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  • Author: Paola Sartori, Alessandra Scalia
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The research that forms the basis of this study aims to address women’s roles within peace operations, as well as their contribution to security and peace-building. Based on Italy’s contribution to the NATO-led missions – the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and, currently, Resolute Support (RS) – the subject of the analysis is Afghanistan, and particularly Herat Province. The research e ort is speci cally aimed at assessing the impact of the civil–military cooperation (CIMIC) initiatives implemented by Italian troops in Herat, with a speci c focus on gender and Afghan women. The rst part of this paper addresses the theoretical framework on women’s participation in stabilization and reconstruction e orts. It introduces concepts such as gender analysis and gender mainstreaming, and, consequently, the bene ts of focusing on gender when carrying out CIMIC initiatives within peace operations. The second part focuses on the CIMIC activities implemented by the Italian contingent in Herat Province. The concluding section of the paper provides some “food for thought”, aimed at contributing to further enhancing the e ectiveness of the CIMIC projects carried out by the Italian military and their related e ects.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Daniela Huber, Lorenzo Kamel
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The "battleground" of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is shifting from its local context, where it has been placed in the Oslo, Intifada and Roadmap/Quartet periods, to its original dimension: the international arena. While it is indeed unclear if a multilateral approach will fare well, it is a fact that the unilateral/bilateral approach has failed. Having reached the end of the Middle East Peace Process as we have known it for the past decades, it is about time to be open-minded about realistic alternatives. This paper analyses these potential scenarios, the roles played by the main local and international actors, and outlines how a EU multilateral initiative should look like.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Sarah Wolff
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The death of Aylan, a 3-year-old boy on a Turkish beach, prompted European leaders and public opinions to acknowledge that Europe is the deadliest migration destination in the world. In spite of this disturbing truth, there is little agreement on an EU solution to the Syrian refugee crisis. In September 2015, the EU Interior Ministers struggled to agree over the relocation of 120,000 refugees through a common compulsory mechanism, as Eastern European countries oppose the idea of “sharing the burden.” Progress regarding other solutions such as a European rescue at-sea-mission, the delivery of humanitarian visas or the opening of legal means of migration have also met strong member state resistance. If Europe is not up to the task, can international organisations (IOs), often critical of European states for their inaction, impulse change? What influence do IOs have on EU and Mediterranean migration and refugee policies? This paper investigates how IOs have been trying to frame an alternative debate and the challenges they meet in promoting transregional governance.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Migration, War, Immigration, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-66-8
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Maria Giulia Amadio Viceré
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Under certain conditions, such as security crises, an integrated external EU counter-terrorism policy can emerge without leading to the supra-nationalisation of policy-making. This paper analyses the role of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy with the objective of assessing the influence that such figure can have on the governance of EU counter-terrorism policies. It does so by assessing the EU’s response to three security crises, namely: the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent bombings in Madrid (2004) and London (2005); the Arab Spring and the following destabilisation of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA); and the emergence and spread of Da’esh.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-53-8
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Kristina Kausch
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Middle Eastern and North African region is in flux, while attempts to identify a new dominant structural logic have been limited so far. For the time being, the new “order” appears to consist of the absence of any one clear-cut organising principle and in overlapping, dynamic, often contradictory geopolitical developments. Among many other features, the geopolitical equation in the Middle East is being altered by a number of larger structural shifts regarding the position and relative weight of specific actors. Notable instances include the relative loss of influence of the United states and Europe; the game-changing regional roles of Russia and China, respectively; the resurgence of the IranianSaudi rivalry; the emergence of a number of regional “swing states”; and the increasing role of non-state actors in shaping regional developments. the complexity of this outlook makes policy choices by regional and external actors ever more difficult.
