CIAO DATE: 02/01

International Spectator

The International Spectator

Volume XXXV, No. 2 (April - June 2000)


IAI Library Notes
By Maritza Cricorian


Albania's economy in transition and turmoil, 1990-97 / edited by Anthony Clunies-Ross, Petar Sudar. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c1998. - xviii, 256 p. - ISBN 1-84014-563-3
This book constitutes a kind of up-date and restyling of a research study originally carried out in the framework of the 1994 Phare programme. In fact, all of the eleven original studies have to some extent been utilised in the current 32 contributions written by as many authors, including those that took part in the original study.
The focus of the academic effort is the "transition" experience in Albania from a Stalinist state and, therefore, the evolution of Albanian political economy from 1990 to 1997. In particular, following an introduction and an overview of the entire experience, the third and fourth chapters set the background to the transformation of the institutions and financial initiatives that took place from 1990 to 1996. These form the subjects of the next chapters up to chapter 14. The fifteenth and sixteenth chapters, after a brief update on the tragic events of 1997, indicate the lessons learned and provide some operational recommendations.

Avanguardie della fede : l'islamismo tra ideologia e politica / Renzo Guolo. - Milano : Guerini e Associati, c1999. - 143 p. - (Frontiere ; 17). - ISBN 88-8335-035-9
Taking "Islamism" to mean the fundamentalist movements that combine a reinterpretation of the tradition with political action aimed at purifying politics of whatever autonomy it has from religion, the author attempts to analyse that process of reinterpretation of traditions from their historic roots (Sayyid Qutb, Ali Shariati, Ruollah Khomeini). In addition, he seeks to understand how that reinterpretation has influenced the concrete action of these fundamentalist movements (strategies for gaining power, institutions, the role of women).
Analysis is limited to North Africa and the Middle East, but is flanked by an aperçue on the developments of the movement from a European perspective.

Bridges and barriers : the European Union's Mediterranean Policy, 1961-1998 / Filippos Pierros, Jacob Meunier, Stan Abrams. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c1999. - x, 336 p. - ISBN 1-84014-447-5
As clearly announced in the title, this volume retraces the history and the shortcomings of European policy towards the so-called Third Mediterranean Countries (TMCs), a term encompassing eleven countries including the Occupied Territories and excluding Libya, Croatia, Montenegro and Albania.
The book is composed of five chapters, plus conclusions: in the first, the authors present the political and (socio-) economic context of the region; the second to fourth go over Community policy towards the TMCs during three periods: 1961-72; 1972-89 (Global Mediterranean Policy); 1989-94 (Redirected Mediterranean Policy); the fifth chapter is dedicated to analysis of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. While emphasising the need for a European policy (as opposed to national policies) toward the region, it is argued in the conclusions that a policy for liberalisation of trade in the region must be adopted, but that it must be accompanied by support for internal reforms that guarantee democratic institutions and civic initiative.

La citoyenneté européenne : droits, politiques, institutions / Paul Magnette. - Bruxelles : Editions de l'Université de Bruxelles, c1999. - (Etudes européennes). - ISBN 2-8004-1222-4
The result of a PhD thesis, this book looks at the genesis of the institution of "European citizenship", from its origins up to the Treaty of Amsterdam, implicitly recounting the building of the European Union itself.
This is the focus of the first part of the book, in particular, which covers the period from 1957 to 1990. The second, which extends from the eve of the 1991 Intergovernmental Conference to after Amsterdam, is dedicated mainly to an analysis of the contradictions, tensions and political debate that have and will continue to hinder European citizens from enjoying full membership in the Union.

