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Abstract: The Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences and the Institute of Universal History of the Moscow Academy of Sciences have a 40 years old scientific collaboration. In May 2016, thanks to this cooperation, a scientific seminar has been held in the Vatican City on «The Russian Revolution in 1917 and the Churches». In this volume, a selection of contributions is published dealing with a wide range of topics, such as the problematic relationship between the Catholic Church and Russia, the ecclesiastical consequences of the 1917 Revolution in Russia, the perspective at that time of the soon-to-be Pope Pius XII, the genesis of the independent State of Czechoslovakia, the role of the Sacred Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s reaction to the Revolution.
Abstract – In order to understand the relations between the Holy See and Revolutionary Russia, it must be considerate the previous relations between these two institutions. The Vatican had always looked to Russia as a religious rival. At the same time Czarist Russia identified itself with the Orthodox Church, imposing strong limitations to the Catholics in Russia. During the First World War the Vatican hoped in a compromise peace on the Western front, and at the same time it desired Central Powers’ strong victory on the East. When the Russian Revolution occurred, the Holy See looked it as a good opportunity for the Catholics to gain more religious freedom. From the Vatican point of view, the new Russian government could not be worse than the previous one. The anarchic situation did not allow the Holy See to understand the actual political condition in Russia, but the Vatican did not believe that the Communist party had the capacity to control the country. Even if there were some voices that suggested a stronger religious intervention in Russia, Holy See followed a cautious policy on the East. Indeed, the Vatican understood that Bolshevists were gaining the power and control over Russia. Considering the situation, Pope Benedict XV wanted to find peace in order to reorganise the Catholic ecclesiastical structures, thanks to a larger religious freedom. Only after that, there should be a major Catholic policy on the East. But the Bolshevik victory and Benedict XV’s death stopped these projects.
Abstract – The 1917 revolution had profound effects and consequences not only on the social, political, institutional dimensions of Russia, but also on the religious sphere and the ecclesiastical structure of the Russian Orthodox Church. The author focuses on this delicate and traumatic turning point of Russian history, which changed – so radically and abruptly – a hitherto Ceasaro-Papist absolutist system into a Marxist-Bolshevik atheist one. Further, the author explains how in 1917 the Russian Orthodox Church suffered the loss of its iconoclastic Constantinian legacy (historically tracing to the demise of Byzantine Empire after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453), of which the Russian Orthodoxy was thought to be the religious heir and successor. The Russian Tsars equally identified as the heirs to the Byzantine autocratic tradition following an historical continuum of Byzantium-Moscow-Petrograd. Proceeding from these considerations, the article focuses on the relations between the Russian Tsardom and Patriarchate, re-examining the contentious debate concerning the rehabilitatation of the Patriarchate after the events of 1917. In conclusion, the author argues that the collapse of the normative and ecclesiastical framework that constituted the Russian Tsarist imperial system also led to the collapse of a Weltanschauung, which was both typically Orthodox and Russian.
Abstract – The paper attempts to give an explanation, based on historical evidence, about the controversial and still open debate on Pope Pious XII’s “silence”. The analysis focuses on two alleged arguments regarding Pope Pacelli’s political and ideological stance: Germanophilia and anti-communist creed. The author examines if those two elements attributed to Pope Pious XII’s attitude have an actual validity or whether they have been to a certain extent inflated by some historiographical narratives. To do so, the author explores Pope Pacelli’s period as papal nuncio to Germany (1917-1927) and scrutinises his dispatches related to Russian revolutionary events in 1917.
