The International Spectator, Vol. 52, No. 3, September 2017

Free Ties that Bind: Dynamics of Group Radicalisation in Italy’s Jihadists Headed for Syria and Iraq View this article online

Data pubblicazione: 


Diversity Management in World Politics. Reformist China and the Future of the (Liberal) Order
Anna Caffarena
Given the widely shared belief that, following a long period of crisis, the American-led liberal world order is now in transition, the question arises: what comes next? Considering China’s ‘parallel order-shaping’ project with respect to the liberal order as a harbinger of a ‘multi-order world’, it is reasonable to expect a concert-like mode of ordering, which will draw on a new common language to reach consensus among proactive stakeholders at the global level. Those interested in maintaining the liberal character of this arrangement, such as the EU, should therefore steadily engage in the process leading to its establishment in order to gain and retain full membership while enhancing their discursive power.
Keywords: Liberal order, transition, multi-order world, China, systemic order, concert
Buy this article online

The Age of Anxiety: The Crisis of Liberal Democracy in a Post-Hegemonic Global Order
Ziya Öniş
The crisis of liberal democracy is closely associated with major global shifts, which have been accelerated by the global financial crisis of 2008, with its dislocating effects in the established democracies of the global centre. Relative stagnation and rising problems of inequality and unemployment, coupled with additional shocks in the form of mass migration and terrorist attacks have generated fertile grounds for the rise of right-wing radical populist sentiments, which have been turned into electoral advantage by charismatic leaders. The crisis of liberal democracy is also a global phenomenon in the sense that liberal democracy has been severely challenged by the rise of strategic models of capitalism, notably its authoritarian version represented by the growing power and influence of the China-Russia coalition. Indeed, the success of the latter has served as a kind of reference for many authoritarian or hybrid regimes in a changing global context, at a time when the key Western powers appear to be losing their previous economic and moral appeal.
Keywords: Global financial crisis, global shifts, emerging powers, liberal democracy, right-wing populism, future of the left
Buy this article online

Evolving ties in and with the Middle East

State and Non-State Alliances in the Middle East
Kristina Kausch
Proxy relationships between non-state challengers and their external state patrons in the Middle East are a factor that can weaken regional stability as non-state proxies become both a tool and a decisive factor in shaping inter-state competition between regional powers. As a result, non-state actors with regional influence must increasingly be factored into policy decisions in military, diplomatic and legal terms.
Keywords: Middle East, Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood, Kurds, non-state actors, alliances, proxy wars
Buy this article online

Ties that Bind: Dynamics of Group Radicalisation in Italy’s Jihadists Headed for Syria and Iraq
Francesco Marone
In recent years, thousands of radical citizens and residents from Europe have joined the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS) in Syria and Iraq. Unlike other European countries, Italy has traditionally been characterised by the prevalence of individual pathways of radicalisation over group mechanisms. Nevertheless, recent cases show interesting indications of the increasing role of small groups based on pre-existing personal relationships (family and friendship ties). This kind of bond can be particularly salient for IS, a jihadist “proto-state”, which needs not only ‘foreign fighters’ but also new ‘citizens’ of different sexes and ages, including entire families.
Keywords: Italy, radicalisation, terrorism, jihadism, foreign fighters
View this article online       go to Routledge