Commonwealth and independence in post-Soviet Eurasia / edited by Bruno Coppieters, Alexei Zverev and Dmitri Trenin. - London : Frank Cass, c1998. - 224 p. ISBN 0-7146-4880-3 (pbk)
Conflicting loyalties and the state in post-Soviet Russia and Eurasia / edited by Michael Waller, Bruno Coppieters and Alexei Malashenko. - London : Frank Cass, c1998. - 258 p. - ISBN 0-7146-9479-X (pbk)
These two volumes are the product of research conducted by 50 researchers (of which 38 from the former USSR) with funding from the International Association for the Promotion of Cooperation with Scientists from the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (INTAS).
They are centred on study of the ethnic, regional and national identity conflicts in the former Soviet Union. In particular, the second volume analyses the impact of the heritage of Soviet ethno-nationalistic policies on the formation of the Caucasian states and the emergence of tensions – but also of loyalties – after the fall of the USSR. The first volume, on the other hand, while confirming the need for intra-regional cooperation, seems to be more pessimistic about the actual ability of the Caucasian states to achieve it.
The two books offer Western scholars a number of opportunities for study of ethnicity policy, the evolution of the nation-state, the demise of the Soviet Union, Islam in Russia and the new methodological orientations of post-Soviet scholars.

Developments in Latin American political economy : states, markets and actors / edited by Julia Buxton and Nicola Phillips. - Manchester : Manchester University Press, c1999. - xiv, 241 p. - ISBN 0-7190-5459-1 (pbk)
In the conviction that there is a deep correlation between the state and the market, between national and international activities, between traditional and non-traditional actors and between old and new problems, this book looks at the political and economic changes that have taken place in Latin American in the post-Cold War era and the trends currently under way.
It is divided into two parts: the first is dedicated to development of the political and economic system and the interaction between the state and the market; the second focuses on the traditional and emerging actors in this process.
In the first part, four chapters by as many authors deal, respectively, with neoliberalism (trends, social consequences, open problems); the evolution of the political system, the interaction between politics and the market and the inherent risks; the evolution of the party system and the electoral process, also seen in the light of globalisation; regional and international relations, the development of Latin American regionalism, its future, and the implications of internationalisation.
The second part is composed of six chapters, of which the first two are dedicated to the role of two traditional actors: the army, and terrorist and guerrilla movements. The remaining four chapters look at non-traditional actors such as non-governmental organisations and their importance in making up for the inadequacies of the neoliberal state; the humanitarian movements and their expansion to non-traditional social sectors such as homosexuals, women, native populations; the political action of women’s groups and the obstacles to it posed by globalisation; and, finally, the development of an environmental agenda and the absence of an actor able to pursue it.

Economia e politica estera in Italia : l'evoluzione degli anni novanta / Fabio Fossati. - Milano : F.Angeli, c1999. - 256 p. - (Collana di scienza politica e relazioni internazioanli). - ISBN 88-464-1695-3
The author uses a scientific approach and empirical verification, as well as comparison with Spain, to analyse the reasons for Italy’s low profile foreign policy during the so-called First Republic. Analysis is conducted in three areas: adhesion to the Treaty of Maastricht, diplomatic support for foreign economic operators, development cooperation.
Special attention is devoted to reform of the domestic institutions for foreign economic policy.

 An ethnic perspective on economic reform : the case of Estonia / Erik André Andersen.- Aldershot : Ashgate, c1999. - xii, 539 p. - ISBN 1-84014-418-1
Based on PhD research, this volume examines the course of Estonia’s independence from the Soviet Union, with particular reference to the interaction between economic reforms and ethnic disparities and in view of possible conflictual consequences linked to the unequal economic development of Estonian society.
Specifically, the author attempts to clarify the consequences of privatisation on the Russian population of Estonia and, therefore, the correlation between ethnic discriminants and socio-economic discriminants in Estonian society. In other words, he investigates which ethnic group controls private property in Estonia and how income and unemployment are distributed. The methodological problems involved in delimiting – if at all possible – the two ethnic groups, and defining the direct and indirect consequences of privatisation, especially unemployment are dealt with mainly in the third chapter, following an introduction and a survey of literature and sources. In the fourth to fifteenth chapters, which constitute the second and third part of the book, the author goes over the most important Estonian legislation from 1987 to 1995, especially regarding privatisation. The fourth part offers a series of statistical studies on the impact of privatisation on the Russian population. Conclusions complete the volume.