Abstract – Against the background of the Russion revolution 1917, the article reconstructs the genesis of the Czecho-Slovak state and the struggle for its future political orientation and ideological character. It follows the political action of Tomáš G. Masaryk, a Czech politician and Socialist thinker and the future first president of Czecho-Slovakia, who came to Russia in May 1917 in the double role as a British agent with the task to face the pacifist propaganda of the Central Powers, to maintain Russia at war and to deliver information to London, and as the leader of the Czecho-Slovak exile movement who aimed at the foundation of a Czecho-Slovak state with a liberal and pro-western orientation. In this spirit Masaryk tried to influence also the Czecho-Slovak legion in Russia and to form its esprit des corps in a liberal-socialist and anti-Catholic sense, making an instrumental use of Hussitic historical imagery and of Hussitism as a metaphorical expression of Czech national resistance against Rome and Habsburg and a legitimation of its liberal and progressist ideals. This impostation, completely strange to Slovak soldiers, together with the Czech national spirit of the legion, led to national conflicts within in. Masaryk’s relation to the bolsheviks remained ambivalent: on the one hand, he denounced them as German agents, on the other hand he maintained with them practical contacts and his thoughts were deeply influenced by Marxism. Masaryk was well aware of the „political price“ of the legion that could facilitate the recognition of the future state on behalf of the Entente, at the same time however he refused its participation in the anti-Bolshevik struggle, promoting a neutrality that in the end served the bolsheviks.
Abstract – The essay focuses on how the Holy See approached the occurrence of the Russian revolutions in 1917, based on the analysis of the documentation available in the Historical Archives of a specific body which goes under the name of Congregazione degli Affari Ecclesiastici Straordinari (Congregation of the Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs). The role of this institution appeared to be crucial in shaping the Vatican diplomacy during the papacy of Pope Benedict XV. The two revolutions occurred in Russia in 1917 were addressed by two distinct congregations of cardinals, the first in July of the same year and the other in June, the following. If, at a first stage, the revolution of February 1917 seemed to create better conditions for the Catholic Church in the country, ensuring a wider religious freedom, the Bolshevik revolution overturned the situation later that year. For this reason, while at the beginning the Cardinals judged the first stage of the uprisings as positive (“providential”), they changed their attitude during the 1918 meeting, which was specifically dedicated to organisational matters (such as the re-organisation of the dioceses), rather than to take a stance towards the Bolshevism. The Congregazione assumed a pragmatical attitude, its primary aim being the preservation of the position of the Church in that time of instability, and not an ideological analysis of the situation.
Abstract – The aim of the current paper is to present an attempt for conceptualization of the existing empiric collection of publications in the church press and the records of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Also, it aims to reconstruct certain forms of reception, perception and reflection in the Bulgarian Church discourse relating to Bolshevism and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. The Bulgarian Church community in the period (the early 1920s) is aware of the danger of the Bolshevism, which threatens the foundations of the Bulgarian spiritual identity and statesmanship. This threat is not looked upon in isolation but as part of a global threat to the fundamental foundations of humanity, whose traditional values are replaced by its antipodes. Through its most active clerics, the Orthodox intellectuals and the active support of the Russian emigration in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Church explains and discloses this historical exchange trying to warn the Bulgarian society of the imminent evil by strengthening its religious consciousness.
Abstract – The articles in this volume represent the proceedings of the 10th annual Conference on international security, focusing on the history and the current affairs of the Atlantic Alliance, organized by the Department of Political Sciences of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan. The departmental research activities have been supported throughout the years by NATO Public Diplomacy Division and other military, political and cultural institutions, such as the Atlantic Treaty Association, the International Commission of Military History and the NATO Rapid Deployment Corps-Italy. This year’s conference analyses the recent evolution of NATO policy and its critical flashpoints, mainly the tension with Putin’s resurging Russia and its many hybrid strategies – as seen in the ongoing Ukrainian conflict – and the rising threat posed to global and especially European security by radical Islamic terror. The conference aims at defining NATO’s contemporary role facing the aforementioned security risks and challenges in view of US President Trump’s foreign policy. The conference further considers the ramifications of the special meeting held at NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels on 25th May 2017, focusing on highly debated and unresolved issues such as the budgetary burden sharing and the military gap between the two sides of the Atlantic, as well as the alleged US military disengagement from Europe under Trump’s administration. Last but not least, attention is given to Italy’s geopolitical and military role in today’s NATO strategic environment and its weight with regards to what Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg considers of utmost importance, i.e. the cash, capabilities and contributions triad.
