European countries have addressed the “instability at the Southern borders”, especially concerning:

  • The main traits, problems, consequences, and opportunities in security-assistance approaches in the region;
  • A critical perspective on the securitization of, and responses to, “failed states”, including capacity-building, state-building and stabilization;
  • The strategic shift of the Italian foreign policy towards Sahel and Northern Africa;
  • The coordination, cooperation, and conflicts between European countries, both at EU level as well as on the ground;
  • The security-development-migration nexus in the region
  • The decision-making processes that have led to the deployment of troops;
  • Different approaches and tensions in “the fight against illegal migration and terrorism”;
  • The reconfiguration of local governance in the framework of influence competition and changing priorities of foreign assistance;
  • The ambiguous status of informal networks and non-state actors in the framework of security-assistance.

Panel 8.7  – Change and continuity in European states’ defence policies

Chairs: Fabrizio Coticchia, Andrea Locatelli, Francesco Moro

European states are usually blamed for their reluctance to invest in defence policy. This is witnessed in particular by the mere lack of resources devoted to military assets, as well as the limited weight of defence issues in public debates. However, most – if not all – European states have transformed their defences since the end of the Cold War. Moreover, European armed forces have been deployed in complex military operations abroad, modifying doctrines and tactics on the ground. Reforms have been undertaken across the continent to adapt to the contemporary security context. Examples of this include the demise of the draft, collaborative procurement, multinational exercises and other initiatives. On top of that, since the launch of the European Defence Agency, the European Union has progressively – although erratically – gathered momentum as a catalyst for further cooperation. Also NATO has played a relevant role in shaping the military transformation in Europe.

Starting from these premises, the aim of the panel is to investigate on the defence policies of European states from a comparative perspective. As a result, essays are welcome that cover one or more of these topics:

–      Empirical analyses of the defence policy of one or more European states.

  • Theoretical accounts of the evolution of one or more case studies.
  • In-depth analyses of individual defence policy initiatives and military innovation.
  • Theoretical and/or empirical investigations of the influence of the EU on one or more European States.
  • Theoretical and/or empirical investigations of the influence of NATO on one or more European States.

Panel 8.15 Stabilisation: a new framework for managing (in)security?

Chairs: Irene Costantini and Francesco N. Moro

Over the last decade, the international community has increasingly resorted to stabilisation missions as a new practice to engage in conflict-affected countries. Whether it is under a UN mandate or part of an ad-hoc coalition, stabilisation efforts are ongoing in countries such as Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq and Libya. Although their implementation remains vague and confused, at the core of stabilisation there is the notion of civil and military actions aimed at mitigating crises and creating resilient societies capable of withstanding shocks. As such, stabilisation has moved away from previously dominant frameworks of intervention in conflict-affected countries, such as peacebuilding and statebuilding. Indeed, stabilisation emerged in response to the failure of previous interventions (notably, Iraq and Afghanistan) and the doubts concerning the viability and possibility of building effective states in conflict-affected and fragile countries. The panel investigates what stabilisation is and how it is working as a framework for international action in conflict-affected countries. It questions international actors’ convergent and divergent notions of stability and their operationalization through time and space. By inviting quantitative and qualitative analyses of diverse case studies, the panel aims at unravelling the components and underlying assumptions of stabilisation as well as at scrutinizing similarities and differences between cases. Furthermore, it seeks to explore whether stabilisation is based upon a novel interpretation of insecurity and whether it proposes new ways of governing it.

 

Send your papers through MySisp.

See you soon in Torino.

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Low Expectations? Stabilization and stability operations as the ‘new normal’ in international interventions

We are pleased to present the workshop “Low Expectations? Stabilization and stability operations as the ‘new normal’ in international interventions”. This terrific workshop will take place at the University of Trento, in February (2nd-3rd, Department of Sociology and Social Research).

Here you’ll find all the details.

Here below additional info on the event and the programme.

The notion of “stability” and the practice of “stability operations” experienced a resurgence in the last decade. The United Nations, with operations in Haiti, in the Central African Republic, in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Mali has re-framed the lexicon and practice of its interventions in this direction. NATO has been similarly focusing on “projecting stability” as one of the cornerstones to guarantee the Alliance’s security.
The reasons for such re-framing are diverse. The lengthy, costly and casualty-heavy wars in Afghanistan and Iraq inevitably led to intervention fatigue. In the last decade or so, either interventions in conflict-ridden countries did not take place (as in Syria) or were based on minimal footprint (as in Libya), at least compared to the previous large-scale operations with ambitious social, economic and political engineering goals. In this evolving context, the conceptual and operational parameters of these stabilization interventions are still opaque.
This workshop aims at dissecting how these “new” practices emerged and are unfolding, how they have been analysed in the academic literature, what are their sub-components (e.g. what role civil-military relations or intelligence play in these operations), and how they are linked to the broader security and development discourse.

