International Spectator

The International Spectator

Volume XXXIV No. 1 (January-March 1999)


IAI Library Notes
By Maritza Cricorian


L’alleato scomodo : i rapporti fra Roma e Washington nel Mediterraneo: Sigonella e Gheddafi / a cura di Alessandro Silj. - Milano : Corbaccio, c1998. - X, 175 p. - (Collana storica) . — ISBN 88-7972-328-6

The volume retraces the events and motivations behind two critical episodes in Italo-American relations: the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists (1985) and the American bombing of Libya (1986).

The reconstruction is partly empirical, based on interviews and a seminar bringing together a number of the protagonists of the time, organised at Castelgandolfo in 1992 by the Consiglio Italiano delle Scienze Sociali, of which the author is the Secretary General. It shows the degree to which domestic politics affected the choices in international politics and bilateral relations between the two countries and reveals the divergence between the two countries with respect to international terrorism and the strategy to be adopted to manage the crisis. Still unsolved is the problem of NATO bases in Italy in relation to Italian foreign policy.


The choice for Europe : social purpose and state power from Messina to Maastricht / Andrew Moravcsik. - London : UCL Press, c1998. - xiv, 514 p. - ISBN 1-85728-192-6

This hefty volume attempts to determine the impulses that were behind the establishment of the European Communities and later the European Union. In doing so, it follows the five main phases of the integration process, each of which is the subject of one of the volume’s central chapters: the 1957 Treaty of Rome; consolidation of the Common Market (1958-69); the creation of the European Monetary System (1969-83); the Single European Act (1984-88) and the agenda for the single market in 1992; the Treaty of European Union (Maastricht, 1991) and the birth of EMU. And all with particular reference to Germany, France and Great Britain.

Methodologically, it is based on a revision — but not a rejection — of the main neo-functionalist theories, corroborated by an attentive analysis of primary sources, in an attempt to work out its own generally valid theory. The theory proposed is that three factors acted concomitantly: prevalently economic national interests and international competitiveness were behind the original decision; political will, relative bargaining power and the asymmetry of the member states were the reasons for the outcome of the various treaties; and a desire to constrain and control partners was at as the basis of the delegation of sovereignty.


I conflitti : introduzione ad una teoria generale / Emanuele Arielli, Giovanni Scotto. - Milano : Bruno Mondadori, c1998. - 245 p. - (Sintesi). - ISBN 88-424-9432-1

A dual approach — theoretical and empirical - is used to analyse conflicts in this book, the declared purpose of which is to discover the link between conflict and cooperation and to point out the positive aspects of the former. The method is inter-disciplinary, relying on theory of communications, social psychology, international relations, theory of the transformation of conflicts. The book is composed of three parts: the first is dedicated to the presentation of the theories and general models, with particular reference to the common/general aspects of the conflict in the various spheres (individual, groups, nations, etc.); the second describes specific aspects of the various spheres; the third part turns to the strategies of constructive transformation of conflicts, both at the micro (mediation, negotiations, etc.) and at the international level (peacemaking, peacebuilding, peacekeeping). The volume is completed by a brief chapter on the theory and practice of non-violence.


Explaining Euro-paralysis : why Europe is unable to act in international politics / Jan Zielonka. - Houndmills : Macmillan press ; New York : St. Martin’s press, 1998. - x, 266 p. - (St. Antony’s series). - ISBN 0-333-73040-2 (world excluding North America) . - ISBN 0-312-21463-4 (North America)

Four years were dedicated to this study of European foreign and security policy (CFSP). Analysing the cultural and political rather than the economic aspects, attention is concentrated on the period between December 1991 (Maastricht Treaty) and June 1997 (Draft Treaty of Amsterdam). The author puts forth arguments both in favour of and against the most common theories for the failure of CFSP, showing that they can only explain the matter in part — when they are not totally false. Instead, the author puts the blame principally on the European Union’s lack of legitimation, that is, its democratic deficiency and lack of identity. In order to overcome this, he suggests that the EU clearly define its strategic objectives, above all its ultimate boundaries and its functional model. More precisely, he suggests that the EU establish a slow and gradual process of enlargement, limiting it to the countries that are more “Western” in economic, political and cultural terms and, for security reasons, proceed in parallel to the enlargement of NATO since — and this is Zielonka’s other conclusion — the EU is not in need of a military dimension because it is preferable for it to become a “civilian power”, with a clear division of roles between the EU, the WEU and NATO.