Abstract – Donald Trump is very uncertain about the NATO’s future. His remarks, albeit later corrected, show that for the United States NATO needs a new strategy, not just of defense and protection, but of offensive presence, especially in the Middle East crisis. The active presence of Russia and Iran in the region requires not only Washington greater military activity, but above all a joint effort of the Alliance in order not to deliver the Middle East to Moscow and Tehran after the ISIS’s defeat. In short, NATO needs a deep redefinition of its tasks and area of intervention. In fact, the Mediterranean sea risks to go under Russia’s control, and Iran itself takes advantage of its presence in Syria to face the Mediterranean. The United States, which has lost its hegemony on the region because of Obama’s disengagement, must again be protagonist; at the same time, NATO must wake up from its political torpor.
Abstract – The special relationship between the United States and Great Britain is historically unique. This specialty is inherent in the role played by the two countries in the evolution of the international system. Just as the architecture of the current global system is an Anglo-American legacy of the Second World War, the Atlantic Alliance emerged thanks to the US-UK special relationship. The Anglo-American relationship was also the driving force that pushed NATO to evolve during the Cold War. Relations between the US and Britain in the bipolar era saw the prevalence of American interests over British ones. London, however, chose to play the role of junior partner alongside the American superpower. If US military pre-eminence within NATO is well-known, British contributions tend to be underestimated. The special relationship played a key role in the good functioning of the Alliance also in the post-bipolar era, in particular for the transformation of NATO and in the framework of the War on Terror. The current importance on the international scene of the Anglo-American bond has declined compared to seventy years ago. The recently-proclaimed Global Britain is a regional power, at best with global interests, while Europe is no longer the heart of the American strategic interest. But the author still maintains that NATO remains the pillar of the transatlantic security, which is not divisible into a multipolar world where the concept of the West is in trouble before the assertive emergence of other actors.
Abstract – This paper will try to address the evolution of the EU-NATO relationship after the Cold War, in order to give some insight into the most pressing problems to be dealt with today to strengthen the transatlantic link. The reason is clear: the relationship has to be reconstructed avoiding approaches and policies that have been detected leading to failure and squandering money in the past decades. As far as NATO is concerned, we can also detect the underlined philosophy that has prevailed in the last decades, implicitly revised during President Obama’s Administrations and, in particular, in a more explicit way, after the nomination of President Trump. Thus, the essay analyses the origins and trajectory of the EU-NATO relationship, focusing only on selected topics, in order to understand their complex relationship, the reasons and the dynamics of change, the present situation and the lessons learned on the approaches and policies adopted in the last decades.
Abstract – The geographic dimension lies at very heart of the Atlantic Alliance. This is the reason why “out-of-area” has always been a divisive issue. At the beginning of the Cold War, the Mediterranean was the Alliance’s “soft underbelly”, a role that changed during the years, since in the Eighties the region became one of the core areas for common security. When the Soviet Union dissolved, efforts were made to develop a new Mediterranean strategy, more attentive to the emerging threats and more “projected” towards the new fronts of crisis. These efforts went side by side with the enlargement process in Eastern Europe, with the aim of shaping new forms of collaboration between the Alliance and its partners. The Mediterranean Dialogue (1994) and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (2004) were the two main tools developed to this end. However, none of them seems having been really successful. The emphasis that NATO placed on technical cooperation triggered criticisms among the Mediterranean partners, hoping for a more political engagement. At the same time, the quickly evolving strategic environment contributed in fuelling divergences among the members states as to the real threat the Alliance have to face. The increasing weight of the Eastern European partners and their fear of the new Russian assertiveness, as well as the widespread concerns about the costs of the “projected” mission, have favoured a return to the old “deterrence and defence” posture; a posture that – in the eyes of the Mediterranean members – underestimates their security needs and makes NATO more vulnerable to the many threats coming from its southern side.
