Ispi Studies

Gli ISPI Studies sono monografie su temi specifici volti a divulgare i risultati della ricerca ISPI e fornire indicazioni di policy.

  • The new Middle East (dis)order: regional players and stakes

    Mercoledì, 12 Novembre, 2014

    Valeria Talbot, Sara Bazoobandi, Benedetta Berti, Andrea Plebani

    Over the past years the Middle East has been witnessing the emergence of an arch of instability that connects multiple sub-regional crises and alters regional order, which today looks more like regional disorder. Furthermore, these crises challenge the very existence of the statehoods and borders as they were created in the aftermath of World War I. It is not unlikely that the outcome of the current regional turmoil will be the disintegration of some states under the pressure of divisive ethno-sectarian forces. This area is more unstable and fragmented than four years ago when the Arab uprisings erupted. The emergence of jihadist groups, from North Africa to the Middle East, and the establishment of the self-proclaimed Caliphate in western Iraq have added a further destabilizing factor in the regional context. Against this background, this study will analyze the role and agenda of the main regional players in the new Middle East (dis)order.

  • The Armed Forces in the Muslim World

    Lunedì, 14 Luglio, 2014

    Elisa Ada Giunchi, Zeinab Abul-Magd, Giuliano Battiston, Francesco Montessoro, Burak Bilgehan Özpek

    The recent events in Egypt remind us of the political and economic role that the armed forces have played in some important Muslim countries since their independence, often outside the purview of civilian governments, with senior members of the military – both retired and serving – occupying key positions in the bureaucracy and in state-owned corporations, and undertaking business activities. Through the decades the military has proved able to adapt to new circumstances – such as bottom-up pressures to democratize – while retaining their status and to forge new alliances in order to maximise their corporate advantages. The first case study we will analyse is that of Egypt, where the army is one of the strongest in the Middle East and where active or retired military officers (with just one short-lived exception , that of Muhammad Morsi) have been head of the state approximately 60 years. Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi, the fourth military officer to rule the country, is currently attempting to rein in both political Islam and progressive secular movements.
    The second case is that of Turkey, where the military toppled elected governments in 1960, 1971, 1980 and maneuvered the removal of a prime minister in 1997; its influence has sharply declined since the Justice and Development Party came to power in 2002, though it retains a great influence over decision making on security-related issues. In Indonesia, the armed forces played a relevant political role between 1966 and 1998, ‘though with the end of the Suharto era a process of democratization began to curtail it. In Pakistan, the army, one of the largest in
    the world, has directly ruled for nearly half the country’s history, and even under elected governments it has controlled some crucial aspects of decision-making. Though in some of these countries elected governments have been recently able to exert greater control over the armed forces, the latter still retain considerable political influence and control a significant proportion of the national economy.The study includes an analysis on the peculiar challenges faced by the Afghan army in the context of the imminent withdrawal of international troops.

  • Afghanistan Post-2014: Scenarios After the International Military Disengagement

    Giovedì, 19 Giugno, 2014

    Andrea Carati, Claudio Bertolotti, Colin P. Clarke, Riccardo M. Cucciolla, Fabio Indeo, Mark Sedra, Arne Strand

    President Obama has recently announced his long-awaited decision about the American military presence in Afghanistan after the end of ISAF. 9.800 American soldiers will remain in the country in 2015 and a few thousands troops from other NATO members will be part of the new NATO mission (Resolute Support). In 2016 the American troops will be reduced by a half and the following year the U.S. will withdraw the remaining soldiers. European countries will apparently do nearly the same. In the meantime the new afghan president, elected in June, is expected to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the U.S. and then the Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) with NATO. Both will allow an international military presence in Afghanistan after ISAF’s departure. It is hard to predict if this light military commitment will be suitable to preserve the current situation in Afghanistan and hold back the Taliban insurgency. The process of Transition began in 2010, aimed at training and preparing the Afghan National
    Security Forces (ANSF) to lead military operations in all the provinces by the end of 2014, although in part successful, cannot ensure a good security environment. Thus, the future of Afghanistan in the coming years is still uncertain. This ISPI study tries to shed some light on this uncertainty. The overall aim of the project is to offer an assessment of the current situation in Afghanistan and to consider the possible scenarios after the end of ISAF mission, focusing on some relevant aspects. First of all, starting from the essential challenge to the stability in Afghanistan, it offers an assessment of the
    Taliban insurgency. Second, it deals with the major consequences for NATO of the end of ISAF and a failing Afghanistan. Third, it looks at the Security Sector Reform carried out in Afghanistan and the concerns about the ANSF’s ability to cope with security in the light of the international military disengagement. Fourth, it explores the effects of withdrawal on humanitarian and development assistance in Afghanistan. And finally, it looks at the regional context assessing the impact of NATO’s departure on Central Asia security architecture in general and on Uzbekistan in particular.

