“The Italian Left and Foreign Policy”: Conference Programme

As already illustrated in a previous post (here), the conference “The Italian Left and Foreign Policy” will be held in Cambridge (UK) on 9th June 2014.

Here you’ll find the (very promising) the conference programme

Venus in Arms will be at the conference, participating at the SESSION III – PANEL VI (The post-Cold War: A Post-ideological Left for a Post- Foreign Policy?) with the paper: ‘The Irrelevance of Radical Parties in Coalition Foreign Policy: Italy and the Polarization Hypothesis’ (Jason Davidson – Mary Washington & Fabrizio Coticchia – Sant’Anna, Pisa).

Here below the abstract

Scholarly consensus increasingly suggests that coalition governments produce more polarized foreign policies than single party governments. This, the literature argues, is especially likely when coalition governments include radical parties that take extreme positions on foreign policy issues and are “critical” to the government’s survival as the radical parties push the centrist ones toward the extremes. A look at Italy’s post-Cold War center-left governments and decisions on military operations provides an important counterpoint to the polarization hypothesis. In three high profile cases of military operations–Albania 1997, Kosovo 1999, and Afghanistan 2007–Italy had a center-left government that depended on radical parties for its survival. In all cases the parties took a position against military operations but did not prevent the government from engaging in/extending operations by threatening survival or forcing the government’s fall. Our paper seeks to explain the irrelevance of leftist radical parties in Italy in the post-Cold War period. We argue first that radical parties are reluctant to threaten/force government collapse as this can lead to a center right coalition coming to office and voters’ blame for the outcome. Second, we argue that relative salience has been critical: foreign policy has been less important to radical parties than domestic issues and it has been more important to center-left parties than radical ones. Finally, we argue that radical parties have appealed to their voters through theatrical politics (e.g., attending protests) and have affected the implementation of military operations.

See you there

 

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