Venus in Arms Research Projects

“The Transformation of Italian Armed Forces in comparative perspective”, Research Unit: Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna; 2013-2015

The research focuses on the evolution of Italian armed forces in comparative perspective. European armed forces underwent deep changes in the past two decades. Given the breadth of the debate and the size of transformations that took place, it is somewhat surprising that relatively few academic studies have directly dealt with changes in force structure of European militaries, and the Italian armed forces in particular. The focus of this research is the organizational dimension of the restructuring of armed forces through three different lenses: doctrine and strategic framework, budget and resource allocation, and force structure and deployment. The key issues we address relate to how these factors interact in shaping transformation. Of particular interest is the theme of learning, which is how armed forces endogenize change in the short and long run. The idea is to provide insights to assess the extent to which armed forces managed to adapt to the emerging strategic and operational challenges they have to face and to illustrate the weight of institutional legacies, parochial interests, and organizational cultures in shaping transformation. The empirical analysis is composed by a first part discussing Italy and a second section comparing and contrasting it with transformations occurring in other European countries (UK and France to begin with). The study investigates the transformation of armed forces, going through the developments occurred in the decade between the operations in Afghanistan and Libya (2001-2011). The analysis is supported by an extensive use of primary sources, collecting data through interviews with experts, political leaders and military officers.

 Other Research Projects

Fabrizio Coticchia

Principal Investigator:

“The Transformation of European Armed Forces”, European University Institute – EUI, Florence. Jean Monnet Fellowship (September 2014)


“The Italian Foreign Policy in front of the new challenges of the international system: actors, institutions and policies”, PRIN project, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna – Pisa


Francesco N. Moro

Principal Investigator:

“Mafias Going North: Expanding while Transforming”, University of Milan-Bicocca


“Predict. Projections and Relevant Effects of Demographic Implications, Changes, and Trends”, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento and University of Bologna for NATO Allied Command Transformation


Venus is Arms on tour

ViA on Tour 2014

“The Redesigning of Italian Armed Forces in a Time of Crisis (2001-2012)”,  Fabrizio Coticchia and Francesco N. Moro in “The crisis in EU and USA”, Pisa, 13 June 2014.

“Organizational Change and Learning of Armed Forces: Italy in Comparative Perspective, 2001-2013”, Fabrizio Coticchia and Francesco N. Moro, ISA 55th Annual Convention, Toronto, 26-29 March 2014

ViA on Tour 2013

“The Redesigning of European Armed Forces from Afghanistan to Libya”, Fabrizio Coticchia, Francesco N. Moro, in ‘L’Europa in bilico: la scienza politica italiana di fronte alle attuali sfide’, Florence 8 May 2013

“Wind of change? The dynamics of transformation of the Italian Armed Forces from Afghanistan to Libya (2001-2011)”, Fabrizio Coticchia and Francesco N. Moro, ISA 54th Annual Convention, San Francisco 3-6 April 2013.

Roundtable: “Revisiting European Interventions: Afghanistan to Libya”, at ISA 54th Annual Convention, San Francisco 3-6 April 2013

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