La guerra del Kosovo : anatomia di un'escalation / Giovanni Scotto, Emanuele Arielli. - Roma : Editori Riuniti, 1999. - 214 p. - (Primo piano). - ISBN 88-359-4778-2
By the same authors as I conflitti: introduzione ad una teoria generale (see The International Spectator, vol. XXXIV, no. 1, p. 136 ), this book gives a new reconstruction of the events that preceded the NATO intervention in Kosovo in March 1999 and the consequences of each event on the process of escalation, offering a theoretical framework and drawing up a final balance sheet. Above all, it points out that there were alternative paths that failed and that the conflict could have been avoided, in the hope that this will contribute to a reflection on the consequences of the war and the future prospects at the local (Kosovo), regional (the Balkans) and international levels.

Introduzione all'analisi agrosistemica nelle società europee postcomuniste / Carmelo Cannarella. - Milano : F.Angeli, c1999. - 223 p. - (Sistema agricolo italiano). - ISBN 88-464-1684-8
Starting out from the assumed specificity of the geographic area in consideration – Eastern Europe – this volume, based on seven years of research, numerous documents and personal experience, defines a methodological model for analysis of agricultural systems in Central and Eastern Europe. No longer seen as independent, the systems are viewed as part of whole and, as such, subject to factors and constraints of an extra-economic nature.
The approach, therefore, is multi-disciplinary – agrosystemic as indicated in the title –bringing in such disciplines as history, economics, demography, law, political science, biology, physics, and technology. A central part of the analytical model is the interpretative stage which establishes the relations between cause and effect and a hierarchy among the causes. The author admits that, as a result, the analysis is fundamentally subjective and, therefore, debatable, but hopes that it will nevertheless provide food for thought.

Mediating in Cyprus : the Cypriot communities and the United Nations / Oliver P. Richmond. - London : Frank Cass, c1998. - xxxii, 282 p. - (Cass series on peacekeeping ; 3). - ISBN 0-7146-4431-5 (pbk)
This essay aims to identify the obstacle(s) that persist to solution of the Cyprus problem. Based almost entirely on primary sources, it examines the objectives and points of view of the two contenders, and in this lies its specificity.
Divided into three parts, it analyses the theoretical debate on the problem of UN mediation and the opinions of the mediated. It briefly retraces the historical evolution of the problem on the island, examining the events that took place between 1964 and 1994 and the two communities’ perceptions of the pacifying role of the United Nations.
This analysis provides a rereading of the Cyprus problem which points to the role and the influence of the contenders’ points of view in the peacekeeping process and the search for a solution to the problem. This approach could also be applied to other studies of peacekeeping and mediation. A useful appendix of eight official texts related to the subject completes the volume.

Nationalism and ethnoregional identities in China / edited by William Safran. - London : Frank Cass, c1998. - 197 p. - (Nationalism and ethnicity ; 1). - ISBN 0-7146-4476-5 (pbk)
This collection of essays highlights the political aspects of ethnicity in China or, conversely, the ethnic component of Chinese politics and, as a result, the relations between national government and ethnic minorities, with particular attention to the Mongols and the Muslims. It is pointed out that ethnicity or ethnic identity is often not distinguished from religious identity; instead the latter is often seen as the main factor, as is the case with Islam for the Hui minority.
The eight case studies with an anthropological and/or politilogical slant analyse the relations between the Han majority and the Muslims; intra-Muslim relations; relations among the minorities; and finally the interaction between national identity and Marxism. Special attention is devoted to the languages of the minorities and their relation to the "national" language, Han Chinese.
Basically, in spite of some tensions, the People’s Republic of China seems to be relatively tolerant and flexible as far as ethnicity and religion are concerned.