The European perspective : transnational party groups in the 1989-1994 European Parliament / Tapio Raunio. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c1997. - xiv, 212 p. - ISBN 1-85521-988-3

This revised version of a PhD dissertation is made up of six chapters: the first describes the role of the European Parliament and the Euro-parties in the EU government; the second provides a theoretical framework for the relation between legislative structures and the formation of preferences; the third examines the process of formation of political groups in the European Parliament; the fourth studies the behaviour of party groups in the European Parliament between 1989 and 1994; the fifth provides a thorough analysis of the activity of questioning; the sixth and last presents conclusions and prospects, drawing the reader’s attention to the rise of party groups and their transnational activity, also in relation to the European Union’s strongly felt need for legitimation.


L’India contemporanea : dinamiche culturali e politiche, trasformazioni economiche e mutamento sociale. - Torino : Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli, c1998. - XII, 371 p. - (Universi culturali e modernità). - ISBN 88-7860-151-9

The result of a study carried out by the Fondazione Agnelli in collaboration with the Centre for Policy Research, the Centre for the Study of Developing Society and the Institute of Defence Study and Analyses, all in Delhi. The approach is multi-disciplinary and attests to the interdependence among cultural, political, economic and social factors which is the basis of the diversity of the Indian model of state and society. The volumes attempt to identify the country’s fundamental dynamics and future prospects.


The information revolution and international security / edited by Ryan Henry and C. Edward Peartree. - Washington : The CSIS Press, c1998. - xx, 194 p. - (Significant issues series ; v.20, n.1) - ISBN 0-89206-299-1

Based on the results of a research project and three conferences, this book is divided into nine essays. The first two go over the fundamental phases in the “information revolution” and its main effects, particularly in the economic field; the next four concentrate on the relation between the information revolution and security, above all in the field of cultural/conceptual references and military theory; the remaining three essays deal with the problem of the political implications, especially in the United States.

More than solutions, the book seems to offer a rather pessimistic key to the reading of the phenomenon: as suggested by Joseph S. Nye Jr. in the preface, these new technologies may help to prevent and combat the more widespread types of war, that is domestic/national, but they do not solve the problem underlying them: what is needed are terms of reference to understand and judge them, efficacious institutions, a clear public concept of national interest.


Integrazione e sicurezza nel Mediterraneo : le opzioni dell’Occidente / Pier Carlo Padoan. - Milano : Franco Angeli, c1997. - 127 p. - ISBN 88-204-9969-X

This analysis of the relation between economic integration and security, both inter- and intra-regional, is carried out by distinguishing between supply and demand for integration. At present, the demand for integration is greater than the supply and this can generate mechanisms of reductions in regional cooperation and therefore security. Conversely, the level of security is directly proportional to the level of integration reached. It is therefore up to the international organisations and the industrialised countries to offer integration through trade liberalisation and financial support. The book sketches three different scenarios of integration and relative levels of security: strong integration/high level of security; weak integration/low level of security and partial integration/unstable level of security.


L’Italia nelle relazioni internazionali dal 1943 al 1992 / Antonio Varsori. - Bari : Laterza, 1998. - XII, 278 p. - ISBN 88-420-5645-6

One of the rare works in Italian on Italian foreign policy, it examines the role of Italy in the international context in the last fifty years. Proceeding chronologically, the book follows the historical evolution of Italy’s choices and identifies constants and variables, concentrating in particular on the period from 1943 (the fall of fascism) to the end of the seventies and on the geographic areas historically of greatest importance to the country (i.e. Europe, the United States and the Mediterranean).


