Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 89

It’s the time of primaries in the US. It’s an exciting race, at the current stage, but Stephen Walt argues that the state of the foreign policy debate is rather sad.

In Europe, the prospects for an “ever closer union” are pretty dim these days. The debate on Brexit keeps going, and recent EU “concessions” (contained in a letter written byDonald Task, the EU Council President) do not seem to convince euroskeptics in Britain. Here, a guide to the debate and the next steps.

But tensions between the EU and Member States are not confined to Britain. Even the EU-Italy relations are going through a critical phase. These days, Italian PM Matteo Renzi is strongly criticizing the EU on key issues such as banking regulations and austerity (with the migrants crisis always in the background). This is FT’s Wolfgang Münchau’s take on Italy as a critical node in Europe.

Speaking of Italy, leaders of the anti-ISIS coalition met in Rome on Feb. 2nd to discuss the next moves against the movement. Debate also dealt with Libya, and Italy is a candidate for leading a military coalition there. To do exactly what is still matter of discussion.

Finally, more on the academic side, here is a summary of Thomas Mahnken’s paper on what can small states do in international politics. They might have more cards to play than the poor Melians in the famous episode narrated by Thucydides.






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