  • Topic: Non State Actors
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Fatih Özgür Yeni
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Energy security is one of the hot topics on the European energy agenda. The EU's Southern Energy Corridor initiative is an attempt to reduce dependence on Russian supplies by tapping into Caspian and Middle-Eastern natural gas resources. Turkey, who aspires to be a regional energy hub, has emerged as the key country in the Southern Corridor. Although the TAP project in its current state satisfies neither Turkey's energy hub ambitions nor the EU's resource diversification efforts, it may serve as the first building block of the Southern Corridor. There are promising developments in the region that can increase volumes and add new routes to the initiative. Private companies have already shown their interest in developing a pipeline infrastructure for possible South-East Mediterranean and Northern Iraq natural gas exports but complex geopolitical issues pose the greatest threat to the way ahead. Thanks to its unique location, Turkey is destined to be one of the key players in the Southern Corridor. The convergence of Turkey's energy hub ambitions and the EU's energy security objectives present mutual gains, but also demand sustained collaboration between the two in light of several technical, legal and political hurdles.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Charles-Brian Biondi
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of the conflict, Syria has been the playground for several actors, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia or Iran, defending their domestic interests or fighting for regional influence. The conflict entered a new phase in June 2013 with the direct involvement of Hezbollah, which sent troops to help al-Assad's regime fighting the armed insurrection. This event has had significant repercussions not only for the Syrian conflict itself but also for Lebanon. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the reasons that have led Hezbollah to engage openly in the Syrian conflict and what the consequences of such a decision could be, both for the country's and the party's future. The author argues that the party's involvement in the conflict is primarily a primordial necessity as the current Syrian regime is one of Hezbollah's strongest allies in the region without being a vital one. Thus the loss of the Syrian regime has the potential to pose new difficulties to the movement but would not necessarily imply its destruction.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Intelligence, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Ebru Oğurlu
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Over the last few years, the Eastern Mediterranean has been increasingly fraught with growing competition between regional players, most notably Turkey, Cyprus, and Israel, signalling an apparent return of power politics in regional relations. Of all actors involved, Turkey stands out for being both an ever more influential power and a source of serious concern to other countries in the region due to its greater assertiveness and perceived hegemonic ambitions. Against the backdrop of recent regional developments and their international implications, including the dispute over drilling rights off Cyprus' coasts, Turkey's image as a constructive and dialogue-oriented country, a critical achievement pursued by a generation of Turkish politicians, diplomats and officials, risks being replaced by one of an antagonistic/assertive power. Facing the first serious challenge to its claim to embody a benign model as a secular Muslim democracy and a responsible international actor, Turkey should not indulge in emotional reactions. It should opt instead for a more moderate and balanced approach based on the assumption that only cooperation and constructive dialogue, even with rival countries, can help it realize its ambition of being the regional pivot.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Development, Islam, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Greece, Asia, Colombia, Cyprus
  • Author: Andrea Dessì
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: While spared from internal turmoil, Israel and the Palestinian Territories have nonetheless been affected by the region's political transformation brought about by the Arab Spring. Reflecting what can be described as Israel's “bunker” mentality, the Israeli government has characterized the Arab revolutionary wave as a security challenge, notably given its concern about the rise of Islamist forces. Prime Minister Netanyahu has capitalized on this sense of insecurity to justify his government's lack of significant action when it comes to the peace process. On the Palestinian side, both Hamas and Fatah have lost long-standing regional backers in Egypt and Syria and have had to contend with their increasingly shaky popular legitimacy. This has spurred renewed efforts for reconciliation, which however have so far produced no significant results. Against this backdrop, the chances for a resumption of serious Israeli-Palestinian peace talks appear increasingly dim. An effort by the international community is needed to break the current deadlock and establish an atmosphere more conducive for talks. In this context, the EU carries special responsibility as the only external actor that still enjoys some credibility as a balanced mediator between the sides.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Niamh Maria O'Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Few issues in international politics have sparked more debate this year than the events unfolding in Syria. What began 17 months ago as peaceful marches seeking reform has brought Syria to the brink of a civil war that threatens to stop the Arab Spring dead in its tracks. As the death toll rises and accusations of crimes against humanity mount against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ruling Ba'ath Party, many are calling for an armed intervention to put an end to the Assad regime's widespread human rights abuses. Finding the right way forward for Syria, however, is proving elusive and so we turn to philosophy and, in particular, to Just War theory for guidance. Though often criticized as a soft or unrealistic approach to foreign policy, principles like just cause and proportionality guide our way through the moral enigma that has confounded the international community since the uprising began. The answers are far from easy. As the battle for Syria rages on, the most ethical, and difficult, thing to do might just be to stay out.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Human Rights, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Camilla Committeri
