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  • Author: Nikolay Kozhanov
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Russian government sincerely believes that Assad's removal from power would trigger the expansion of jihadism and instability in the Caucasus and southern Russia. Moscow is deeply concerned about the rise of Islamists in the Middle East, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia's efforts to support the most radical factions in Syria. At the same time, the obvious absence of the ideological background behind current Russian-Syrian relations makes them a trade item. Thus, official guarantees that the jihadists will not export their revolution elsewhere accompanied by promises to preserve some Russian economic positions in post-Assad Syria will probably create the necessary ground for the emergence of a compromise stance on Syria (including the issue of foreign intervention).
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Marco Pinfari
  • 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: Economics
  • Political Geography: Libya, Arabia, Latin America, North Africa, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Kamleh Khatib
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Through a series of open-question interviews carried out with those responsible for the UfM file between late 2008 and early 2009, some undeniable and unanimously accepted merits were voiced. However, views from the southern shores of the Mediterranean appear to be multifaceted and not uniform with only one dominant common trait echoing in all interviews and shaping negative perceptions, namely, the weight the Arab-Israeli conflict exerts in hampering the initiative. While a Union of projects could "address the architectural deficit that has prevented the Mediterranean from becoming a coherently functional economic regional space", high politics emerge, yet again, as an inescapable reality that demands prioritisation.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Israel, Arabia
  • 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: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In the hundred years that have elapsed since the birth of Saudi Arabia many important developments and changes have affected both this country and Italy. Still, whereas Saudi Arabia has progressed with remarkable political stability, Italy has suffered numerous shocks: the crisis and fall, after World War I, of the nationalist elites which had made Italy an independent and united country in the 19th century; the fall of the Fascist regime and the Savoy monarchy at the end of World War II; the emergence, during the Cold War, of a Western democracy run by the classes which the nationalist elite had excluded from the process of independence; today, after the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Catholic and communist parties that dominated the Cold War domestic stage and the painful attempt to establish a less ideologically-based, more market-oriented and liberal-minded democracy in the country.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Italy