Abstract – Manlio Brosio was the only Italian Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); he was the fourth in charge, from August 1964 through September 1971, his office being one of the longest so far. During Brosio’s seven-year term, the Atlantic Alliance had to face some of the most crucial challenges since its foundation, the first being the withdrawal of the Gaullist France from the military integrated structure, in 1966. Two different processes originated from that moment of potential crisis: the reorganisation and transferral of the NATO Headquarters from Paris to Brussels, and the political rethinking of the Alliance as a whole, through the study which goes under the name of Harmel Report. Projecting the Alliance on the new international framework of improved East-West relations, the Secretary General himself was reflecting upon the key-question “Will NATO survive détente?”; indeed, in his personal diaries (all now published) Brosio revealed his own doubts, fears and sense of inadequacy for the tasks ahead. Having retraced the evolution of Brosio’s political thought and career, the essay then focuses on how he approached his difficult position, always honouring his “Atlantic conscience alongside an Italian heart”. Untiring in his work, he steered the Alliance through and out of the potential crisis, always striving to reach consensus in any decision taken during the Council meetings; his seriousness and meticulous method have been widely acknowledged. He finally managed to preserve the fundamental “political ingredient” of the Alliance and to avoid that it “maintain its shell but lose its essence”.
Abstract – This paper aims at analysing the contribution of the former Italian Foreign Minister, Gaetano Martino, to the Committee of the “Three Wise Men”, established by the North Atlantic Council in May 1956 in order to suggest the ways and means to widen and improve the cooperation among Member States in non-military sectors. The need for reflection on this issue, already dealt with by the Commission on the Atlantic Community between 1951 and 1952, was linked both with the evolution of the East-West confrontation during the years of coexistence and with the breaking point that transatlantic relations experienced during the Suez Crisis.
In this framework, the Liberal, Gaetano Martino, who led the Italian Foreign Ministry from 1954 to 1957, expressed the need to rethink the Atlantic Alliance according to the new dynamism of Italian foreign policy. He thus acted in continuity with the pro-western choice the country had made after the Second World War and with the initiatives on non-military cooperation within NATO that the previous Italian governments had carried out. The Report of the Committee of the Three Wise Men stressed the crucial importance of shaping a multi-level dimension of security that was to be confirmed as a task for NATO and for the entire international community, after the end of the Cold War.
Abstract – The NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-Italy) is one of the 9 High Rapid Force Headquarters in the NATO Force Structure.
At NRDC-Italy one can hear different languages, see different uniforms and meet persons with different cultures and backgrounds. Nations with different cultures and traditions, once opposed, have been cooperating shoulder to shoulder for years now, operating with determination, for a better future, trusting in the highest of ideals. This is the power of diversity and the strength of our multinational headquarters. We all share common values. courage, integrity, loyalty, ethos, camaraderie, honor are no strangers to the military.
In the NATO Long Term Rotation Plan the Headquarters served a one-year tour of duty supporting ISAF throughout 2013. Around 400 personnel from NRDC-ITA (among them, over 70 personnel provided by the outstanding 14 contributing Nations to NRDC-ITA HQ) took part in ISAF 2013, supporting both the strategic and the operational levels of command in Afghanistan (in both HQ ISAF and HQ IJC) in the Combined Joint Area of Operations (CJOA).
Abstract – By considering the ecclesiastical social teaching as an organic and systematic corpus, the present text outlines and analyses the most important papal documents in the social field: Leo XIII’s Rerum novarum (1891), Pius XI’s Quadragesimo anno (1931), John XXIII’s Mater et magistra (1961) and Pacem in terris (1963), Paul VI’s Populorum progressio (1967) and Octogesima adveniens (1971), John Paul II’s Laborem exercens (1981), Sollicitudo rei socialis (1987) and Centesimus annus (1991), Benedict XVI’s Caritas in veritate (2009) and Francis’s Evangelii gaudium (2013). Without theorising a rupture between a pre-conciliar Church and a post-conciliar Church, this essay aims at showing both faithful continuity and constant renewal of the Social Doctrine of the Church. As an integral part of the Christian message, the ecclesiastical social teaching is deeply rooted in the tradition of the Catholic Church. The doctrinal continuity, therefore, is not jeopardised by the inevitable differences in style and approach among the Pontiffs.
