Sisp Conference 2018. Call for papers (Italian military operations, Sahel, North Africa, defense, Europe, stabilisation…)

Several interesting panels at the next SISP (Società Italiana di Scienza Politica) Annual Conference (Torino, 6-8 September 2018).

Here you’ll find the call for papers. Deadline: May, 20th.

Within the section of “International Relations”, we are pleased to focus on the “Venus panels”. Indeed, “our” Francesco Moro and Fabrizio Coticchia are the chairs of the following 3 panels:

Panel 8.5 Assisting them at their home? Italian and European Security Policies in Sahel and North Africa

 Chair: Fabrizio Coticchia and Luca Raineri

In January 2018 Italy’s parliament approved an increased military presence in Libya and the deployment of troops in Niger and Tunisia. As stated by the Italian government, the goals of the missions were to “guarantee stability in the area”, providing security assistance and capacity building. Officially, Italy aims to support African countries mainly to “fight illegal trafficking of migrants and terrorism”. In line with the last White Paper (2015), Italian Defense started to focus on the “Enlarged Mediterranean” as a key-strategic area, relocating troops from Afghanistan and Iraq to Sahel and Northern Africa. At the same time, several diplomatic and development initiatives have been planned in the region. Also, the EU and European countries (such as France) have been extremely active in Sahel and Northern Africa, with manifold political and military efforts. By combining different methodological approaches, as well as junior and senior scholars from different fields (IR, security studies, defense and foreign policy, area experts), the panel aims to investigate the patterns of (political and military) involvement of Italy, the EU and other European countries in the region. A comparative perspective and a multi-scalar focus would allow analyzing variations across national and multilateral approaches, but also reconfigurations at local level. The panel would like to collect papers that provide new evidence on the ways through which Italy, the EU, and other European countries have addressed the “instability at the Southern borders”, especially concerning:

  • The main traits, problems, consequences, and opportunities in security-assistance approaches in the region;
  • A critical perspective on the securitization of, and responses to, “failed states”, including capacity-building, state-building and stabilization;
  • The strategic shift of the Italian foreign policy towards Sahel and Northern Africa;
  • The coordination, cooperation, and conflicts between European countries, both at EU level as well as on the ground;
  • The security-development-migration nexus in the region
  • The decision-making processes that have led to the deployment of troops;
  • Different approaches and tensions in “the fight against illegal migration and terrorism”;
  • The reconfiguration of local governance in the framework of influence competition and changing priorities of foreign assistance;
  • The ambiguous status of informal networks and non-state actors in the framework of security-assistance.

Panel 8.7  – Change and continuity in European states’ defence policies

Chairs: Fabrizio Coticchia, Andrea Locatelli, Francesco Moro

European states are usually blamed for their reluctance to invest in defence policy. This is witnessed in particular by the mere lack of resources devoted to military assets, as well as the limited weight of defence issues in public debates. However, most – if not all – European states have transformed their defences since the end of the Cold War. Moreover, European armed forces have been deployed in complex military operations abroad, modifying doctrines and tactics on the ground. Reforms have been undertaken across the continent to adapt to the contemporary security context. Examples of this include the demise of the draft, collaborative procurement, multinational exercises and other initiatives. On top of that, since the launch of the European Defence Agency, the European Union has progressively – although erratically – gathered momentum as a catalyst for further cooperation. Also NATO has played a relevant role in shaping the military transformation in Europe.

Starting from these premises, the aim of the panel is to investigate on the defence policies of European states from a comparative perspective. As a result, essays are welcome that cover one or more of these topics:

–      Empirical analyses of the defence policy of one or more European states.

  • Theoretical accounts of the evolution of one or more case studies.
  • In-depth analyses of individual defence policy initiatives and military innovation.
  • Theoretical and/or empirical investigations of the influence of the EU on one or more European States.
  • Theoretical and/or empirical investigations of the influence of NATO on one or more European States.

Panel 8.15 Stabilisation: a new framework for managing (in)security?

Chairs: Irene Costantini and Francesco N. Moro

Over the last decade, the international community has increasingly resorted to stabilisation missions as a new practice to engage in conflict-affected countries. Whether it is under a UN mandate or part of an ad-hoc coalition, stabilisation efforts are ongoing in countries such as Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq and Libya. Although their implementation remains vague and confused, at the core of stabilisation there is the notion of civil and military actions aimed at mitigating crises and creating resilient societies capable of withstanding shocks. As such, stabilisation has moved away from previously dominant frameworks of intervention in conflict-affected countries, such as peacebuilding and statebuilding. Indeed, stabilisation emerged in response to the failure of previous interventions (notably, Iraq and Afghanistan) and the doubts concerning the viability and possibility of building effective states in conflict-affected and fragile countries. The panel investigates what stabilisation is and how it is working as a framework for international action in conflict-affected countries. It questions international actors’ convergent and divergent notions of stability and their operationalization through time and space. By inviting quantitative and qualitative analyses of diverse case studies, the panel aims at unravelling the components and underlying assumptions of stabilisation as well as at scrutinizing similarities and differences between cases. Furthermore, it seeks to explore whether stabilisation is based upon a novel interpretation of insecurity and whether it proposes new ways of governing it.

 

Send your papers through MySisp.

See you soon in Torino.

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