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  • Author: Daniela Huber
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The coronavirus crisis deeply challenges the assumption that we human beings can dominate nature. Contraposing the new European Commission Green Deal and geopolitical language with critical/green thought, this paper aims to provoke reflections on a re-imagination of the European Union as part of a larger regional and global community that lives together within a green and diverse planet.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Environment, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ehud Eiran
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Israel is still holding to its traditional security maxim. Based on a perception of a hostile region, Israel’s response includes early warning, deterrence and swift – including pre-emptive – military action, coupled with an alliance with a global power, the US. Israel is adjusting these maxims to a changing reality. Overlapping interests – and perhaps the prospect of an even more open conflict with Iran – led to limited relationships between Israel and some Gulf states. These, however, will be constrained until Israel makes progress on the Palestine issue. Israel aligned with Greece and Cyprus around energy and security, which may lead to conflict with Turkey. Russia’s deployment in Syria placed new constraints on Israeli freedom of action there. The US’s retrenchment from the Middle East is not having a direct effect on Israel, while the Trump administration’s support for Israel’s territorial designs in the West Bank may make it easier for Israel to permanently expand there, thus sowing the seeds for future instability in Israel/Palestine. The EU could try and balance against such developments, but, as seen from Israel, is too divided to have a significant impact. Paper produced in the framework of the FEPS-IAI project “Fostering a New Security Architecture in the Middle East”, April 2020.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Gas, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Greece, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, United States of America, Mediterranean
  • Author: Sandra Lavenex, Ivo Križić
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In light of rising internal cleavages and centrifugal tendencies, differentiated integration (DI) has (re)arisen as a major topic in debates on the future of the European Union. As new forms of participation below the threshold of full membership are needed, this paper provides a conceptualisation of effective and legitimate DI. Going beyond existing scholarship’s focus on the legal dimension of DI, the paper emphasises its organisational component, meaning the variegated participation of EU member states, sub-state entities and third-country actors in the panoply of EU policy-making institutions, such as regulatory agencies and transgovernmental networks. The paper subsequently discusses how to measure effectiveness of such differentiated arrangements in terms of their output, outcome and impact, before theorising under what conditions we are likely to see effective DI. Finally, the paper turns to the question of legitimacy of DI, discussing its meaning, measurement and determinants.
  • Topic: Governance, Democracy, Regional Integration, Accountability, Legitimacy
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Sinan Ülgen
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The evolving external threat environment is impacting the internal political dynamics of NATO nations and is accentuating a series of already existing trends – differences in threat perceptions, burden-sharing difficulties, challenges to respond to sub-threshold threats and the rise of populism – which altogether affect the cohesiveness and potentially the effectiveness of NATO as a political and military alliance. NATO’s operational future over the next decades will be shaped by the ingenuity of the transatlantic leadership in developing new arrangements of institutional cooperation between the Alliance and the burgeoning forms of the “coalition of the willing”. The Alliance should nonetheless remain the main transatlantic political forum, given Brexit as well as the rising need for a common political response to the many challenges ranging from migration to failed states. NATO has been relatively successful in adapting to the changing security environment. Its military capabilities remain unparalleled and unrivalled. The more interesting question is however the political one. Namely how the politics of sustaining this Alliance are being shaped by the underlying dynamics that are transforming the global political, economic and military context. The paper is divided in three chapters.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Politics, Institutions, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Much is being said about European power these days. From the new European Commission President von der Leyen and new High Representative Borrell to French President Macron, the idea that Europe must exert power on the global scene is gaining traction. The political intuition behind these statements is absolutely correct. The 21st century rationale for the European project is a profoundly global one. However, to turn it into a practical reality, it’s worth delving into the detail of European power, what it meant, how it has transformed, and what should be done to exercise it in future.