Not whether but when : the US decision to enlarge NATO / James M. Goldgeier. - Washington : Brookings Institution Press, c1999. - xiv, 218 p. - ISBN 0-8157- 3171-X (pbk)
Based largely on interviews conducted between 1997 and 1999 with more than 75 well-known figures involved in the process, this essay analyses the course leading up to the US decision to enlarge NATO. In doing so, it takes into consideration not only the domestic bureaucratic mechanisms of the Clinton administration, the influence of national politics and the relation between the executive and the legislative in the US, but also the constraints which the Alliance will have to face in deciding whether or not to include the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

La nuova Russia : dibattito culturale e modello di società in costruzione / Ilja Levin ... [et al.]. - Torino : Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli, 1999. - VII, 334 p. - (Contributi di ricerca). - ISBN 88-7860-159-4
Roulette russa : cosa succede nel mondo se la Russia va in pezzi / Giulietto Chiesa. - 204 p. - ISBN 88-8335-043-X
Two books on Russia, both put out by Italian publishing houses, but both decidedly different. The first consists of the proceedings of a conference organised by the Agnelli Foundation in November 1998, plus some new chapters. It examines the cultural debate linked to the construction of a new Russia: modernisation, traditionalism, new corporativism, privatisations, nationalism, religion, etc. A special feature is that all authors are Russian academics still working in Moscow. The second volume, written by the Moscow correspondent of La Stampa, offers a (substantially pessimistic) overview of the trends under way and the possible outcomes and solutions to Russia’s crisis, set in the global context. It is made up of three kinds of pieces: journalistic reports, analyses of internal processes and descriptions of external strategies affecting Russia.

Peacekeeping and the UN agencies / edited by Jim Whitman. - London : Frank Cass, c1999. - viii, 143 p. - (Cass series on peacekeeping ; 4). - ISBN 0-7146-4451-X (pbk)
Focused on the agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations involved in peacekeeping operations, in the broad sense of the word, this volume is made up of seven contributions by as many authors. Respectively, they are on: the problematic relationship between peace-maintenance and humanitarian assistance; the role – and the perception of its neutrality – of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with particular reference to the war in Yugoslavia; the activities of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in support of peacekeeping; the functional prospects of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA); the role of the World Food Programme (WFP) in disaster relief; the context, history, organisational efforts and strategic needs of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); and, finally, by the editor of the volume, the need to recover the original "ethos" and "mission" of these agencies.

La popolazione italiana verso il 2000 : storia demografica dal dopoguerra ad oggi / Stefano Baldi, Raimondo Cagiano De Azevedo. - Bologna : il Mulino, c1999. - 168 p. - (Universale paperbacks). - ISBN 88-15-06246-7
An illustration of Italy’s demographic transformation in the last fifty years from an agricultural to a post-industrial society, relating the laborious process to the main political and economic events of the period.
The authors point out that there was never a comprehensive demographic policy throughout the period in question – a phenomenon not exclusive to Italy – only ad hoc legislative measures (especially in the seventies) and some constants, such as the North-South divide and the central role of the family.
Today, Italy is the experimental laboratory of the broader European laboratory and is, together with it, working out responses to the challenges to the new European social model. Some basic trends are evident: the need to reconcile economic liberalisation with social protection, ensuring such fundamental requirements as education, health care and employment.
The task of this special laboratory, the authors conclude, is to make sure that the demographic and economic equilibria of the new Europe can be achieved using incentives and promotional instruments solidly within the sphere of freedom of choice, without having to resort to constrictive measures.

Rethinking European Union relations with the Caucasus /Reinhard Rummel, Claude Zullo (eds.). - Baden-Baden : Nomos Verl.-Ges., 1999. - 141 p. - (Aktuelle Materialien sur Internationalen Politik ; Bd. 60/3). - ISBN 3-7890-5956-0
The third publication of the Conflict Prevention Network, a European project set up in 1997 and managed by the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. This volume presents the results of a research project carried out in 1997 and draws attention to the growing importance of the Caucasian region for the European Union, in consideration of its increasing energy requirements and its enlargement to the east. Thus, the need for knowledge about the rapid political and economic transformations taking place in the region and their impact on Community policies.
The three main lines of the research are reflected in the three parts of the book: the first deals with the main factors in formulating European policy – oil and security; the second highlights the Union’s strengths and weaknesses in the region; the third, finally, analyses the role and the interests of regional actors (Russia, the US, Iran and Turkey) and their possible reactions to a European initiative in the Caucasus.

Maritza Cricorian is Chief Librarian at the IAI.