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Gli Stati Uniti nel sistema internazionale Fra continuità e mutamento
Il volume propone una lettura non effimera, in quanto non appiattita sull’attualità ma collocata in un’ottica di più lungo periodo, delle possibili trasformazioni dello scenario internazionale indotte dall’elezione di Donald Trump a Presidente degli Stati Uniti, che restano pur sempre un attore globale, l’unico in grado di influenzare tutte le aree geopolitiche. Si inserisce quindi nella tradizione della “scuola storica di analisi delle relazioni internazionali” che ha il suo centro nel Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche dell’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore e ha prodotto, tra l’altro, precedenti volumi di questa collana.
In misura diversa secondo la disciplina di riferimento degli autori – storici delle relazioni internazionali, storici di specifiche aree geopolitiche, storici delle istituzioni politiche, scienziati della politica e cultori di studi strategici – la profondità storica dell’analisi è comunque presente. Parallelamente anche gli storici non rifuggono dall’uso di categorie politologiche. Si attua quindi non un’ibrida interdisciplinarietà, che talvolta si riscontra in opere di geopolitica ove si piega l’analisi storica al servizio di una tesi, ma un fecondo approccio multidisciplinare. Non a caso questo volume è il prodotto di una comunità scientifica nella quale è ancora viva l’eredità di Gianfranco Miglio, Preside per un trentennio della Facoltà di Scienze Politiche dell’Università Cattolica e Docente per sette anni anche di Storia dei trattati e politica internazionale, per il quale la storia è il laboratorio privilegiato della ricerca politologica.
Pur nella varietà dei temi e delle metodologie, una constatazione sembra accomunare i diversi saggi. Lo sguardo lungo, proiettato su un passato più o meno recente, permette di ridimensionare la sensazione di rottura che la presidenza Trump pare rappresentare agli occhi degli osservatori più appiattiti sugli aspetti superficiali dell’attualità. Non che si voglia del tutto negare la “novità” rappresentata dal quarantacinquesimo Presidente degli Stati Uniti; la si colloca però nel quadro di mutamenti derivanti da “forze profonde” delle quali Trump è l’approdo. E le “novità” sono talvolta un ritorno a passate esperienze. Rileva ad esempio Enrico Fassi che «l’apparente svolta incarnata dalla presidenza Trump potrebbe rivelarsi molto più in continuità con le precedenti amministrazioni USA di quanto inizialmente ritenuto».
A pochi mesi dall’insediamento, la politica estera di Trump è molto in fieri, con enunciati ancora tutti da concretizzare, come il desiderio di un rapporto costruttivo con la Russia, sfuggito completamente a Barack Obama, e la volontà di ridefinire, attraverso un duro confronto, la politica con la Cina, dichiarazioni poi fortemente ridimensionate, come quelle alquanto sprezzanti verso la NATO e i ruoli ancora da definire degli attori istituzionali all’interno della sua amministrazione.
Abstract – This book examines the possible changes which the new US President Trump may introduce in the international arena. In accordance with the academic tradition of the Department of Political Sciences of the Catholic University, the volume presents the results of a multidisciplinary and multipronged research, concentrating on both political and historical aspects. The historical perspective is intertwined to an in-depth analysis of present challenges. As an example of the issues addressed, we may mention the evolution of the Anglo-American special relationship, in particular after Brexit, the – only apparently – new approach of the US towards China, its relationship with the Russian Federation, in light of the most recent developments in the Middle Eastern area; finally, particular attention is also ensured to the discussion of the Euro-Atlantic relationship. Moreover, there will be an essay dedicated to the US domestic politics. As a result of this study, it will emerge how the new US presidency marks no sharp breaches in the American political tradition. In spite of the difficulties posed by a research conducted on current and contemporary challenges, the present collection of essays will try to respond to the need of a better comprehension of the international reality.