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Syrian crisis is dividing the international community like no other Arab uprising has done so far. While the United States and the European Union stand squarely against the Syrian regime, Russia remains a staunch defender of state sovereignty and the Al-Assad regime. There are three main factors that explain this position: Moscow's historical relations with Damascus; Russia's traditional opposition to US presence in the Middle East; and the surge in domestic opposition in Russia itself. This last factor, and the recent evolution of Russian domestic politics, is crucial to grasp Moscow's foreign policy towards Syria and the Middle East, a s well as towards the United States and Europe.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil War, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East, Arabia, Moscow, Syria
  • Author: Silvia Menegazzi
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: China's assertiveness is growing. While in the past China's foreign policy kept a low profile in international affairs, global developments, prime amongst which in the Middle East, highlight China's growing influence in world politics and its ensuing role in shaping global norms. Within the liberal peace discourse, China's reinterpretation of international norms can be seen as the result of a mixture of prior local norms - sovereignty and non-interference - and changes within the international environment - namely conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East. Particularly, in terms of intervention and peace-building practices, China insists that a number of preconditions - which are encapsulated in the notion of Responsible Protection (RP) - have to be met in order to consider intervention in sovereign states. This paper argues that in order to achieve a full picture of Chinese foreign policy and its normative underpinnings, it is necessary to explore the debate within non-state actors beyond the government apparatus, such as think tanks and research institutions.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Emerging Markets, International Affairs, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Libya, North Africa, Syria
  • Author: Daniela Pioppi
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: It is a common place in the literature that the Muslim Brotherhood (jama'a al-ikhwan al-muslimin) is - after its re-emergence on the political scene back in the seventies - the main (if not the only) real, organised and mass-based opposition force in Egypt. Events in Egypt in January 2011 have recast attention on this question. This paper aims to evaluate, inasmuch as it is possible, the state of health of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) today, after forty years of coexistence with the Egyptian (neo)-authoritarian regime. Has the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood represented a real alternative to the incumbent regime? Or it is more correct to speak today in terms of an almost 'functional' opposition, tamed by recurring political repression and limited freedom of action? To what extent has the Muslim Brotherhood been able to shape or at least to influence the Egyptian political and social agenda, both with respect to the regime and to other opposition forces?
  • Topic: Democratization, Islam, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Riccardo Alcaro, Andrea Dessì
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Frustrated by years of inconclusive peace talks, the Palestinians are turning to the United Nations to gain recognition as an independent state. Their bid is opposed by Israel and the United States, with the latter threatening to block any bid for full UN membership in the UN Security Council. To bypass the US veto, the Palestinians plan to request recognition to the UN General Assembly, where they are sure to get the two-third majority of votes needed for the approval of the resolution. While legally non-binding, a favourable vote in the UNGA would be a political boost for the Palestinians' cause - or so they hope. Full EU backing would give critical political weight to the Palestinians' claim. EU states are deeply divided on the issue of Palestinian membership of the UN but instead of opposing the initiative altogether, the EU has been engaging the Palestinian leadership in the hope of modifying its stance. Should the EU fail to persuade the PA to give up on its request for full UN membership, it should abstain in bloc while tabling a concurring resolution that would spell out clearly the parameters for renewed peace talks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, United Nations, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Philippe Droz-Vincent
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Arab armies are closed and secretive actors. Yet they have been propelled to the fore in 2011, acting as midwifes and active participants in the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt. Their posture vis-à-vis incumbent regimes is crucial in other Arab countries too - Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria - as the wave of popular uprisings against authoritarian regimes has spread. In view of this, there is an essential need to understand what kind of actors Arab armies are. The nature of armies in authoritarian settings shapes the pattern of resilience or of breakdown for regimes facing popular uprisings, and the prospect for various transition countries in the Arab world.
