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  • Author: Niklas Helwig, Carolin Rüger
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: When Catherine Ashton took up office as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR), she met with high expectations - and much disappointment. As the first incumbent of the remodelled position, she had the chance to leave a legacy for her successor, but faced an unclear job description. What was the HR's role in EU foreign policy? It is argued that the HR acted as a diplomat and manager of EU external action, while her role performance in co-leadership and brokering were less successful. Role expectations and performance entered a fragile equilibrium at the end of Ashton's tenure. However, the future role of the HR might shift more towards a co-leader of EU foreign policy.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nicolo Sartori
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The unconventional oil and gas revolution is certainly a game changer in the current international political setting, since it will bring the United States close to energy self-sufficiency. However, it seems unlikely that this new energy status will dramatically redefine US foreign policy and security priorities. In strategic regions such as the Middle East, US interests are expected to remain unchanged, while the new energy status will contribute only in part to modifying the US approach towards the EU's energy posture vis-à-vis Russia. What the new American energy condition is likely to change are the tools and policy options available to Washington to cope with the strategic challenges - China's power in primis - emerging in the multipolar international relations system.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Washington
  • Author: Timo Behr
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The rise of political Islam in the EU's southern neighbourhood represents a political as well as conceptual challenge to the EU as a foreign policy actor. In the past, the EU reacted to this challenge based on its essentialist perception of political Islam and its overarching interest in regional stability and security. However, the growing salience of 'contingencist' interpretations of political Islam and the resolution of the EU's democratisation-stabilisation dilemma in the wake of the Arab Spring have recently provided an opportunity for greater engagement and cooperation. This has enabled a switch in EU policies from a strategy of containment to a strategy of engagement. Despite this, problems remain as the EU continues to expect Islamist actors to adjust to its own discursive framework and as intra-European divisions revive as a result of the renewal of secular-religious divisions in the neighbourhood. This will complicate EU attempts to build a new partnership with Islamist democracies and will fuel old stereotypes and animosities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Tom Farer
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The only means available to the US to assume a responsibility to protect the Syrian people from slaughter was by credibly threatening Bashar al-Assad and the security and military elite surrounding him with a decapitating air strike if they did not immediately cease murdering protestors and begin negotiations with opposition figures to the end of making the regime broadly representative of the Syrian population. Credibility probably demanded an initial decimation, a technically possible move. In part because the US lacks the ideology and institutional structure of a real imperial power, in part because it is post-Bush a careful calculator of national interests, Syria, unlike Libya but much like Sudan and the DRC, was a bridge too far.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Sudan, Libya, Syria
  • Author: Karen E. Smith
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Can the EU serve as a pole in a multipolar, interdependent international system? The EU will face three particular challenges operating in such a system: the challenge of re-establishing credibility after the euro crisis; the ever-present challenge of achieving unity among the member states; and the challenge of adapting foreign policy behaviour to match the new international environment. There is a risk that the EU could slide into irrelevance.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andrés Malamud, Gian Gardini
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Since 1960, Latin American attempts at regionalism have undergone distinct phases. More notably, they have tended to diverge across space, gradually giving birth to separate blocs that seem to be tearing South, Central and North America apart. Additionally, within and across these regions several overlapping projects coexist. This article focuses on the dynamics of segmented and overlapping regionalism in order to describe what they look like, analyse how they articulate with one another, and explain why member states have pushed for such a messy outcome. This situation, linked to the evolution of the global context, might be indicating that regionalism in Latin America has reached its peak, beyond which it may be difficult to achieve further progress. Two conclusions are elicited: first, economic integration is becoming a geographically diffused phenomenon rather than a regional one; second, regionalism is still a compelling foreign policy but its causes, goals and outcomes are no longer what they used to be.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America
  • Author: Cui Liru
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: China intends to realise its national resurgence and modernisation through a peaceful path by integrating into or accepting and participating in the existing international system. With reform and opening-up as its hallmark, China's growth model is in a sense a marriage between Oriental and Occidental civilisations in the age of globalisation. Openness and inclusiveness are the intrinsic attributes of this model. China's diplomacy since 1978 is essentially an extension of the national modernisation drive, its chief task, basic policies and behavioural patterns being the creation of an international environment conducive to this endeavour.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Claudia Astarita
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: Handbook of China's international relations, edited by Shaun Breslin, Routledge, 2010
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Erik Jones