Abstract – The election of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States has been associated by many observers to a threat to the liberal order and to the sunset of US hegemony. To some extent, both perspectives seem exaggerated, or at least premature. Nevertheless, a reflection on the “health status” of the liberal order, and on the role that the United States has had in its construction and its maintenance – and in what emerges as a likely disinvestment – seems particularly appropriate. The paper thus focuses on two fundamental characteristics of the order emerged in the West after the Second World War: its multilateral structure, on the one hand, and the liberal approach (in the peculiar form of the “embedded liberalism”), on the other. Both aspects, though still characterizing this order, have in fact undergone significant transformations due to changes in the systemic structure and the relative power position of the hegemonic State, and to the concrete policies it implemented. In light of these considerations, the apparent breakthrough embodied by Trump presidency could prove far more continuity with previous US administrations than initially believed. Moreover, structural changes of international politics that alter the nature of the actors involved might contribute to add further complexity to the current uncertain picture.
Abstract – Burden sharing is a traditionally contentious issue in Euro-Atlantic relations. The origin of the problem dates back to the same origin of the Atlantic Alliance and quarrels on “who have to pay for what” have systematically emerged in times of crisis. During his campaign, Donald Trump played heavily on the issue, and after the election repeatedly reiterated his will to “make Europe pay” for US military assistance. Trump’s abrasive rhetoric has raised concerns among European élites, especially in the central-eastern part of the continent, where fears of Russian expansionism are widespread. However, Trump’s rhetoric is nothing new. Obama too, in many occasions, waved the flag of burden sharing, the last time during NATO Warsaw summit in July 2016. Just like Obama and his predecessors, Trump will have to modulate his attitude according to the international context. In this perspective, his ability to re-establish better relations with Russia will be pivotal in shaping his posture towards the European allies. Currently, many important issues still divide Moscow from Washington, ranging from Ukraine to Syria, Libya and nuclear proliferation. Moreover, the Congress will probably closely scrutinize the action of the (supposedly) pro-Russia President. All these elements conjure in making détente a long-term aim. In the meantime, the fear of US disengagement could provide new fuel to Europe’s efforts to put its defence and security policy on a sounder basis.
Abstract – The outcome of the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States laid the foundation for the strengthening of the Anglo-American special relationship in the name of the principle of national sovereignty and in presence of a shared strategic threat – the Islamic international terrorism. When the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced the return to Global Britain, the first countries rushing to her support were the former Imperial Dominions, particularly Australia, Canada and New Zealand, now allies and partners of the United States through security treaties and free trade agreements. Moreover, for cultural and personal reasons, President Trump seems to have an Anglophile bias. The United States and Great Britain, thus, have decided to start bilateral talks in order to reach a free trade agreement, which would have a strong political meaning. In a transitional phase for the international system, the convergence between Great Britain, the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, which form together the Anglosphere, can be also a positive factor for the West as a whole.
Abstract – Nowadays American Presidents spend more and more time meeting with foreign leaders. This activity is considered “high-level public diplomacy” and it saw a six fold increase in the last seventy years; therefore, it is necessary to analyse not only the relationships with Britain’s Heads of Government, but also with its Head of State: the Monarch. Indeed, the study of the interactions between the President and the Sovereign takes on remarkable importance as it allows to examine the diplomatic bilateral activity on a different level compared to that usually reserved for Prime Ministers and Secretaries of State. In the XXth century the British Monarchs have proved to be able to use their room of manoeuvre to reach important foreign policy goals. Besides reconstructing in wide terms the framework of the official meetings between American Presidents and British Monarchs from the first post-war period to date, this study aims to deepen in particular two relevant occasions: the trip of George VI to America in June 1939, at President Roosevelt’s invitation, and the State Visit of October 1957 paid by Queen Elizabeth II to President Eisenhower.
