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  • Author: Assem Dandashly, Gergana Noutcheva
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Union’s (EU) impact on the political governance of the European neighbourhood is varied and sometimes opposite to the declared objectives of its democracy support policies. The democracy promotion literature has to a large extent neglected the unintended consequences of EU democracy support in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and North Africa. The EU has left multiple imprints on the political trajectories of the countries in the neighbourhood and yet the dominant explanation, highlighting the EU’s security and economic interests in the two regions,cannot fully account for the unintended consequences of its policies. The literature on the ‘pathologies’ of international organisations offers an explanation, emphasizing the failures of the EU bureaucracy to anticipate, prevent or reverse the undesired effects of its democracy support in the neighbourhood.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Democracy, Economy, Bureaucracy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Eastern Europe, North Africa, European Union
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Algeria today faces a triple crisis. The collapse in global oil prices during 2014 and 2015 has meant that its economic future is potentially extremely sombre. In political terms, the regime faces a complex and uncertain transition as the Bouteflika era comes to an end. Moreover, Algeria’s security environment is threatening, given the chaos in Libya, the emergence of extremism in Tunisia and the ongoing violence in northern Mali because of the extremist groups located there. This situation is further complicated by the persistence of “residual terrorism,” as the government terms it, inside Algeria itself and the chronic crisis with Morocco over the latter’s annexation of the Western Sahara in 1975. This paper analyses each of these factors in turn before seeking to outline short- to medium-term scenarios for the future.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Islam, Oil, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: North Africa
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-62-0
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Eduard Soler i Lecha, Hélène Michou, José Ignacio
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The EU's response to the Arab Spring is seen as one of its biggest missed opportunities. It has been unable to bring together its different tools of foreign, development and security policy into a strategic joined-up approach. The interconnectedness of the socio-economic and political demands of the popular uprisings across the north of Africa represented a unique opportunity to implement such a joined-up approach. The EU's ambitious rhetoric and pledges to promote 'deep democracy' have not been matched at policy level in the fields of money, market or mobility. Whilst certain member states have sought to overcome the different operating logics of the development, diplomatic and security communities in their regional Arab Partnership programmes, a number of structural and circumstantial factors limit the effectiveness of these attempts, at both the EU and member state level.
  • Topic: Security, Development
  • Political Geography: North Africa
  • Author: Andrea Dessì
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The political and strategic landscape of the Middle East and North African region has changed dramatically since late 2010 and the events now loosely defined as the 'Arab Spring'. The dust has yet to settle in many Arab capitals and 2013 is set to be another defining year for the greater Middle East as regional actors, particularly new Islamist-led governments, take on more direct roles in influencing political, military and social developments in the Arab world. Israel and the Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah are not immune to these developments and while progress towards peace has been all but non-existent, change in the region must not necessarily lead to more tensions and conflict. The EU and US should work to establish greater Arab ownership of the diplomatic process, convince Israel that its security is best served by assuming a proactive approach to its changing neighbourhood and strive to harness the new realities in the region to modify the incentive calculus of the major domestic players in the conflict.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, North Africa
  • Author: Valérie Vicky Miranda
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: To what extent is foreign policy driven by norms and/or by interests? Considering the main trends of Italian foreign policy after World War II and two case studies, the Balkans and Libya, this paper investigates the role played by norms and interests and the interconnection between the two in Italian foreign policy. In the Balkans, norms and interests have neatly dovetailed: supporting democratization and the rule of law has also meant furthering Italian security and economic interests in the region. By contrast, Libya was the theatre of an essentially interest-driven foreign policy. Nevertheless, the Italian government's response to the Libyan crisis between March and May 2011 has interestingly marked a rupture from the recent past.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Libya, Kosovo, Balkans, North Africa, Italy
  • 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: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: During the Cold War, threats coming from across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe and the Western world in general were strictly related to the East-West confrontation. National security was not endangered by possible attacks from the Mediterranean or Middle Eastern countries as such but by the East-West escalation South-South conflict could be able to give way to. In this sense, the Arab-Israeli conflict was a central threat to Western security. What was frightening was not the military power of the regional countries but their alliance with the Soviet Union and the possibility of what at that time was called horizontal escalation (as opposed to East-West direct vertical escalation).
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Israel, Soviet Union, North Africa
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: During the Spanish-Moroccan crisis over the Perejil/Leila islet both the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) have squarely supported Spanish sovereignty. They have completely ignored the special co-operation promoted with the Mediterranean countries from the mid-1990s onwards. This is particularly true with respect to the EU-initiated Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, whose ambitious agenda contemplates an articulated political and security agenda of collective cooperation with the Southern Mediterranean countries, including Morocco. For a number of reasons, the partners have failed to turn their aims into a practical reality. Nonetheless, co-operation is still on the agenda and the parties to the scheme are still apparently committed to it. It is true that one witnessed the same kind of response from the Arab side. The Arab League supported Moroccan claims just as unambiguously as the Western or European side did Spain. How can one explain that precisely at the time when the spirit of Euro-Med co-operation was most necessary it vanished?
  • Topic: Security, International Law
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, Spain, North Africa, Morocco
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the international relations across the Mediterranean Sea, between the European countries - in particular, the European Union-EU - and the countries of the Near East and North Africa. In this framework, it tries to define the role of Italy and Libya and the joint actions they can carry out to foster peace and co-operation in the area concerned.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Libya, North Africa, Italy
  • 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