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  • Author: Raffaele Marchetti
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: There is a need for a reassessment of the Italian contribution to international affairs. If a more comprehensive and pluralist reading of Italian action at the international level is developed, an image of normative power Italy may emerge. Italian input has been crucial in a number of transnational campaigns that have had significant impact at the international level. The cases of the peace in Mozambique, the International Criminal Court, the Moratorium on the Death Penalty and, more recently, the Ban on Female Genital Mutilation all illustrate Italy's contribution to international affairs, especially the politics of norm change. These cases are all characterised by the presence of intense civil society-government synergy. In order to advance the understanding of the processes and impact of transnational mobilisations, this analysis examines the domestic conditions that facilitated such synergy, intended as key conditions for the empowerment of transnational activism itself.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Italy
  • Author: Lorenzo Mosca
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The enduring economic crisis, austerity measures and corruption scandals have created a favourable environment for the advent of new political actors all over Europe. During the last general elections (February 2013), Italy was shocked by the inexorable rise of the Five Star Movement. Beppe Grillo's creature upset the political system, occupying portions of the public sphere that had been ignored (the web) or gradually abandoned by traditional political parties (the squares). Its unusual campaigning style, its internet-based organisational structure, its atypical political positioning (beyond left and right), and its oversimplification of complex problems all help to explain its electoral performance, and distinguish it from similar anti-establishment parties that have emerged in Europe over the past decade.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Environment
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Piergiorgio Corbetta, Renaldo Vignati
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Italy is one the most europhile countries in the European Union. Nevertheless, as surveys show, over the last few years anti-European sentiments have increasingly surfaced among Italian citizens. Furthermore, there is now an important novelty regarding the relation between Italy and Europe: the Five Star Movement, a new party that expresses a peculiar and contradictory position towards Europe. Its leader, Beppe Grillo, sometimes advocates more, not less, unification, but he also proposes a referendum on Italian membership of the euro. Moreover, Grillo's blog frequently lends its voice to the choir of openly anti-European sentiment. Indeed, Grillo's call for direct democracy is plebiscitarian and his positions contribute to the weakening of a European project that is already facing grave difficulties of its own.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Francesco N. Moro, Fabrizio Coticchia
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Italian armed forces have undergone important transformations since the end of the Cold War. Exogenous changes in the strategic and operational environment have driven a reshaping of armed forces in all NATO countries, but the differences between the national responses that have emerged has not always been thoroughly analysed. Deep restructuring in military doctrine, field experience linked to intense force deployment and budgetary constraints interact in shaping the direction of transformation, sometimes in ways that deviate from classic hypotheses on what drives change in the military. The picture that emerges is a complex one, where relevant innovations co-exist with the persistence of problems that call into question the sustainability of the Italian defence model.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Italy
  • Author: Karim Mezran
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Muslims in Italy are now a consistent, although not new, phenomenon in the social and political panorama of the country. Like other communities, they are in search of an agreement with the state that would allow them to live and prosper within a legal framework that guarantees rights and duties. Unfortunately, attempts at achieving such an agreement have come up against a wall of prejudice and fear from the Italian population, as well as a lack of courage and foresight on the part of Italian state institutions. The problems and difficulties associated with the struggle of Italian Muslims in reaching an intesa are outlined and analytically presented along with a discussion of how integration may lead to the type of pluralism and tolerance enshrined in the Italian constitution.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Italy
  • Author: Giovanni Andornino
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Sino-Italian bilateral relations are eminently economic in their focus, with trade and investments working as the main drivers of engagement. Two distinctive features have marked the economic interaction in recent years: a pattern of asymmetrical competition, and an asynchrony of opportunities in bilateral trade and investment flows. Between 2009 and 2011, however, Sino-Italian relations underwent important changes. Against the background of the global financial crisis, China might become a key source of foreign investments for Italy. In addition, China's efforts to promote domestic demand under the Twelfth Five-Year Plan might create unprecedented opportunities for Italian exports.
  • Topic: Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Italy
  • Author: Jonathan Hopkin
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Italy is firmly in the grip of an austerity programme mandated by the European Union institutions, and executed by an unelected technocrat. This state of affairs is at once the result of the acute and unexpected crisis of the financial and economic integration of the eurozone, and an expression of the failures of the Italian political class. Although the euro crisis has been mishandled by European elites, Italy's long-term economic decline, and the inability of Italian party politicians to generate a sustainable coalition to address Italy's economic problems, hinders an exit from the crisis.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Raffaello Matarazzo, Jacopo Leone
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: More direct involvement in the EU decision-making process has traditionally been an ambition of the Italian parliament. The implementation of the Lisbon Treaty has prompted parliament to maintain tighter scrutiny of the EU legislative process, not only through the use of the new subsidiarity control mechanism, but in particular by exerting a stronger influence on the government on EU affairs. The latter will be the key challenge in the post-Lisbon era. It is too early to say, however, whether this will have a positive or negative impact on the EU's democratic legitimacy.
  • Political Geography: Italy, Lisbon
  • Author: Arturo Varvelli
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Italy and Libya have always enjoyed a special relationship based on reciprocal economic interests. The 2008 Friendship Treaty and the formal apologies for the colonial past have paved the road for more stable cooperation between the two countries in other sectors as well. Libya has started a gradual and prudent reform that, minimising the risks of destabilisation, is meant to attract foreign investments outside of the hydrocarbon sector in an attempt to diversify the economy. As its major political and economic partner, Italy is playing an important role in the Libyan transformation process.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Libya, Italy
  • Author: Francesco Sisci
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Italy's political vision of China has been tainted by prejudice. In past decades, before China's rapid development, it was a positive prejudice. People on the right saw China as a bulwark against the Soviet Union, people on the left viewed it as model of socialism. In recent years, the prejudice has changed in nature. Those on the right, defending Italy's small and medium-sized enterprises beleaguered by Chinese competition, accuse Beijing of unfair trade practices, those on the left, fearing that workers might lose their jobs to China, blame Beijing for exploiting workers. In either case, Italy is not interested in discovering the true reality of China, which remains an exotic mystery. This lack of knowledge is the root of Italy's policy problems with China.
  • Political Geography: China, Shanghai, Beijing, Soviet Union, Italy