Italian Political Science 2020-08-07T07:54:09+00:00 Editorial Board of IPS Open Journal Systems <p><strong>Italian Political Science (IPS)</strong>&nbsp;is an open-access peer-reviewed quarterly journal dedicated to deepening the understanding of political phenomena relevant for political scientists and a wider public, including journalists, policy-makers, policy analysts, political activists and all those who have an interest in politics.</p> <p>IPS publishes&nbsp;<strong>intellectually stimulating and conceptually rigorous contributions</strong>&nbsp;on all areas relevant to Political science. All articles include a focus on contemporary Italy, either considered as a case-study or in comparative or European perspective.</p> Italy and its international relations. Getting real on relative positions 2020-07-31T12:07:59+00:00 Stefano Costalli Andrea Ruggeri <p>What is the position of Italy in contemporary international politics? How does Italy compare with its neighbors or with the so-called great powers in terms of power? What are the most influential factors to be considered when evaluating Italian foreign policy? Contemporary international politics is multidi-mensional and multifaceted and positioning a country in the international system involves looking at various and diverse domains. These domains and trajectories have experienced substantive changes and, in turn, the role and relative position of Italy have dramatically changed. This article aims to pro-vide empirical trends in Italy’s positioning in international relations, showing the existence of some unsolved issues and the reasons for specific underlying tensions in Italian foreign policy.</p> 2020-08-31T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Italian Political Science The Me Too Syndrome reloaded: Change and continuity in Italian relations with France and Germany after Brexit 2020-05-27T21:15:57+00:00 Lorenzo Cladi Andrea Locatelli <p>The 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum altered the European balance of power, leaving France and Germany as the only major powers in the EU. As a would-be peer within EU institutions, Italy was particularly exposed by this situation and adapted its foreign policy accordingly. Noting that Italy has displayed a mix of cooperation and conflict with France and Germany, our article seeks to answer why this has been the case. Focusing on the impact of party politics on foreign policy, we argue that Italian foreign policy resulted from the political synthesis developed by each of the Ital-ian cabinets ruling since 2016. The political synthesis depended, in turn, on the interplay between party ideology (pro- or anti-EU) and coalition dynamics. A cooperative foreign policy is then related to ideologically divided coalitions and those sharing a pro-EU ideology. On the contrary, an oppositional foreign policy depended on homogeneous, anti-EU coalitions.</p> 2020-05-27T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Italian Political Science From enthusiasm to retreat: Italy and military missions abroad after the Cold War 2020-05-27T21:16:02+00:00 Fabrizio Coticchia Francesco Niccolò Moro <p>Italy represents an important case of defense policy change after the Cold War. While during the bipo-lar era the country rarely intervened abroad and was deeply constrained in its defense policy by do-mestic as well as international factors, in the post-Cold War era, Italy has constantly intervened in major conflicts in the Balkans, the Middle East and Afghanistan. Yet, in the past decade, and especial-ly after the 2011 Libyan intervention, Italian activism has consistently diminished. The purpose of this article is to describe this trend and to review theories that have been put forward to explain Italian activism (and retrenchment). While several insights can emerge from multiple studies dedicated to the topic, we argue that some elements such as legacies and institutional constraints have been some-what overlooked and actually open promising avenues for research.</p> Copyright (c) 2020 Italian Political Science Sleeping with the Enemy: The not-so-constant Italian stance towards Russia 2020-06-01T20:40:06+00:00 Gabriele Natalizia Mara Morini <p>A diffused assumption within the Italian foreign affairs community argues that the relationship between Italy and Russia follows a generally cooperative attitude, fostered by strong cultural, economic and political ties. This narrative misses a significant part of the tale, which is at odds with the idea that the good offices with Moscow represent a ‘constant feature’ of Rome’s foreign policy. Indeed, a competitive interaction has frequently emerged, as a number of events in the last decade confirm. To address this shortcoming, the article aims at providing a more nuanced interpretation of the investigated relationship. Focusing on the outcomes of structural changes on Italian foreign policy, it posits that Rome is more prone to a cooperative stance towards Moscow whenever the international order proves stable. By contrast, its interests gradually diverge from those of its alleged ‘natural’ partner as the international order becomes increasingly unstable. This hypothesis is tested by an in-depth analysis of Italy’s posture towards Russia amidst the crisis of the international liberal order (2008-on). Furthermore, the recurrence of a similar dynamic is verified through a diachronic comparison with two other international orders in crisis, i.e. that of the interwar period (1936-1941) and that of the Cold War (1979-1985).&nbsp;</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Italian Political Science Domestic sources of ‘mild’ positions on international cooperation: Italy and global climate policy 2020-06-29T10:24:18+00:00 Federica Genovese <p>This paper investigates Italy's position on global climate change politics in order to explore the larger question of why this country, like similar middle powers, may adopt ambiguous positions on global public policy issues. I start from the observation that in recent history Italy has taken a rather mild posi-tion on international climate cooperation and climate policy more broadly. To explain this, I propose an argument in divergence with those who claim Italy has low salience in the issue or lack of interest in international climate leadership. I put forward a political economy perspective and claim that different salient concerns motivate the domestic actors that shape the country’s international position. I main-tain that these different concerns offset each other, resulting in overall mild preferences. I present support for my theory, zooming in on the motivations of two domestic sources of international posi-tions: economic sectors and public opinion. The empirical data largely corroborates the theory.</p> 2020-06-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Italian Political Science Immigration and Foreign Policy: Italy’s Domestic-International Linkage in the Management of Mass Human Movements 2020-07-08T21:49:42+00:00 Antonio Zotti Enrico Fassi <p>Especially since the outbreak of the 2014-2015 so-called ‘migration crisis’, immigration policy has come to be frequently regarded as part of Italy’s foreign policy. Although the management of inbound popu-lation movements clearly comprises a relevant external dimension, the relations between immigration and foreign policy are less plain than might appear at first sight. Based on this assumption, the paper examines the domestic-international nexus in Italy’s immigration policy, the association of the latter with foreign policy, and how this process is connected to Italy’s participation in the migration and asy-lum policy system of the European Union (EU). In particular, the article examines the role played by Interior Ministers in bridging the domestic-international divide typical of this policy area, as well as how the country’s participation in the EU migration policy system has backed up this process.</p> 2020-07-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Italian Political Science Italy-China relations and the Belt and Road Initiative. The need for a long-term vision 2020-08-07T07:54:09+00:00 Simone Dossi <p>During Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit in March 2019, Italy and China signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). As Italy was the first G7 country to formally join the BRI, the Memorandum caused alarm in the United States and Europe. The paper explains why Italy and China, apparently so distant from both a political and an economic point of view, opted for cooperation under the BRI. It concludes that, in order to seize the opportunities provided by the BRI and reduce the associated risks, Italy needs a long-term vision for the future of its relations with China, and a more structured and permanent public debate on its China policy.</p> 2020-08-07T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Italian Political Science