  • Topic: Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, North Africa, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia
  • Author: Massimiliano Fiore
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The latest IAEA Report suggests that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon capability. Preventing the Islamic Republic from becoming nuclear is the most important issue on Israel's agenda, and Jerusalem will do everything it can to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear capability. Considering the limited impact of international sanctions and covert operations, it is therefore possible that at some point in the next 12-15 months Israel's policy-makers and military officials will decide whether or not to act militarily to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities. Though the probability of successfully destroying all of Iran's nuclear targets is not very high, Israeli policy-makers and military officials would nevertheless still be extremely satisfied with delaying Iran's nuclear programme. But would it be worth all the trouble it would inevitably unleash? While Israeli fears are understandable, given the heavy costs and poor chances for success of the military option, containment still represents the most sensible policy for Israel.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Stefano Silvestri
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Union urgently has to work out a new strategy towards the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It has to back the democratic transformations of Arab societies, but also assert the need for new cooperation in the field of security so that the inevitable changes do not produce new international crises and do not generate new threats. The EU can take advantage of a favourable situation which, however, may not last long. This is a crucial test for the Union's common foreign and security policy after Lisbon.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Lisbon
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci, Jean-Pierre Cassarino
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The revolts sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East in 2011 have shaken long-held truths about the region. Most strikingly, the sustainability of these regimes has proved a chimera. The events in the region and the many truths they uncovered call for a serious rethink in Western policies towards the region. The aim of this paper is to explore what such a rethink might entail for the European Union. Reviewing the European Neighbourhood Policy by revamping the benefits on offer, reconsidering the effective use of conditionality, establishing adequate monitoring mechanisms and engaging with a plethora of partners both within and beyond the region is imperative. Such a review is contingent on the recognition of a reversed hierarchy of priorities, induced by the force of historical events unfolding in the region. To reverse policy priorities is no small feat, considering the entrenched logic that has sustained Euro-Med policies so far. Nonetheless, various dynamics press for a new way of thinking. The proposals contained in this study constitute concrete steps to rethink the EU's Mediterranean policies in line with the fundamental rights and principles which the Union seeks to advance in its external action.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Massimiliano Fiore
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Only a few weeks ago, no one could have believed that what the peoples of Tunisia and Egypt accomplished was possible: they defied their dictators and won, causing worldwide euphoria and celebration. Yet, while such activism has inspired fellow Arabs throughout the region, it has been met with fear and trepidation in Israel. Mubarak's downfall, combined with the growing unrest in the Middle East, makes it vital for Israel to recalibrate its strategies toward its neighbouring Arab states. Many political analysts believe that this is the ideal moment for Israel to push hard for resuming the stalled peace process with the Palestinians. Yet it is unrealistic to think that a comprehensive agreement can be reached at this time. While the Israeli-Palestinian peace track is very troubled, the Israeli-Syrian track seems more within reach, and in the vital interests of both countries.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Emiliano Alessandri
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The article refutes the often-heard argument that Ankara's recent 'activism' in the Middle East indicates that Turkey is 'drifting away from the West'. Turkey's improving relations with its neighbors (not only in the Middle East), are mainly a result of the end of the Cold War and of domestic developments which have 'unlocked' Turkey, transforming it into a more open and democratic country with an even greater stake in EU membership. At the same time, the many international and domestic changes that have occurred since Turkey was granted candidate status call for a 're-foundation' of the Turkey-EU relationship. Lacking the latter, the future of Turkey-EU relations will indeed remain uncertain.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Nona Mikhelidze
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In October 2009, after intense diplomatic talks and the active involvement of key external actors, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian signed two protocols aimed at restoring bilateral relations. The agreements have however remained unratified due to political obstacles closely linked to historic disputes and the geopolitical constellation in the South Caucasus. As a result, even if rapprochement between Ankara and Yerevan has the potential of producing far-reaching changes in the regional political equilibrium, the status quo remains the most likely scenario.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East, Armenia, South Caucasus
  • Author: Riccardo Alcaro
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The standoff over Iran's nuclear programme, suspected of harbouring secret military ends, is widely considered a major flashpoint. A nuclear Iran – as the argument goes – would dramatically alter the regional balance in the Gulf, providing the Islamic Republic with a formidable deterrent against external aggression, while augmenting its ability to exert influence on its neighbours and eliminating the strategic advantage of its rival Israel, the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East. An Iranian bomb could also trigger a regional nuclear arms race since such countries as Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, might feel compelled to emulate Iran. This would in turn result in the eventual collapse of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime based on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Given the stakes, it comes as no surprise that curbing Iran's nuclear programme has rapidly become a foreign policy priority for western powers, Israel, and the majority of Arab states, which have a history of rivalry with and mistrust of Persian and Shia-dominated Iran.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, United Nations, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Stefano Silvestri, Michele Nones
