2016a ). This article investigates the way in which these threats are dealt with by external actors using the Central Mediterranean route as an example, specifically focusing on Libya as a transit country and departure point for irregular migration to
The Case of Irregular Migration from Libya
Evolving Relations with Egypt and Libya
Elisabetta Brighi and Marta Musso
The Mediterranean and the Middle East have long constituted an important “circle” in Italy’s foreign policy, with Egypt and Libya playing a particularly important role. During 2016, two sources of tension emerged in Italy’s relations with these countries. The first reflects a wider European situation. Like the rest of the EU, Italy has followed strategic interests—on migration, energy, and security—that sometimes conflict with the promotion of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, which the EU claims to promote in its external relations. The Regeni affair, involving a murdered Italian graduate student, exemplified this tension. The second source results from the role of corporate interests in Italy, especially those of oil and energy companies, in relation to the country’s “national interests.” Italian foreign policy toward both Libya and Egypt seems to have been driven by a combination of somewhat overlapping but also divergent national and corporate interests.
The 2011 Libya campaign highlighted the divergence of interests between France and Germany within the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in matters of Middle East and global security. This divergence calls for a reassessment of the meaning of their bilateral cooperation, as defined in the Treaty of Friendship between France and Germany, otherwise known as the Élysée Treaty, signed on 22 January 1963 by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and President Charles de Gaulle. This article focuses on France, which engaged militarily in Libya cooperating with the United Kingdom as its principal European partner. Germany, for reasons explained by its history, political culture, and the nature of its federal system, chose to abstain in the United Nations vote to authorize the campaign. These differences between France and Germany suggest a contrast in their respective security and, particularly defense, policy objectives on the fiftieth anniversary of the Élysée Treaty.
Osvaldo Croci and Marco Valigi
The uprising against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was part of the “Arab
Spring,” a wave of demonstrations that began at the end of 2010 and
led, in a short space of time, to the fall of regimes in Tunisia and
Egypt; uprisings in Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain; and street protests in a
number of other Arab countries. Following the collapse of the ruling
administrations in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt on 14 January and 11
February, respectively, street protests against Gaddafi began in Libya.
The violent reaction of the Libyan regime led to uprisings throughout
the country. On 27 February, anti-Gaddafi forces established a provisional
government, known as the National Transitional Council (NTC),
in Benghazi. The ensuing civil war resulted in the intervention of a
NATO-led coalition to enforce United Nations (UN) Security Council
Resolution 1973, which provided for the establishment of a no-fly zone
to protect civilians. From their stronghold in eastern Libya, the anti-
Gaddafi forces, aided by NATO air cover and air strikes, slowly took
control of the rest of the country. They captured Tripoli on 28 August
and then moved against the remaining pro-Gaddafi forces in northeastern
Libya. Gaddafi’s last stand in his hometown of Sirte ended on 20
October, when he was captured and killed.
Vittorio Emanuele Parsi
In 2015, Italy’s foreign policy was focused on issues that were linked to the attempt to boost Italy’s international reputation: the Libyan question, the migration crisis, and Italy’s role in the European Union. As for the first two issues, the Renzi government has sought to “Europeanize” them, with the aim of not being “left alone” in dealing with their consequences. The third issue concerns Renzi’s effort to gain fiscal flexibility and “change the course” of the European Union. However, in Europe the prime minister has found himself isolated and has struggled to lead coalitions on issues that are very relevant for the national interest. The assessment of the Renzi government’s action in foreign policy in 2015, ultimately, can be read in two ways: if it is evaluated against announcements, expectations, and demands of the prime minister, the result is disappointing; if it is measured in a more realistic fashion, the appraisal can be less harsh.
This article reconstructs the evolution of the representation of Italian colonialism in history textbooks for upper secondary schools from the Fascist era to the present day. Textbook analysis is conducted here in parallel with the development of Italian historiography, with special attention being paid to the myth of the "good Italian", incapable of war crimes and violence against civilians, that has been cherished by Italian public opinion for a long time. Italian historians have thoroughly reconstructed the crimes perpetrated by the Italian army both in the colonies and in Yugoslavia and Greece during the Second World War, and this issue has slowly entered history textbooks.
Why Pro-democracy Activity Was Avoided in Gulf Nations during the Arab Spring
Charles Mitchell, Juliet Dinkha, and Aya Abdulhamid
collective action proliferated across much of the Middle East and North Africa, namely, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain. In this article, we examine the Arab Spring collective action that unified large
As we look back in 2017 at the Arab Spring, we get a sense that it went astray rather quickly after beginning in December 2010. While in Egypt the military has taken over, Libya, Syria and Yemen have descended into chaos, and in Bahrain
Religion and Revolution
Mark Juergensmeyer, Sidharthan Maunaguru, Jonathan Spencer, and Charles Lindholm
For some decades, the religious rebellion of the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries was characterized by political violence, terrorism, and strident rhetoric. Then in 2011, the events collectively known as Arab Spring seemed to offer a new model: mass movements leading to democratic reform and electoral change. The elections of 2012 swept religious parties and leadership into office in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. Is this the face of the future of religious rebellion around the world?
Since the mid-1980s Italy’s relations with the United States (US)
have been characterised by occasional periods of tension, usually
following some unilateral American initiative in the Mediterranean.
At the beginning of 1999 it seemed that the two countries
were again on a collision course. The US was uneasy about Italian
diplomatic overtures to Iran and Libya. Italy, for its part, ignored
American advice that it extradite Kurdish nationalist leader Ocalan
to Turkey where he was wanted for terrorist activities, and it
repeatedly and publicly expressed strong reservations about the
rationale and effectiveness of the periodic Anglo-American bombing
of Iraq. Then, in early March, came the verdict of an American
military court acquitting the pilot responsible for the Cermis accident
of February 1998. The Italian government, backed by practically
the whole of parliament, reacted by calling for a review and
possible re-negotiation of the treaty regulating the use of NATO’s
military bases in Italy.