  • The Balkans Approaching the EU

    Giovedì, 5 Giugno, 2014

    Serena Giusti, Luisa Chiodi, Stefano Bianchini, Arolda Elbasani, Stefano Pilotto, Francesco Martino, Andrea Oskari Rossini

    While the EU’ member states are absorbed by the political campaign in view of the European elections and apprehensive about the implications of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the Balkan question remains in the background. The Balkans, nevertheless, continue to make progress on the convergence with the EU and for some of them the membership is getting closer. After Croatia's accession to the EU last July, thanks to the Brussels agreements of April 2013, Kosovo opened the negotiations for the Stabilisation and Association Agreement in October 2013 and Serbia for the EU accession in January 2014. Meanwhile, the European Commission and the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee issued positive opinions on granting candidate status to Albania, even though the Council later postponed the signature of further verification to June 2014. Despite the successful path towards the EU, there are still unsettled issues (Kosovo's status, ethnic slow down the process of European integration and make the region unstable. For this reason the EU needs to not neglect the Balkans and to continue with its commitment towards enlargement.

  • African leaders and the International Criminal Court: perpetrators, victims or scapegoats?

    Lunedì, 5 Maggio, 2014

    Leonardo Baroncelli, Chantal Meloni, Marco Pedrazzi, Mehari Taddele Maru

    In the whole ten-year time of the ICC's work all the cases opened by the Court have concerned only events in Africa and African citizens. In different occasions Fatou Bensouda, the current Persecutor of the Court, herself from Africa, has highlighted that there is an objective preponderance of African conflicts in the international scene and that with 34 African states which joined the ICC statute, the chances that cases would come from those members are high.

  • The Eastern Partnership Performing After Crimea

    Sabato, 19 Aprile, 2014

    Irina Mirkina, Kateryna Pishchikova, Andrei Yahorau

    Ongoing dramatic events and unpredictable dynamics in Ukraine have exposed the multifaceted complexity of the common EU-Russia neighbourhood. After the EuroMaidan Revolution all regional actors had to re-think their interests, approaches and strategies to achieve national aspirations. Despite the high uncertainty and fluidity of current developments make any predictions impossible, this Study aims to cast light on some critical aspects of the present situation and on the impact the involved players have on the future of the region. In particular, it examines the EU perspective and perceptions of the Ukrainian crisis and of the strength of Russia's factor in regional affairs. Russia has become the intervening variable in EU-Eastern Partner countries' relations as well as the common target of the joint EU-US efforts to contrast its regional policies. In this framework, the much debated economic / geopolitical gains and losses of joining the EU or Russia-led Customs Union are compared and explained in detail. (...)

  • Three Years After: How to Stop the Libyan Crisis?

    Lunedì, 3 Marzo, 2014

    Arturo Varvelli

    Lara Talverdian, Karim Mezran, Wolfgang Pusztai, Sherine El Taraboulsi, Dario Cristiani,

    It's hard to debate what the international community should do in Libya without considering first the real causes of the instability. Three years since the "revolution", the Libyan people are still struggling to rebuild their country, but the current security conditions and the political situation are very fragile. Militias and military councils – not the government – effectively rule the country; towns and tribes have been excluded from the reconciliation process because they are accused of being pro-Qaddafi; the Libyan society is fractured into a multitude of factions.

  • Society and Culture in Putin's Russia

    Lunedì, 10 Febbraio, 2014

    Aldo Ferrari

    Serena Giusti

    Sabrina Regolo, Dmitry Shmonin

    The huge wave of demonstrations that swept through Russia from December 2011 to March 2012 made it seem likely that Putin's new presidency would make concessions to the emerging political opposition. However, these expectations were left unfulfilled also due to the opposition's failure to structure itself according to a shared project. Putin's re-election was followed by a series of legislative measures designed to restrict the activities of the opposition by further limiting the activities of NGOs.

  • Are Parliamentary Prerogatives in Foreign Policy Gaining New Momentum?

    Martedì, 14 Gennaio, 2014

    Fabio Longo, Juliet Kaarbo, Daniel Kenealy, Raffaella Baritono, Anna Herranz-Surrallés

    Executive branches of governments have always enjoyed a primacy in managing foreign policy and waging war. However, the highly influential parliamentary debates in the United Kingdom, the United States or France on the Syrian conflict have given rise to the perception that parliaments are becoming increasingly influent in first-order international affairs. When looking at recent developments concerning the Syrian crisis, could it be that parliamentary prerogatives in matters of foreign and defense policy are gaining new momentum?

  • Turkey's Foreign Policy: Towards a Multiregional Rethinking?

    Mercoledì, 18 Dicembre, 2013

    Valeria Talbot

    Carlo Frappi

    Meliha Benli Altunisik, Mustafa Kutlay

    Over the last decade Turkey has emerged as a prominent regional player. Leadership aspirations as well as strategic, economic and energy security interests have projected Turkish foreign policy toward its surrounding regions from the Middle East to the Caspian basin and Central Asia. In the latter case the cultural dimension has also played a significant role. The development of an export-oriented economic model has been a key aspect of Turkey's more assertive role in the neighbouring countries and in diversification of partners...