Italian politics today / Hilary Partridge. - Manchester : Manchester University Press, c1998. - viii, 199 p. - ISBN 0-7190-4944-X (pbk)

Structured in mono-thematic lectures with bibliographic information for further reading at the end of each and a selected general bibliography at the end of the volume, this book seems tailored to the needs of students interested in Italian politics, from unification to the 1996 elections. It also intends, however, to show that, above and beyond certain superficial turnovers, Italy has always had a kind if “hierarchical” stability and comes to the conclusion that, as of the crisis in the early nineties, something really is changing in the republic.

The nine lessons are respectively dedicated to the historical background; the constitutional arrangements and its possible reform; the role of the regions, the parties, the left; the welfare state; terrorism and organised crime; the crisis of the party system in the nineties; and foreign policy from colonialism to European integration.


Scenarios for Syria: socio-economic and political choices / Volker Perthes (ed.). - Baden-Baden : Nomos Verl.-Ges., 1998. - 130 p. - (Aktuelle Materialen sur Internationalen Politik; Bd.45). - ISBN 3-7890-5722-3

The authors, European and Syrian experts, use an inter-disciplinary approach to analyse the situation and the prospects, above all economic and social, of Syria. The year they set for the end of their projections is 2010, the deadline set by the EU for the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area and considered by the authors as a reasonable timeframe for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

As seen by the authors, there are four main obstacles to the country’s development: demographic growth and relative problems of subsistence; the fall in oil income; a balance of payments deficit (except for an increase in non-oil products); increased poverty. In order to meet these challenges, the authors put forward a few suggestions, including: reducing the country’s dependence on water-intensive agriculture and oil production; attracting foreign capital; reducing the barriers to inter-regional trade; developing human resources through adequate education and creating a fair social infrastructure; allowing and providing incentives for the formation of an autonomous and efficient entrepreneurial class; solving the country’s conflict with Israel; but above all — and as a prerequisite — creating a more participatory political environment.


Turkey’s Kurdish question / Henri J. Barkey and Graham E. Fuller. - Lanham : Rowman & Littlefield, c1998. - xx, 239 p. - ISBN 0-8476-8553-5 (pbk)

Focused on Turkey, this study is aimed principally at the Turkish public in the hope of stimulating internal debate on the Kurdish question and therefore, helping to overcome the current standstill. It is based on, in addition to the authors’ firsthand knowledge of Turkey, a large number of interviews with Turks and Kurds of all social levels and political leanings, while maintaining a comparative view with other ethnic conflicts.

The seven chapters deal with the origins of the problem, the birth of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), the formation of a Kurdish national awareness, Turkey’s policy in the country’s southeast, the Kurds in Turkish foreign policy, hypotheses for solutions. In the latter, the authors invoke a solution “within the current borders” which must be predicated on greater democratisation in the country and a decentralisation of administrative powers. Other recommendations include making the Kurdish identity legal; reducing the military approach to the southeast; protecting the Kurdish political parties and allowing Kurds to be educated in their mother tongue.


UN peacekeeping in trouble: lessons learned from the Former Yugoslavia : peacekeepers’ views on the limits and possibilities of the United Nations in a civil war-like conflict / edited by Wolfgang Biermann and Martin Vadset. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c1988. - xxx, 378 p. - ISBN 1-84014-176-X

This volume attempts to verify the applicability of the principles and techniques of “traditional” peacekeeping to the new types of conflicts, civil and ethnic. To that end, it examines mainly the Yugoslav experience, but there are also references to Somalia, Cambodia and the Middle East.

The study, which took several years, combined a number of methodological instruments: interviews with military and civilian officials, seminars, a questionnaire. The innovation lies in the fact that in order to identify the causes of success and failure and to draw some indications for the future, voice has been given to the people involved in peacekeeping. The results confirm the validity of such principles as consent, impartiality and self-defence and their incompatibility with enforcement procedure. Recommendations include cultural training for peacekeeping staff, initiatives for stimulating dialogue among the parties in question, support for moderate forces and defence of the political rights of the opposition.

Maritza Cricorian is Chief Librarian at the IAI.