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Italy is a medium-sized power that is heavily exposed to security risks from both the Mediterranean basin/Middle East and the Balkans. Making its territory particularly permeable to them is the deeply rooted presence of criminal organisations.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Balkans, Italy
  • Author: Christian Koch
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Within the framework of the al-Jisr Project on EU-GCC Public Diplomacy and Outreach Activities and with the support of the European Commission, the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Gulf Research Center organized a two-day workshop focusing on how the Mediterranean region can become a field of cooperation between the EU and GCC countries. The event brought together 30 policy officials and specialists to deliberate on questions such as: should the Mediterranean become a dimension in the EU-GCC political dialogue; where are the potential synergies when it comes to the role of energy; what ways and means of financial and economic cooperation present themselves to promote investment and development; and where do political and strategic interests between the EU and the GCC converge or diverge in the Mediterranean. A final roundtable served as a wrap-up for discussion with a focus on policy recommendations.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Cooperation, Oil, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Edward Burke, Ana Echagüe, Richard Youngs
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: European foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is a highly fragmented construction. Since the mid-1990s the EU's policies with Maghreb and Mashreq countries have been pursued under the rubric of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP), the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and now the Mediterranean Union. This plethora of highly institutionalised initiatives has been developed with negligible linkage to policy in the rest of the Middle East. Relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council remain low key and strikingly disconnected from the EMP. Contrary to its rhetorical emphasis on supporting regional integration around the world, the EU has failed to build its strategy towards Iran and Iraq into a regional security framework. Even more reproachable, given its credibility and influence in the economic sphere has been the EU's inability to foster regional economic integration between the Mediterranean and the Gulf.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Bénédict de Saint-Laurent
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Basic questions posed in this study were whether the trend of Gulf involvement in the Mediterranean economies was sustainable, what the specifics of those investments are, and could a triangular cooperation be envisaged? What is clear is that Gulf investors have become major players in the Mediterranean with an investment volume of more than 70 billion Euro in nearly 700 projects since January 2003. The Gulf now seems to have joined Europe as a sustainable second investment pillar. The complementarities between needs and resources of Europe, GCC and Med countries call for the implementation of an integrated co-operation model, similar to the Japan-China-ASEAN triangle.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Naji Abi-Aad
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Mediterranean is expected to play an increasingly important role in global energy flows which might result in a greater European dependence on North African supplies and less on the Gulf. At the same time, potential synergies are said to exist in such fields as the development of renewable energy sources, and investment required to meet domestic electricity demand. As far as oil and refined products are concerned, the volume and direction of oil flows to and through the Mediterranean will be important, especially as an expected rise in transport in the near future contains serious security implications. As a result, an increased focus on the development of a pipeline network between the Mediterranean and Europe might open possibilities for Gulf involvement. The same could apply for the supply of natural gas to Europe. In the field of power generation, the improved ability to transmit electricity over longer distances opens the door for establishing a continuum of interconnection from the Gulf to Europe through the Mediterranean and the ability to serve markets along those connections. Finally, the rapidly rising awareness of the need for renewable energy sources suggests an additional field of cooperation.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Oil
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: While sharing a number of interests in the Mediterranean and Middle East region, the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council have pursued different patterns of strategic concerns and relations. Nevertheless, a potential for developing common EUGCC perspectives exists, as the Mediterranean and Middle East region are both part of the EU and the GCC neighbourhood and are a common location for investment. Diplomatic convergence on a number of issues could contribute to improving security and political cooperation as well, despite the fact that this is stymied by divergent views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Center for Global Counter Terrorism Co-operation (Center) convened a brainstorming on 11 - 12 July in Rome on “Implementing the UN General Assembly's Counter-Terrorism Strategy: Addressing Youth Radicalisation in the Mediterranean Region. Lessons Learned, Best Practices and Recommendations.” The event was organised in co-operation with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Centro Studi sul Federalismo (Turin), with the support of the Compagnia di San Paolo. The participants included experts from the UN and other multilateral bodies, officials from the Italian and German governments, and academic and other non-government experts from the United States, Europe and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The meeting also included a roundtable of representatives of the “Consulta Giovanile per il Pluralismo Religioso e Culturale” (Youth Consultative Council), a youth advisory board recently established by the Italian Ministries of Youth and Sport and Interior to enhance the role of youth in promoting dialogue and tolerance among different cultures and religions. The Rt. Hon. Giovanna Melandri, the Italian Minister for Youth Policies and Sport addressed the brainstorming.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Islam, Science and Technology, Terrorism, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: J.C. Mahncke
