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.