The International Spectator, Vol. 50, No. 4, December 2015

Special 50th Anniversary Issue
The Outlook for Italian Foreign Policy Free

Exploring some of the most talked about topics in the last 50 years, our most well-known authors take a look back with new articles and perspectives …
Cutting across the wide range of subjects on which the journal focuses, the articles in this special 50th anniversary issue have been chosen to illustrate the breadth of the journal’s analysis and the extent of the changes that have taken place in the last fifty years. The authors are all internationally recognized. The intention is to highlight what The International Spectator is about, what it has achieved and how it has traced and analysed academic and policy developments in its fields of interest.
While continuing in this endeavour, the journal is broadening its horizons beyond its traditional interests (European integration, political economic policy, transatlantic relations, and such specific geographic areas as the Middle East, Balkans and North Africa). In fact it is increasingly focusing on issues on the current and future political agendas (Asia, climate, energy, and migration) so as to provide scholars and practitioners with a working tool in the field of international affairs, foster debate in opinion - and decision-making circles and make Italy’s voice heard internationally.

Numero: 
50/4
Data pubblicazione: 
27/01/2016
The Outlook for Italian Foreign Policy
Altiero Spinelli
No reasonable person can claim that Italy plays an original and exemplary role in international affairs, even if it is not infrequent for statesmen and writers from our country to take seriously the most trite commonplaces of Risorgimento-style rhetoric and to give Italy just this task. The cultural, political, economic and military weight of the country is not such as to permit us to take a very different path from those of the countries with which we are in close contact. From the birth of the Italian state until today the basic decisions of its foreign policy have substantially conformed with the major trends at work in this or that period. But since such trends have not and never have had exactly the same implications and consequences, it has always – and it is possible to insert here, acting reasonably or unreasonably, near-sightedly or farsightedly, constructively or destructively – contributed thus to the strengthening or weakening of the trend in which it operates. In judging the past policies of Italy and in speaking of future prospects, we must not, therefore, judge as wise or unwise those who made the basic decision as much as the manner in which, the choice once made, they have then acted within its scope. […]
Originally published in the issue Vol. 2, No. 1, January-February 1967, p. 3-26
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–– Rejoinder, 48 Years Later ––
Still in Need of a Strategy
Stefano Silvestri
Altiero Spinelli’s 1967 article was an objective, logical analysis of Italian foreign policy and, at the same time, a manifesto for what had to be done and what he intended to foster and encourage. A small part of this he had already achieved by establishing the Istituto Affari Internazionali, in Rome, in 1965. How do things stand today, almost fifty years later? Is it still possible to think that the tension between supranational integration and national sovereignty will determine our future and to think of Italy as that basically opportunist international actor lacking inspiration that Spinelli described? […]
Keywords: Italy’s foreign policy, European Union, European defence, NATO
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The International Monetary Scene Today and Tomorrow
Robert Triffin
The international monetary scene in the first half of 1970 is in sharp contrast with that of 1969 and of the preceding years. Further, and even more revolutionary, changes should be expected within the forthcoming years, and even months. The hurricanes, that repeatedly rocked the gold and foreign markets during the last five years, and particularly in 1969, have suddenly abated. Gold prices and the exchange-rates of all major currencies have now been hovering for months close to their official parities. How is this to be explained? And will it last? […]
Originally published in the issue Vol. 5, No. 3-4, July-December 1970, p. 375-390
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–– Rejoinder, 45 Years Later ––
The Time is Ripe for an International Currency Reserve
Alfonso Iozzo
The article by Robert Triffin, “The International Monetary Scene Today and Tomorrow”, appeared in The International Spectator in 1970, a crucial moment for international monetary matters. In it, Triffin asserted that the convertibility of the dollar into gold – on which the Bretton Woods system was based – had de facto come to an end and that, if that system were to be resuscitated, the dollar would have to be officially declared non-convertible. Only one year later, on 15 August 1971, US President Nixon broke the link between the American currency and gold. Triffin’s prediction came true. […]
Keywords: Finance, Economic governance, Currency, EMU
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Community Scenarios
John Pinder
The Community’s capacity for action is based mainly on three historic decisions taken in the decade leading up to 1962: to establish a common policy for the coal and steel industries through the common institutions set up in 1952 under the Treaty of Paris; to launch a general customs union in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome, together with common institutions for economic policy-making and to erect the system of common control of agricultural markets, through agreement on the common agricultural policy in 1962. Each of these decisions increased the Community’s capacity for action in a major area of economic policy. Since 1962, there has been no comparable advance. […]