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: “I see that under the Prodi government Italy already now has and even more in future will be able to have a big role in Europe, and that as a result of this role will be able to take on an important function in relation to the United States and the Arab world […] I believe that in the course of one month Italy has succeeded to launch a strategic rearrangement of its foreign policy.”1 These are the words of Massimo D'Alema, Italy's Minister of Foreign Affairs since May 2006. Indeed, the measures taken by the new Italian government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi indicate, if not a completely new orientation, a revised concept behind Italian foreign policy in contrast to that of his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi. Most striking is the withdrawal of Italian troops from Iraq, to be completed by autumn of this year. But Prodi wants to maintain Italian involvement in Afghanistan, and the government seems eager to uphold the traditionally good relations with the United States, despite the withdrawal from Iraq. While Prodi and D'Alema are in favour of a more important role of Italy in Europe and of the European Union in the world, close ties are to be kept with the United States. According to D'Alema: “The foreign policy of the government intends to favour the growth of an autonomous European actor but tied to the United States by solid and mature understanding within the alliance.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Asia, Italy
  • Author: T. Padoa-Schioppa, E. Greco
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Despite the important achievements of the past years (the Euro, enlargement, the drafting of the Constitutional Treaty, interventions in the Balkans and the growing diplomatic role in the Middle East), Europe is at a standstill and experiencing scepticism which, combined with prolonged economic stagnation, could deteriorate into a serious crisis. In this difficult situation, Italy could suffer particularly negative consequences. At the same time, however, it could - as in the past - play a prominent role in providing the Union with new dynamism.
  • Topic: Security, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The evolution of a European space policy is encouraged by the recent EU decision to develop the Galileo project. This decision confirms the willingness to pursue a policy in the space technologies that goes beyond the national level, even if national visions are still predominant. A new security concept is emerging. The evolution of the foreign, security and defense policy (CFSP, ESDP) and the protection of population requires integrated approach.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper deals with the impact of the Iraqi crisis on Mediterranean dynamics. Four such dynamics are taken into consideration, assuming their particular significance: (a) the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and, more broadly, the opposition between Israel and the Arab-Muslim countries; (b) the stability of regional regimes and their transition to democracy; (c) the development of the EU Mediterranean policies and their relevance in the region; (d) Turkey's national and regional interests.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The 11th September events have stirred common concerns among Western allies. At the same time, the evolution of American policy since then has also caused new differences to arise and old ones to resurface. While there is agreement on combating terrorism and the rogue states that support it, there are disagreements on the way to do it as well as priorities.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In the 1990s, the end of the East-West confrontation brought about sweeping changes in the regions beyond the Mediterranean further than in the European East. During the Cold War many Middle Eastern and North African countries had received support from the USSR and sided to varying extent and in different ways with it. Thus, the Mediterranean region had been regarded by NATO as its “southern flank”. In fact, conflict in that area could give way to a “horizontal escalation” and shift the confrontation from regional to global level.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: What prevails in Europe today is a culture of peace and co-operation. This state of affairs is relatively new in its history. It is the product, first, of the objective conditions for peace and co-operation that emerged after the Second World War and, second, of the Western victory at the end of the Cold War. The killings and destruction of the Second World War made European nationalism collapse. The overwhelming threat from the Soviet Union was key in triggering European integration and establishing an intra- European state of democratic peace. Finally, the victorious end of the Cold War is now allowing for integration and democratic peace to be strengthened and enlarged by the inclusion of the European East in that process.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Bechir Chourou
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The emergence of a political ideology based on Islam is commonly attributed to Jamal Eddine al-Afghani (1838-1898) of Afghanistan, Mohammad Abduh (1849-1905) of Egypt and Abdurrahman al-Kawakibi (1849-1902) of Syria. These early Muslim intellectuals are called "reformers," because they advocated a reversal of what they perceived in their era as a slow but inexorable decline of Islam. In their views, this could be accomplished only through a purification of the faith and a return to strict observance of the word of Allah (i.e. the Koran) and imitation of His prophet's behaviour (i.e. the Sunna). But at the same time, those thinkers believed that Muslims should not shun science and knowledge even if they came from non-Muslims. Thus saved from decay and decadence, the reformed and renovated Islam could inaugurate a period of renaissance (nahdha) that would allow it to join and participate in the economic and social transformations that were under-way in the West.
