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The Outlook for Italian Foreign Policy


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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