Originally published in the issue Vol. 13, No. 2, April-June 1978, p. 123-130
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–– Rejoinder, 37 Years Later ––
Predicting the Path of European Integration – in Retrospect
Christopher Hill
In the early Spring of 2015 the United Kingdom lost two of its best experts on European integration – John Pinder and Roger Morgan. Both brought academic expertise and great practical judgement to their support for the European project from a starting-point which stressed the importance of persuading the nation states of the benefits of increased integration. As we approach a referendum on Britain’s continued membership – a strange and unnecessary affair for most of those without a political axe to grind – their voices will be greatly missed, not least as the new generation of EU experts in British universities is increasingly cosmopolitan in character. The debate over BREXIT in the UK requires informed indigenous voices if it is not to be overtaken by raucous extremism, but they are ever fewer in number. […]
Keywords: European Union, EU integration, UK
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Egypt in the Eighties: A Sociological Profile
Saad Eddin Ibrahim
Egypt’s contemporary social structure displays much of what is common in many Third World countries of similar size, for instance, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Indonesia. Standard features of such countries include overpopulation, rapid demographic growth, unchecked rural-urban migration, oversized urban centers, mounting demands on services, strained infrastructure, deficit in the balance of payments, foreign debts, inflationary pressures, maldistribution of wealth, and socio-political unrest, to name but the most important. […]
Originally published in the issue Vol. 18, No. 1-2, January-June 1983, p. 9-26
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–– Rejoinder, 32 Years Later ––
Egypt’s Socio-Political Profile Revisited
Saad Eddin Ibrahim
More than 30 years have passed since my essay in the early eighties sketched out Egypt’s sociological profile at the time. On looking at the Egyptian scene now one is struck by the transformational changes, especially in the political sphere, that witnessed armed insurgency and the economic crises of the 1990s and, with almost no predictions, the eruption of mass popular uprisings in which two presidents were toppled in 2011 and 2013. The Egypt of 2015, with its bursting population of nearly 90 million, has shown that it can surprise the world; today’s political and social dynamics give promise of fundamental new directions, and some worrying continuities. […]
Keywords: Egypt, Domestic policy, Economy
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After Hegemony: Transatlantic Economic Relations in the Next Decade
Robert O. Keohane
The liberal international economic system established after the Second World War is currently in difficulty. Large fluctuations in exchange rates have led to calls for a “new Bretton Woods”. Protectionism has increased sharply on both sides of the Atlantic; the European Community, once a force for liberalization, now takes a leading role in imposing restrictions on trade. European and American discussions of the world economy are characterized less by thoughtful consideration of how joint action could relieve the current economic recession and reduce dangers of collapse, than by quarrelling over such issues as subsidies on pasta, alleged dumping of steel, and subsidized credit terms to the Soviet Union. […]
Originally published in the issue Vol. 19, No. 1, January-March 1984, p. 3-9
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–– Rejoinder, 31 Years Later ––
After Hegemony Cooperation is Still Possible
Robert O. Keohane
This paper, which appeared in The International Spectator in January 1984, previewed many of the themes of my book, After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy. I argued that the US had lost its hegemonic position in the world political economy: the ability to make and enforce the rules. Furthermore, its “egoism” would lead it to be less willing to invest in leadership or influence. Nevertheless, I argued, it was possible for cooperation to persist without hegemony – a major theme of my book, in response to others who argued that the collapse of American hegemony would usher in a new era of conflict. Looking back, what did I miss and what did I have right? […]
Keywords: Transatlantic relations, Economic governance
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US Interests and the Use of Force in the Middle East
Robert E. Hunter
Many aspects of US relations in the region of the Middle East compete for attention. Recently, the focus has been on US policy towards twin subjects of gripping interest: terrorism and Iran. But at least one aspect needs further review for the simple reason that its essence implies the possibility of national decisions of the gravest important. This is the question of the role of force: whether the United States would use military power in the region and, if so, where and how. […]
Originally published in the issue Vol. 21, No. 4, October-December 1986, p. 14-23
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–– Rejoinder, 29 Years Later ––
Middle East Challenges Change, Demands on the West Remain
Robert E. Hunter
British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston once said that “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.” The French are pithier: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” Nearly 30 years after I wrote “US Interests and the Use of Force in the Middle East”, these aphorisms are a good starting point for assessing American interests and policies in the Middle East, including approaches to the use of force. […]
Keywords: US foreign policy, US military policy, Middle East