Program

Day 1, Friday, February 2nd

13:00 pm Light Lunch
2:00 pm Roberto Belloni (University of Trento) & Francesco N. Moro (University of Bologna)
Introduction to the Workshop
2:15 pm Stefano Costalli (University of Florence) & Francesco N. Moro (University of Bologna)
Promoting democracy or averting war? Regime transitions, international interventions, and political instability
3:15 pm Jana Krause (University of Amsterdam)
Communal violence in the shadow of civil war: Implications for Stabilization and Protection
4:15 pm Coffee break
4:30 pm Marina Henke (Northwestern University, USA)
Why do UN peacekeepers die?
5:30 pm John Karlsrud (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Oslo)
Getting the Right Tool for the Wrong Reasons? Examining United Nations Stability Operations
6:30 pm End of Day 1
8:00 pm Social dinner

Day 2, Saturday, February 3rd

9:00 am Mats Berdal (King’s College, London)
NATO’s Attempt at Stabilisation in Afghanistan, 2003-2014: Issues and Lessons
10:00 am Luca Raineri (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa) & Francesco Strazzari (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa & Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Oslo)
Hybrid orders and stabilisation efforts in the Sahelo-Saharan space
11:00 am Coffee break
11:15 am Roberto Belloni (Trento) & Irene Costantini (“L’Orientale” University of Napoli)
Iraq 2003-2017: changing approaches to stability
12:15 pm Discussion on future prospects
1:00 pm Light lunch
2:00 pm Tavola Rotonda – Roundtable (in Italian):
Lo studio della pace e della guerra in Italia e nell’Unione Europea – The study of peace and war in Italy and in the European Union

Participants:

  • Valentina Bartolucci (Agency for Peacebuilding, Bologna)
  • Roberto Belloni (University of Trento)
  • Vincenzo Bove (University of Warwick)
  • Stefano Costalli (University of Florence)
  • Irene Costantini (”L’Orientale” University of Napoli)
  • Fabrizio Coticchia (University of Genova)
  • Sara De Simone (University of Trento)
  • Bernardo Monzani (Agency for Peacebuilding, Bologna)
  • Francesco N. Moro (University of Bologna)
  • Francesco Strazzari (SSSUP, Pisa & Oslo)

Convenors:

  • Roberto Belloni, University of Trento
  • Francesco N. Moro, University of Bologna

 

See you in Trento.

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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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“Guerra, Pace e Sicurezza alle Porte del Mediterraneo” (2017)

Anche quest’anno il Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche (DISPO) dell’Università di Genova organizza il ciclo di seminari. “Guerra, Pace e Sicurezza alle Porte del Mediterraneo”, che si pone lo scopo di approfondire i temi relativi all’evoluzione della sicurezza internazionale attraverso una serie di workshop e convegni con accademici, politici, giornalisti, esperti e practitioner del settore.

Tali eventi, direttamente collegati ai corsi “Guerre, Conflitti e Costruzione della Pace” di Andrea Catanzaro e del nostro Fabrizio Coticchia, e del corso di Relazioni Internazionali di Giampiero Cama, sono aperti a tutti gli studenti.

Qui i tre seminari organizzati per Marzo e Aprile.

Il seminario esamina il complesso processo di integrazione del mercato europeo della difesa alla luce dei più recenti eventi (“Brexit”, EU Global Strategy, European Defence Action Plan, elezione del Presidente Trump) e le sue possibili implicazioni politiche e istituzionali. Alla fine del seminario saranno brevemente presentate le attività di stage proposte dallo IAI – Istituto Affari Internazionali di Roma.

Il workshop ha l’obiettivo di esaminare l’evoluzione del rapporto tra ricerca scientifica, informazione e movimenti nell’ambito degli studi sulla pace e la sicurezza in Italia. Il recente rapporto di “Osservatorio Mil€x” sulle spese militari in Italia rappresenta una interessante occasione per affrontare i temi della difesa e della sicurezza dal punto di vista “empirico”. Appare sempre più opportuno, infatti, interrogarsi sullo stato della “peace research” in Italia, per comprenderne le cause del lento affermarsi nella penisola e le caratteristiche dei più recenti sviluppi.

Il workshop ha l’obiettivo di esaminare l’arco di instabilità che caratterizza la sponda meridionale del Mediteranno, con particolare riferimento alla Libia e al Sahel. L’obiettivo sarà quello di illustrare la recente evoluzione dei conflitti locali, il ruolo di organizzazioni criminali e terroristiche, e la complessa relazione tra gli stati dell’area ed i paesi europei in rapporto ai temi della sicurezza. Il workshop cerca di esaminare in modo approfondito tali argomenti grazie alla vasta conoscenza in materia degli autori, i quali da anni svolgono ricerca sul campo.

Ci vediamo a Genova (ci saranno delle grosse novità per il secondo anno del workshop su “Conflicts&Institutions di Giugno…stay tuned)

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