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Obama administration is attempting to 'lead from behind' in Libya, causing much concern among its allies and derision among its adversaries. Nevertheless this strategy represents an appropriate response both to the specific situation in Libya and to the wider constraints on American global leadership. With the shift in global resources from North to South and West to East, collective action has become more difficult to organise and global institutions have become harder to reinforce. Meanwhile governments in the United States and elsewhere must wrestle to bring their fiscal accounts back under control. A cooperative approach is the only answer. The difficulty for the Obama administration is that by emphasizing cooperation they make the success of their Libya intervention depend upon the actions of the other countries involved. Should France and Great Britain fail in Libya, President Obama's new conception of American global leadership will falter as well.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, France, Libya
  • Author: Michele Comelli
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: Constructivism and rationalism in EU external relations : the case of the European neighbourhood policy, by Petr Kratochvil and Elsa Tulmets, Nomos, 2010
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Richard Youngs, Ana Echague
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: European Union policy towards the Middle East and North Africa suffers from geographic fragmentation and an increasing functional imbalance which reflects a growing trend towards securitisation. While policy towards the Mediterranean is highly institutionalised, the Gulf Cooperation Council states receive much less attention and policies towards Iran, Iraq and the occupied Palestinian territories exist in isolation. A narrow focus on an exclusionist approach to security has taken over to the detriment of political and economic concerns. The shortcomings in European foreign policy towards the broader Middle East in terms of lack of breadth and coherence need to be addressed in order to forge a more cohesive and effective policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Iran, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Emiliano Alessandri
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Turkey is not 'drifting' towards the east. It is in search of a new place and a new identity, given the many changes that have taken place in the domestic and international contexts, particularly since the end of the Cold War. This complex process of transformation does not in itself challenge Turkey's Western orientation, but it certainly puts it to the test. It is time for the debate on Turkey's drift to be replaced by a more serious and fruitful one on the reasons why Turkey is still important for the EU and the West and what Europe and the West mean for and can offer contemporary Turkey.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Alison Pargeter
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Since July 2008 when one of Qadhafi's sons was arrested in Geneva, Libya has been engaged in a major stand-off with Switzerland. What began as a personalised affair soon escalated into a major diplomatic crisis with the Libyan leader going so far as to declare jihad against the Swiss. Yet whilst Libya's response to the arrest surprised many and prompted questions about whether the recently rehabilitated Libya had really changed its ways, this affair in fact demonstrates some of the constants of Libyan foreign policymaking since the revolution of 1969. These include the highly personalised nature of policymaking in the Libyan state and the use of foreign policy in the enduring quest for popular legitimacy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Libya, Switzerland
  • Author: Christopher R. Hughes
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Elections for a new parliament and president in Taiwan last year have led to a relaxation in the relationship with China that had become increasingly tense under the previous administration in Taipei. Having come to power on a platform of economic revival, the newly elected president, Ma Ying-jeou, now has to win over a wary public to support his policy of deeper engagement with China. This is becoming increasingly difficult as the economic downturn on both sides of the Taiwan Strait has made it hard to deliver the expected material benefits and the island slides into a severe recession. Meanwhile, Ma faces a growing dilemma as he waits for Beijing to deliver concessions on allowing the island more international space. If this is not forthcoming, domestic politics could force him back towards the more assertive foreign policy developed by his predecessors.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: David Kerr
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Russia did not join the West, nor did it join the East. Russia's commitment to its strategic autonomy and independent foreign and security policy requires the preservation of a 'middle continent' that bridges and transcends Europe and Asia. Russia pursues a restorationist strategy for Eurasia but faces a three-way struggle: for its own autonomy as a great power; for resistance to absorption within the US-centred system of common strategic space; and for management of the dynamics between the emergent powers through negotiation between strategic partnerships and regionalisms. This article examines these dilemmas in relation to Eastern Eurasia, and in particular the Sino-Russian relationship.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Asia
  • Author: Arthur S. Ding
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: China's rapid military modernisation in the past decade has raised concern over when and how will China use its military power in the future. There is no definite answer to this concern. However, the new course in Taiwan, urgent non-traditional security issues, the domestic agenda for re-allocating resources to development of a 'harmonious society', and the looming economic crisis could shape China's foreign policy goals so that it continues the engagement approach adopted in the past decade.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Osvaldo Croci
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In Italy, Atlanticism and Europeanism should not be seen as two alternative and therefore mutually exclusive policies. Strengthening Atlanticism, for instance, does not necessarily correspond to an equal weakening of Europeanism, as implicitly assumed by those who expect a tilt one way or the other each time a centre-right government replaces a centre-left one or vice versa. Rather, the two policies are hierarchical and constitute a "nested game", with Europeanism nested, as it were, in Atlanticism. Italy's foreign policy choices thus result from a double constraint, one of which, Atlanticism, is more important than the other, Europeanism. More precisely, Italian foreign policymakers have traditionally regarded Europeanism as a policy aimed at reinforcing Atlanticism.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Carmen Campo Fanlo, Miguel Medina Abellan