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The Integration of Europe’s Financial Markets and the Role of the ECU
Niels Thygesen
If one looks back at the process of integration in the European Communities over the past 30 years since the signing of the Treaty of Rome, remarkable changes of emphasis emerge. Three important dimensions have been accorded different priority at various stages in the EC efforts over this long timespan: (1) the integration of goods markets, (2) monetary unification and macroeconomic coordination, and (3) integration of financial markets. For most of the period one may almost, following the historical paradigm of Aglietta, speak of a hierarchy of objectives. Only in the most recent 2-3 years has financial integration assumed major importance in a European strategy. […]
Originally published in the issue Vol. 22, No. 3, July-September 1987, p. 119-129
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–– Rejoinder, 28 Years Later ––
Tensions Between Monetary and Financial Integration in the EMU
Niels Thygesen
Within a year of the publication in 1987 of my historical account of the shifting priorities in Europe’s monetary and financial integration, dramatic first steps in a process of major changes in both areas were taken […]
Keywords: European Union, Economic governance, Finance, EMU, Euro
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The Intifada and the Balance of Power in the Region
Yusif A. Sayigh
Virtually all Palestinians in the Diaspora, and in those parts of Palestine occupied by Israel in 1948, and most non-Palestinian Arabs, feel euphoric about the Intifada – the uprising in the Occupied Territories (OT), that is, the West Bank and Gaza Strip which were occupied in June 1967. The feeling is understandable and justifiable in view of the admirable courage, the cohesiveness, the self-reliance, and the tenacity of the Palestinians of the OT, in conducting an unarmed struggle for liberation against the formidable Israeli military machine. […]
Originally published in the issue Vol. 23, No. 4, October-December 1988, p. 203-214
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–– Rejoinder, 27 Years Later ––
Back to the Grassroots
Yezid Sayigh
In his 1988 essay, my late father, Yusif Sayigh, argued that the first Palestinian intifada had generated greater international understanding of the decades-long Palestinian struggle for national self-determination and support for the creation of an independent Palestinian state. This built on incremental shifts that had unfolded in response to diverse developments over the previous two decades, […]
Keywords: Palestine, Israel
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Declining American Leadership in the World Economy
Stephen D. Krasner
For the last twenty or more years, international relations scholarship in the United States has been dominated by two competing research programs – liberalism and realism. Each of these programs has had many specific variations. The adherents of each perspective have disagreed among themselves as well as with those holding the other view. Each of these broad perspectives, however, shares basic assumptions about the nature of actors, the character of the international system and the prospects for cooperation. […]
Originally published in the issue Vol. 26, No. 3, July-September 1991, p. 49-74
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–– Rejoinder, 24 Years Later ––
The United States and China: Collaborators or Rivals?
Stephen D. Krasner
There is only a short list of major variables that we can deploy to understand social phenomena. For the international environment really only three: material power (military and economic), material interests, and values. The relative weight that analysts and policymakers give to each of these depends on the specific phenomena that they are trying to understand. For any effort to explain the dynamics of international politics and the nature of international regimes, power remains the single most potent factor. […]
Keywords: US economy, External trade, Economic governance, China
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Security Perceptions and Cooperation in the Middle East: The Political Dimension
Volker Perthes
This article will concentrate on two main themes. First, it will focus on the fears and suspicions in Middle Eastern and, particularly, Arab countries regarding the future of the Arab world and the Middle East in general and what are viewed as Western projects for that region. Second, it will discuss the political ability and preparedness of regional players to set up viable structures for regional security and cooperation. In conclusion, it will put forward some questions which, from a European perspective, seem to demand answers from today’s political and intellectual elites in the Middle East. […]
Originally published in the issue Vol. 31, No. 4, October-December 1996, p. 53-62
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–– Rejoinder, 19 Years Later ––
The New Middle East that Never Was
Volker Perthes
How lucky the Middle East was, I thought as I re-read my International Spectator piece of 1996, when the worst nightmares of Arab opinion leaders were connected to the political risks involved in what seemed like an emerging new regional division of labour brought about by a peace treaty between Israel and its Arab neighbours. A substantial part of the Arab intellectual and political elites at the time feared that their countries would lose in relative terms, compared to Israel, if a comprehensive settlement of the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian and broader Arab-Israeli conflict were to lead to an economically integrated “New Middle East”. They would not have had to fear this, as we know today. […]
Keywords: Middle East, Regional integration, Conflict resolution
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Can Italy Keep Up to Europe?
