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The West's Policeman? Assessing Italy's Status in Global Peacekeeping


Since the 1960s, and especially the 1980s, Italy has participated in and led numerous peace support operations (PSOs), predominantly under the aegis of international organisations. Italy’s participation in PSOs authorised by the UN, the EU, NATO and other multilateral agreements stems from a combination of national interest and humanitarianism/multilateralism. However, although acknowledged as a significant contributor, a clear assessment of its status in global peacekeeping is still missing. In fact, Italy plays a role that is comparatively greater than all Western nations in the international fora taken into account, and, as such, can be described as ‘the West’s policeman’, from both a quantitative (number of troops) and qualitative (role within the missions) perspective. This might be somewhat curbed in the future, however, due to some of the country’s limitations on foreign policy.
Keywords: Italy, Italian foreign policy, Italian peacekeeping, policing, peacekeeping