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Union was not explicitly granted legal personality by its founding Treaty. As a result, the matter has been the subject of debate ever since. Is there a relationship between legal personality and the EU's foreign policy? Are there legal obstacles to the articulation of an EU foreign policy worthy of the name? The external representation and treaty-making power of the EU are often said to suffer from the lack of explicitly conferred legal personality. Nevertheless, it can hardly be blamed for the EU's record in international affairs. In the end, conferring legal personality will be just one more step on the road towards a unitary system of EU foreign policymaking.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: European foreign policy making toward the Mediterranean, Federica Bicchi, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nazrin Mehdiyeva
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The landslide victory of Dmitry Medvedev in the presidential election of 2 March was accompanied by discussions, particularly in Western analytical and media circles, of whether Vladimir Putin's successor is a democrat or nationalist, aWesterniser or a Slavophile. His pre-electoral policy statements and family life came under scrutiny and were weighed against Putin's warnings that for the West, Medvedev would be ''no easier'' to do business with than himself. While some did not hesitate to dub Medvedev a ''liberal'', others revelled in reports that suggested that the president-elect had been taking coaching lessons to imitate Putin's speech and gait, concluding with enviable confidence that he was ''less a pope than a popelet''.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Andrey S. Makarychev
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The search for common language has become a demanding issues in the Russia-EU relationship. One of the strongest messages contained in Russia's "sovereign democracy" concept is its desire to be regarded as a "normal" country, a full-fledged member of the international community. The concept embodies a search for its own subjectivity, which is ultimately felt to be a pre-condition for its self-assertion vis-agrave-vis Europe. Russia does not question any of the basic European norms; instead it seeks to offer an alternative version of each of them. For the Western audience, analysis of these concepts is essential for a better comprehension of Russia's foreign policy arguments.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Jan Zielonka
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In order to make it more effective as an actor on the international scene, the European Union is being urged to reverse its foreign policy priorities. EU enlargement policy has fallen out of grace and many want to see Europe acquire a "normal" foreign policy with a global rather than merely regional reach, significant military means and centralised governance. Management of various conflicts in Africa and Asia is also in vogue. Such a policy shift will define the nature of Europe's actorness. It is argued that, with all its defects, the EU performs quite well as a civilian regional power and efforts to transform it into a traditional military power with a global reach could make things worse rather than better.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Elisabetta Brighi
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Conventional wisdom has it that the new government of Romano Prodi managed to effect a significant "shift" in Italy's foreign policy away from the course of the centre-right in the proverbial first 100 days of government. A number of discontinuities with the foreign policy of the Berlusconi government have been invoked, ranging from Italy's relations with Europe and its transatlantic posture, to its engagement with areas of crisis such as the Middle East. But these claims have to be substantially qualified. In fact, it appears that the foreign policy of the Prodi government has rather pragmatically blended elements of change and continuity, and that the shift which has occurred in some areas should be understood more as a combination of domestic and international developments than a result of the change in government alone. Moreover, in order to really change Italy's foreign policy - and change it for the better - the government should focus on a different set of priorities, mainly the institutions, instruments, politics, and ideas of foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Sharon Pardo
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: Values and principles in European Union foreign policy, edited by Sonia Lucarelli and Ian Manners, Routledge, 2006
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Francesco Palermo
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: What does regional external power mean? To what extent is it allowed? What are the limits for its exercise? And how is it carried our in today's quasi-federal Italy? Not only is regional foreign policy a litmus test for the legal development of a compound system; it is also extremely telling as far as the political maturity of the actors in a multi-level governmental system is concerned. In the present constitutional and political framework in Italy, there is a cleavage between the rather developed normative framework and the immature practical reality. Regional foreign policy is something very important about which too little ado is made.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Italy
  • Author: Cesare Pinelli
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: While attributing the main tasks relating to CFSP to various institutions, the EU Treaty mirrors the traditional EU structure, which does not appear to be able to provide the coherence and efficiency needed in the foreign policy field. The Constitutional Treaty attempted to achieve coherence by introducing important changes, including an EU Minister for Foreign Affairs (the "double-hatting" solution). After the CT ratification failures, however, thinking must be directed at finding steps that lead towards the CT solutions but are at the same time compatible with the TEU. While double-hatting is difficult to reconcile with some of the TEU's provisions, other measures and devices could to some extent anticipate the CT's perspective without contravening the treaties in force.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Xu Xin
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: New directions in the study of China's foreign policy, edited by Alastair Iain Johnston and Robert S. Ross, Stanford University Press, 2006.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China