Pier Carlo Padoan
The process of European integration is at a turning point. Recent discussions about the future of monetary union seem to suggest that progress towards further deepening of the European Union may be in question and that more than one model of Europe may develop in the future. It is against this background that an answer to the question this article asks should be sought. To keep up with the next phase of European integration, Italy – like all the other members of the EU, both current and future – is asked to undertake relevant adjustment policies producing heavy costs in the short run in exchange for expected future benefits. […]
Originally published in the issue Vol. 31, No. 2, April-June 1996, p. 17-35
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–– Rejoinder, 19 Years Later ––
Yes, It Can
Pier Carlo Padoan
The opening paragraph to the article, written almost two decades ago, fits nicely with today’s perspectives and discussion about the future of European integration in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Indeed what, to me, is most surprising in rereading the article, is the number of issues that continue to be relevant today in describing the European and Italian economies and the policy challenges they face. […]
Keywords: Italy | Economy | Italy’s European policy | European Union
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The Impact of the Euro on the International Monetary System
Robert A. Mundell
The European Council met in London on the first of May 1998 to announce the final decisions regarding the countries that are eligible to proceed to European Monetary Union (EMU). The next day, the selected countries met in Brussels to make the decisions required to implement the decisions. The six executive directors of the European Central Bank (ECB) were appointed, including the president and vice president, and the designated countries will lock exchange rates by 1 July at the latest, and the ECU will become the euro on 1 January 1999. […]
Originally published in the issue Vol. 33, No. 2, April-June 1998, p. 5-20
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–– Rejoinder, 17 Years Later ––
Prof Mundell and the Unpredictable Euro Crisis
Fabrizio Saccomanni
The article by Robert Mundell, written on the eve of the establishment of the euro in May 1998, inevitably reflects his very optimistic and enthusiastic assessment of an event that seemed to confirm his own views about the evolution of the international monetary system. Mundell had in fact pioneered, already in the 1960s, analysis of the impact of monetary and fiscal policies in different exchange rate regimes, as well as analysis of “optimum currency areas”. When he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in December 1999 for these very contributions to international economics, the media reported that the prize had been given to “the father of the euro”. […]
Keywords: Finance, Currency, Economic governance, European Union, EMU, Euro
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The Kosovo Factor in Russia’s Foreign Policy
Vladimir Baranovsky
The Kosovo crisis has influenced Russia’s ideas on its relations with the outside world in a more fundamental way than any other event during the ‘90s. The article explores Russia’s policies during the conflict itself, its attitudes towards military security and the use of force after the NATO campaign. It also examines its search for a future agenda since the beginning of the UN administration of the province and the completion of the post-Yeltsin succession.
Originally published in the issue Vol. 35, No. 2, April-June 2000, p. 113-130
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–– Rejoinder, 15 Years Later ––
From Kosovo to Crimea
Vladimir Baranovsky
The International Spectator published my article in 2000. As the title clearly suggests, the aim was to consider how the phenomenon of Kosovo affected Russia’s foreign policy. My present comments focus exactly upon this theme. They pretend to address neither the overall issue of Russia’s international behaviour nor the situation in the Balkans, and even less the policy of the West therein. They only represent a modest attempt to draw the line between what happened fifteen years ago and what is taking place nowadays – in terms of Russia-related aspects of international developments. […]
Keywords: Russia, NATO, Kosovo, Ukraine
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De-Balkanising the Balkans: What Priorities?
Ivan Krastev
While important new international schemes have been launched for the Balkans in the years 1999-2000, they are aimed almost exclusively at economic and institutional problems and neglect security aspects, since dealing with the latter would touch on delicate political questions. But these strategies can hardly be implemented in an insecure environment; and at the same time, economic recovery and democratisation cannot bridge the security gap. Addressing the security question calls for radical reconsideration of both the democratic agenda and the agenda of integration with Europe, putting the focus squarely on state-building and enforcement of the rule of law.
Originally published in the issue Vol. 35, No. 3, July-September 2000, p. 7-17
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–– Rejoinder, 15 Years Later ––
A Look Back with Questions
Ivan Krastev
In the year 2000, in the immediate aftermath of NATO’s military operation in former Yugoslavia, I wrote an article claiming that it would be the success of the reconstruction of the region that would define the historical legitimacy of NATO’s intervention, conducted in the absence of a UN Security Council resolution; that the internal weakness and dysfunctionality of the Balkan states were the major threat to the security of the region; and that neither democratisation nor European integration could be substitutes for proper state-building in the region. Fifteen years later, most of these observations still remain valid for me, the rest look trivial. […]
Keywords: Balkans, NATO, European Union, Conflict resolution
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The Lessons of September 11
Pascal Boniface
The relative places occupied by the major international powers have not changed after September 11. Nor have essential global problems been changed or resolved. Yet, the revelation of US vulnerability will have a major impact on US policy, driving the country in one of two directions: towards isolationism or towards greater cooperation with other powers. In any case, an attempt must be made, especially by the US but also by a unified European Union, to understand the motivations behind the attack and to seek political, rather than technological or military solutions to the underlying problems.
Originally published in the issue Vol. 36, No. 4, October-December 2001, p. 13-19
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–– Rejoinder, 14 Years Later ––
The Wrong American Choice
Pascal Boniface
Reading, fourteen years later, a paper written about a major event and confronting your views of those times with the contemporary strategic reality is a fascinating, but not easy experience. Were the analyses pertinent or mistaken? I would say that most of my assessments made fourteen years ago seem to have been confirmed, but some others have been proven wrong. […]
Keywords: Terrorism, US foreign policy, US military policy, Transatlantic relations
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Contiene

26/01/2016
p. 44-51
26/01/2016
p. 165-171
26/01/2016
p. 232-234