Italy in International Relations

The Foreign Policy Conundrum

  • Emidio Diodato
  • Federico Niglia

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Emidio Diodato, Federico Niglia
    Pages 1-6
  3. Emidio Diodato, Federico Niglia
    Pages 29-47
  4. Emidio Diodato, Federico Niglia
    Pages 49-73
  5. Emidio Diodato, Federico Niglia
    Pages 75-100
  6. Emidio Diodato, Federico Niglia
    Pages 101-105
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 107-123

About this book


This book will become a compulsory reading for all those scholars and students that are open to reconsider the Italian foreign policy in a new, original and interdisciplinary way to better understand the great relevance of it from both an Italian perspective and a European one.

Leonardo Morlino, Professor of Political Science, LUISS University, Italy

 Italy's role in the world has often perplexed external onlookers. Whilst being a deeply European, indeed federalist, country, firmly wedded to the "West", Italy has at times adopted positions and policies that apparently diverged from mainstream European and Western approaches. Combining depth with breadth, Diodato and Niglia masterfully unpack this conundrum, explaining the peculiarities of Italian foreign policy by dissecting three defining moments in the country's historical trajectory.

Nathalie Tocci, Deputy Director, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Iatly

Italy is often portrayed as a contradictory country. This book aims to provide an overview of Italian foreign policy from the moment of unification to the establishment of the European Union. Three turning points are crucial in order to clarify Italy’s foreign policy: 1861, the proclamation of the Italian Kingdom; 1943, when Italy surrendered in World War II; 1992, the signing of the Maastricht Treaty. The international position of Italy continues to be an enigma for many observers and this fuels misinterpretations and prejudices. This book argues that Italy is different but not divergent from other European countries. Italian elites have traditionally seen foreign policy as an instrument to secure the state and import models for development. Italy can still contribute to international security and the strengthening of the EU. At the same time, Italy is not a pure adaptive country and has always maintained a critical attitude towards the international system in which it is incorporated. 


Post-imperial Myth Cultural nation Unification Risorgimento Fascism WWI WWII Maastricht Treaty Foreign Policy Analysis

Authors and affiliations

  • Emidio Diodato
    • 1
  • Federico Niglia
    • 2
  1. 1.Università per Stranieri di Perugia PerugiaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceLibera Università InternazionaleRomeItaly

Bibliographic information