  • Topic: International Relations, Power Politics, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Funda Tekin, Vittoria Meissner, Nils Fabian Müller
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Heterogeneity among countries in the European Union has continuously grown through enlargement processes or the outbreak of specific crises. After reaching important outcomes such as the European Monetary Union or the Schengen Agreement, in the face of the “big bang” enlargement of 2004 both national and European Union representatives subsequently committed to the motto “united in diversity”, confident that the European project would progress and deepen. Nevertheless, the crises in the euro area posed a number of new internal and external challenges to the overall European integration process as well as the EU’s political unity in terms of member states sharing the same rights and obligations, making permanent forms of differentiated integration more likely. Against this background, the paper presents a new collected dataset to outline how the EU narrative of political unity changes during times of increasing political differentiation and consequent differentiated integration. As such, it conducts a narrative analysis in two selected cases, the period between 2000 and 2004 preceding the big bang enlargement as well as the years of the crises in the euro area between 2010 and 2014. Although the existing narrative of political unity in the EU has changed in response to the crises under the more sceptical phrase “divided in unity”, our analysis shows that differentiation is not a threat to political unity.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Regional Integration, Institutions, Integration
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Poland, Germany, Italy, European Union
  • Author: Lisa Viscidi
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: 2019 has been marked by widespread uprisings throughout Latin America. In the last few months, protests have erupted in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia, while Argentina elected a new leader, Bolivia’s president resigned following growing tensions with his political opponents and the military, and Peru’s leader is facing a political crisis. Largely fuelled by anger over graft, economic disparity, and the rising cost of living, the resulting social unrest has led to uncertainty over the energy sector outlook. Continued political and social turbulence will likely contribute to stagnant oil and gas production growth in these countries. Conversely, Brazil and Guyana are on track to become the region’s largest oil producers. In Brazil, pre-salt reserves have been attracting foreign investment, although further market-friendly reforms will need to be made to sustain development. Guyana, for its part, is in line to become the region’s newest petrostate and will see explosive economic growth in the coming years. Despite its large reserves, Venezuela is excluded from this study because the country’s political and economic turmoil, coupled with US sanctions, make any increase in investment highly unlikely in the short term. Paper prepared in the framework of the IAI-Eni Strategic Partnership, December 2019.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Oil, Natural Resources, Gas, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Karim Makdisi
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper asserts that the Arab–Israeli conflict, and in particular the question of Palestine, has been the major issue of regional concern across the Middle East for over a century. It claims that the failure to resolve the question of Palestine will continue to impact on the region’s stability and its geopolitical dynamics and to shape popular opinion while limiting Arab leaders’ options. It first situates the Arab–Israeli conflict as a core regional issue in historical context – which is crucial for understanding where we are today – before critically reviewing the Oslo “peace process” and its failure to deliver a just and sustainable peace within the framework of a “two-state solution”. It suggests that this failure has resulted in the ramping up of lingering regional problems (e.g. southern Lebanon, the Golan Heights, refugees and in Palestine itself) and the rise of new challenges and frameworks (e.g. the Resistance Axis and the BDS movement). It concludes that the time has come for the international community – including the European Union, which has contributed to the failure of the two-state solution – to consider alternative paradigms and actions.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Refugees, Syrian War, Negotiation, Peace
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Nicola Bilotta, Lorenzo Colantoni
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The electrification of Sub-Saharan Africa has traditionally suffered from a lack of adequate investments, given the scarcity of domestic funds and the higher regional risk perceived by foreign investors. And yet, electrification of the continent has accelerated lately, driven by innovative financing instruments that fit the African framework. Such tools as aggregation, securitization and guarantee instruments reduce risk premiums, thus increasing the attractiveness of the sector and making it easier for international institutions to provide back-up funding for private, local and decentralized projects. Critical in this regard has been Africa’s FinTech system, which enables forms of mobile payment and micro-credit access, resulting in innovative business models. Such sets of tools will be then fundamental to maintaining the current trends and, eventually, reach the long-awaited universal access to energy for those in Sub-Saharan Africa. Paper prepared in the framework of the IAI-Eni Strategic Partnership, December 2018.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Foreign Direct Investment, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Robin Mills
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Despite its dominance as the world’s key exporting region of hydrocarbons, energy connectivity within the Middle East, in the form of cross-border oil and gas pipelines, electricity grids and related institutions, is lagging. There has been limited progress in the Eastern Mediterranean area and with Turkey. But so far unfavourable commercial conditions, persisting subsidies, and regional political suspicions and disputes, have hampered progress. Key changes in the world energy market – a period of lower oil prices, with the expansion of US shale production, the globalisation of natural gas trade, the rise of renewable energy, and growing action on climate change – should encourage more intra-regional links. To realise the prize of 25 billion to more than 100 billion US dollars of savings available from greater energy trade, regional states will have to liberalise energy markets, establish multilateral institutional frameworks, and make the most of support from international energy corporations and influential political players, notably the US, China, EU and Russia. Paper prepared in the framework of the IAI-Eni Strategic Partnership, December 2018.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Cornelius Adebahr
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Europe and Iran had begun to invest in a closer commercial relationship just when the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018. Since then, Washington has re-imposed its stringent economic sanctions, targeting Iran’s oil exports as a major source of government revenue but also banning financial transactions with the country. This poses an enormous challenge for the EU, which had intended to use the 2015 agreement as a stepping stone to promote regional cooperation and, ultimately, a more comprehensive relationship with Iran. Paper produced in the framework of the IAI-FEPS project entitled “Europe and Iran in a fast-changing Middle East: Confidence-building measures, security dialogue and regional cooperation”, December 2018.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Sanctions, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Francesca Capano
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Concerns over migration, economic growth and the rise of populism seemed to overshadow the threat of terrorism in many European countries during 2018. While the number of attacks and alleged plots in Europe have declined considerably compared to previous years, experts have long warned that measuring the terrorism threat on the basis of successful attacks was a “mistake”.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Prisons/Penal Systems, Radicalization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Karim Makdisi
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Refugee movements are not a new phenomenon in the Middle East and North Africa. The history of the region has been shaped by waves of displacement and refugee crises, and the most recent, the dramatic case of Syria, is still in process. This paper investigates refugee movements in the region and their impact on regional dynamics by focusing on two important case studies: Lebanon and Turkey. It explores each country’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis in detail, while addressing the role of relevant stakeholders, such as international organizations, civil society and government, in humanitarian relief efforts as well as in refugee protection and management.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Migration, Refugees, Syrian War, Mobility
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Lebanon, Syria, European Union
  • Author: Daniele Fattibene, Margherita Bianchi
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The extremely unequal distribution of food worldwide has generated a paradox: while almost a billion citizens do not have access to healthy food, a part of the global population can afford to buy food in excess and – more importantly – generate enormous food losses and waste (FLW), with high economic, environmental and social costs. The EU has been working to find a comprehensive solution to this problem, with the aim of changing the current paradigm that tolerates good food being allowed to rot away. This paper explores the opportunities deriving from the latest EU efforts against FLW and, in particular, the Circular Economy Package, which includes waste legislation that is in line with UN goals on sustainable development. Several gaps have yet to be filled, but the mix of ambitious European and domestic laws, virtuous practices on the part of private companies, and a radical change in consumers’ habits are key to giving back to food the value it deserves.