  • Topic: Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Álvaro de Vasconcelos
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Barcelona Process is by far the most relevant of the various existing Euro-Mediterranean initiatives, not only because it has a multilateral character but also because it is intended to be a multilayered process, comprising political and security as well as economic and social or human dimensions.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Barcelona
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In November 2000, after five year of talks between the representatives of the participating countries, at the ministerial conference in Marseilles the Euro-Med Partnership (EMP) failed to adopt the Euro-Med Charter on Peace and Stability, i.e. the statement tasked to provide a common ground to Euro-Med co-operation.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Carlo Masala
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Speaking about issues and challenges of Western-Mediterranean security relations means, first of all, reflecting about the achievements of the Western-Mediterranean policy in the past. A realistic look at Western-Mediterranean security relations in the past decade contributes to a realistic outlook for the future of this relationships.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The southern shore of the Mediterranean region is an area with very high population growth. National economies haven't - but for Israel - the strength and vitality of northern-shore states. On the southern shore the state has generally a pervasive role in the society. Inefficient state-owned industries and subsidised agriculture give way to products that are scarcely competitive on the world market. Weak southern Mediterranean economies, that could somehow get along with a stable population, risk the failure in trying to keep pace with the ongoing population boom and with globalisation. For this reason, on the southern shore of the Mediterranean resource disputes have emerged, especially since the seventies, as an area of contentions between states. The latter more and more is perceived as a dangerous and hardly manageable issue.
  • Topic: Security, Environment
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The American component in the EU Middle East Policy cannot be considered in isolation. The transatlantic relationship has a complex character and, for this reason, there are linkages between different issues. The influence of transatlantic relations and the U.S. on what the EU does or does not do in the Middle East is not necessarily tied to the Middle East itself and to specific Middle Eastern issues debated in transatlantic relations. It may stem from other issues.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The area currently encompassed by the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) reflects fairly well the broad Western perception of the new strategic situation established by the end of the Cold War. The North Atlantic Council described this situation very aptly in the strategic concept it approved in Rome in 1991, though it meant to refer primarily to the European East: “Risks to Alliance security are less likely to result from calculated aggression against the territory of the Allies, but rather from the adverse consequences of instabilities that may arise from the serious economic, social and political difficulties, including ethnic rivalries and territorial disputes . . . The tensions that may result . . . could lead to crises inimical to European stability and even to armed conflicts.”
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Arab Countries, North Africa, Rome
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In the last two years, the EU has begun to strengthen its security and defence integration with a view to acquiring new capabilities in crisis management at both the European and Atlantic level. To that end, it is in the process of reinvigorating its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and developing the newly-born Common European Security and Defence Policy (CESDP).
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Daniela Pioppi
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In the opening session the two directors of the IAI-SWP exercise, Roberto Aliboni and Volker Perthes, together with Franco Zallio (Fintesa Studi Paese) gave a first overview of the main issues and problems faced by the Euro-Med Partnership (EMP). Volker Perthes' introduction focused on more political issues. He started by underlining the fact that the EMP is an experiment of 'regional governance' (expression taken from 'global governance'). However, the region comprised by the EMP is not a geographical expression. The EU decided who was to be included (i.e. Libya and the Balkans are excluded, but Jordan or EU non-Mediterranean countries are comprised). Therefore, the problem remains: what is a proper region for the EMP undertaking?
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Balkans, Jordan
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Common Mediterranean Strategy (CMS) establishes the principles, objectives and instruments of the European Union's (EU) Mediterranean policy. That policy largely regards the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP), set up in 1995 with the task of implementing the Barcelona Declaration.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East