Abstract – Transatlantic relations have long been serving as the ultimate “supply” of strategic contents in the EU’s external action, if not the EU politics as such. The Strategic Partnership (SP) may be regarded as one of the latest expressions of this aspect of the EU-US connection. The instrument, aimed at boosting the EU’s actorness and attuning it to the current configuration of the international system, has largely been dismissed as ineffective and inconsistent when applied to bilateral relations with (emerging) powers – with the significant exception of its transatlantic realization, embodied in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Unlike others, this partnership hinged on some of the EU’s “strongest suits”, emphasizing its identity and agenda as a “market power” – both in a “material” and a “normative” perspective. In doing so, the TTIP reaffirmed and further articulated the tenet of economic openness as a pivotal element of the international order endorsed by the two parties. That being so, the uncertain fate looming over the SP since the current US administration took office, far from being just another fiasco of the EU’s wishful foreign policy, may well be the harbinger of much more momentous changes in the transatlantic and international orders.
Abstract – This essay analyzes, from a global and long-term historical perspective, the Sino-US diplomatic tensions arisen after the Donald J. Trump’s election as President of the United States. In the broader system of international relations, the so-called “rise of China” and the increasing political and economic dynamism of the new Asian Great Powers are leading to the closure of the Euro-Atlantic global hegemonic cycle, begun with the «Great Divergence» in the late XVIIIth century and enshrined by the Opium Wars in the second half of the XIXth. Despite an unconventional diplomatic style, the new Republican President and his administration are facing these systemic transformations in the field of world politics, trying to create a new architecture of global governance, aiming at maintaining the United States’ leadership within a world system that is structurally transiting from an hegemony to another, while is moving from the unipolar condition to a multipolar one.
Abstract – In the aftermath of the Russian Federation’s regressive and revolutionary intervention in the Ukrainian crisis, the choices that the Trump Administration is called upon to implement towards Moscow represent a key challenge for the White House as well as an important test for the management of the most important vectors of the US foreign policy. Besides concerning the institutional future of Ukraine, the crisis affects the most important elements of Russian-US bilateral relationship and, more generally, of the post-bipolar systematization of the Eurasian area. Against this background, the essay aims to frame the challenges brought by Moscow to the Trump Administration in the broader context of the post-bipolar relations between Washington and Moscow. In particular, it aims to frame the need to reinvent the US Russian policy within the failure of the traditional congagement strategy pursued toward Moscow.
Abstract – More than six years after the outbreak of the Arab Spring, both Syria and Iraq have to cope with a series of challenges threatening their inner coherence and their survival as unitarian states. Deeply divided along ethno-sectarian and regional lines and marked by the emergence of internal oppositions questioning the very legitimacy of their governments, Damascus and Baghdad have witnessed the entrenchment of competing power centers within their own territories backed by a broad array of external players. The involvement of these actors contributed to complicate even further the regional scenario, favoring the overlapping of civil and proxy wars. Moving from these elements the essay aims at tracing the equilibriums dominating the Iraqi and Syrian scenarios, the relations Washington established with the key-players on the ground as well as the policy options the new U.S. administration can count on.
Abstract – Over the last fifteen years, there has been a growing consensus among academic studies and news stories about the emergence in the United States of a sort of presidential Monarchy. Thirty years after the decline of Schlesinger’s “Imperial Presidency”, a concept used to describe the expansion of presidential powers in the wake of the Cold War, it seems that the US Presidency is experiencing the resurgence of an effective unilateral executive power, both in domestic and foreign policy areas. It should be noted that this presidential discretionary power is primarily administrative in nature and rely not only on executive orders, but also on other “tools”, such as signing statements, memoranda, presidential guidelines, regulatory statutes and, last but not least, the power of appointment. This essay aims at clarifying the nature and extent of the presidential administrative power, which from Reagan to Obama has increased at a fast pace, thanks to factors such as the “presidentialization” of American politics and the inefficiency of congressional lawmaking. While the first part of the essay places the presidential administrative power in an historical perspective, focusing mainly upon the last thirty-five years, the second part is dedicated to Barack Obama’s use of the presidential administrative action. The result is a sketch of the main trends in the historical development of presidential administrative practices that have become a valuable legacy to any incoming President – especially so in the case of Donald Trump. These major trends may have important implications as both a source of legitimation of presidential unilateral actions as well as a springboard for the introduction of new and innovative executive power practices.