After the Cold War, Italy started to act as an international peacekeeper, deploying troops in dozens of military operations, mainly within multilateral frameworks. Recently, with the end of the “war on terror” and after the 2015 White Paper, Italy devoted growing interest and resources to the “Enlarged Mediterranean”. Despite Italy’s post-bipolar military dynamism, limited attention has been paid to assessing missions.
With its vote on Syria in August 2013, the UK House of Commons delivered a historic defeat to a Prime Minister and a government on a matter of military policy. We examine that vote, and the developments leading to it, by identifying the conditions that produced this unexpected outcome. We conclude that public opinion, intraparty divisions, poor party management, and the shadow of Iraq combined to create a context in which parliament exerted decisive influence.
Executive branches of governments have always enjoyed a primacy in managing foreign policy and waging war. However, in several contemporary constitutional systems this trend has been offset through (more or less effective) parliamentary powers. 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?