EU foreign policy: between theory and practice

Assessing the High Representative’s Role in Egypt during the Arab Spring
Maria Giulia Amadio Viceré and Sergio Fabbrini
The 2009 Lisbon Treaty institutionalised an intergovernmental constitution for managing policies traditionally a matter of national sovereignty, such as foreign and defence policies. However, important innovations were introduced in the foreign policymaking structure to limit its intergovernmental logic, in particular, with regard to the role of the High Representative (HR). It was generally assumed that those innovations would have made development of a coherent EU foreign policy possible. Yet, in one of the most significant tests for the EU’s foreign and defence policies in the post-Lisbon era, namely the Egyptian crisis (2011-14), those reforms did not work as expected. Notwithstanding the innovations, the HR’s role was diminished by the European Council’s strict control over foreign policy toward Egypt. The lack of clear policy guidelines towards the issue of democratisation in the Arab world in the 2003 European Security Strategy, although partially mitigated by the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Barcelona Process/Union for the Mediterranean, made it even more difficult for the HR to bring a European perspective into the largely intergovernmental setting.
Keywords: EU foreign policy, Lisbon Treaty, Arab Spring, Egyptian crisis, High Representative, intergovernmentalism, global strategy
Buy this article online

Migration and the EU Global Strategy: Narratives and Dilemmas
Michela Ceccorulli and Sonia Lucarelli
Migration did not figure in the European Security Strategy of 2003. Never mentioned as a threat, it was not even mentioned as a risk. Thirteen years later, migration is widely cited in the new European Union Global Strategy. Much richer than the previous security document and global in aspiration, the Global Strategy treats migration as a challenge and an opportunity, recognising the key role it plays in a rapidly changing security landscape. However, this multi-faceted perspective on migration uncovers starkly different political and normative claims, all of which are legitimate in principle. The different narratives on migration present in the new strategic document attest to the Union’s comprehensive approach to the issue but also to critical and possibly competing normative dilemmas.
Keywords: Migration, resilience, European Union, European Union Global Strategy, normative issues, justice, security, narratives
Buy this article online

The European Union Global Strategy: What Kind of Foreign Policy Identity?
Kateryna Pishchikova and Elisa Piras
Some dismiss the recent EU Global Strategy as a “triumph of hope over experience”, an impracticable and therefore ultimately irrelevant statement; others are enthusiastic about what they see as perseverance and renewed ambition in the face of the present crisis. Although the 2016 Strategy appears more modest than its 2003 predecessor in operational terms, the range of deliberations that fed into it and the quality of the document itself demonstrate a greater maturity of reflection on foreign policy. A critical reading of the document shows that concepts such as normative power and differentiated inclusion of neighbours in the EU’s system of governance have all but disappeared. The emerging EU identity appears to be debilitated by the centrifugal processes of internal contestation and a drastically downsized claim for external power projection. An alternative plan for action will have to deal with the Union’s vulnerabilities and carve out a role that is distinct, yet in line with this new self-understanding.
Keywords: EU foreign policy, EU Global Strategy, European Security Strategy, identity, IR
Buy this article online


Preparing NATO for the Future – Operating in an Increasingly Contested Environment
Luis Simón
The global proliferation of precision-strike systems may be challenging the foundations of Western military-technological supremacy. Relatedly, the development of so-called Anti-Access and Area Denial (A2/AD) capabilities across the globe threatens to complicate Western freedom of military movement and access, and could give way to a more contested military-strategic environment. The twin challenges of precision-strike proliferation and A2/AD strongly impact NATO’s agenda, which revolves around strengthening deterrence and defence in Eastern Europe, and addressing the different threats emanating from the so-called Southern European neighbourhood. In order to address or mitigate such challenges, the Alliance needs to produce operational concepts and capabilities able to deliver deterrence and expeditionary warfare in a maturing precision-strike environment, one characterised by the emergence of A2/AD capabilities.
Keywords: Precision-strike, A2/AD, NATO, deterrence, expeditionary warfare
Buy this article online

Book Reviews

US Strategy and the Origins of American Alliances in Asia
Giuseppe Spatafora
Review of: Powerplay : the origins of the American alliance system in Asia, by Victor D. Cha, Princeton University Press, 2016
Buy this article online

China and Energy Security: The Challenges Ahead
Silvia Menegazzi
Review of: China’s energy security : a multidimensional perspective, edited by Giulia C. Romano and Jean-François Di Meglio, Routledge, 2016
Buy this article online

Recent Publications
View this article online       go to Routledge