  • Topic: Food Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Eva Maria Resch
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Between the summer of 2015 and 2016 Turkey experienced the most violent year of the Kurdish con ict since 1999. The outbreak of the Syrian war, together with domestic Turkish politics, have had a crucial impact on the reconciliation process between the Turkish government and the Kurdish minority in Turkey. With a special focus on the battle of Kobane and the related increase in power of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), this paper examines how events tied to the Syrian civil war modi ed the cost-bene t calculus of both Turkey and the PKK, leading to a collapse of peace talks and a renewed outbreak of the con ict.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • 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: Andrea Cofelice, Stelios Stavridis
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This study offers a preliminary mapping of the parliamentary scene that prevails in the Mediterranean, with a view to answering whether such a proliferation of parliamentary actors hinders or promotes (inter-)regional cooperation. The paper takes a quantitative approach because it is not possible to evaluate qualitatively such a complex parliamentary scene without first knowing how many actors are actually involved. Such an approach does not claim to be fully exhaustive but it tries to be as comprehensive as possible. Even if it only covers formal arrangements, this is not meant to downplay the importance of less formal arrangements – just that this is a first step in setting up a wider research agenda on the subject. The paper’s objectives are to find out how many parliamentary actors there are, or at least to give a general indication of their overall numbers; and to identify possible trends explaining the causes and consequences of the proliferation of Mediterranean parliamentary institutions. The paper concludes that the proliferation of parliamentary actors tends to be an obstacle for a better cooperation due to a number of reasons that include limited resources, duplication and high personnel and management costs.
  • Topic: Political and institutional effectiveness
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Riccardo Alcaro
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Italy has traditionally looked to Germany as a natural partner in defining the EU’s approach to Russia. Shared views of Russia as a member of the European family of nations, converging assessments of Europe’s security needs, and parallel energy and trade interests have all contributed to this. However, since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis a perception has begun to emerge in Italy of a widening gap between the Italian national interest and Germany’s Ostpolitik. While German policy per se is not a major topic of discussion, the Italian debate about the most appropriate policy course towards Russia and Eastern Europe contains a number of implicit assumptions about German choices and interests. This debate runs along political cleavages, with Italy’s expanding Eurosceptic coalition increasingly advocating a normalization of relations with Russia. Germany’s Ostpolitik, or at least some of the fundamental assumptions on which it is predicated, seems thus destined to become the object of greater contestation in Italy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Germany, Italy
  • Author: Anne-Laure Delatte, Sebastien Jean
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper discusses what useful form international economic co-ordination might take, notwithstanding the tense climate witnessed in recent months. On international trade, we argue that aiming at wide-ranging negotiations or more-of-the-same trade liberalizations would be pointless under present circumstances. Priority should instead be given to preventing the doom loop of protectionism and retaliation, and to addressing the political concerns about globalization. On fiscal competition, we point to the risk of a potential race to the bottom despite the progress achieved thanks to the OECD BEPS initiative. We finally emphasize the need for coordinated policies on the demand side. Paper presented at the international conference on “Major Challenges for Global Macroeconomic Stability. The Role of the G7”, organized in Rome on 27-28 March 2017 by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Bank of Italy.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: C. Fred Bergsten, Edwin M. Truman, Jeromin Zettelmeyer
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper examines how G7 cooperation can be maintained in the Trump era. Its working assumption is that the US administration will remain open to international cooperation in principle and yet be constrained by Trump’s economic nationalism and specific campaign promises, such as reducing trade imbalances. The main finding is that useful areas for G7 macroeconomic, trade and financial cooperation continue to exist even after taking US constraints into account. At the same time, other G7 leaders need to be prepared to proceed on their own if attempts to convince the US administration that G7 economic cooperation is in the interests of all members fail. Paper presented at the international conference on “Major Challenges for Global Macroeconomic Stability. The Role of the G7”, organized in Rome on 27-28 March 2017 by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Bank of Italy.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus