In 2015, the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi launched a new Italian agenda for Africa. Until then Italian involvement in African affairs had been almost exclusively restricted to multilateral initiatives. Through its new pro-active approach, Italy has engaged with the African countries through a dynamic and multi-layered partnership aimed at fostering peace, stability, economic growth and human development on the continent. Within this framework, Italy intended to go beyond the traditional ‘donor-beneficiary’ relationship to build a new partnership model centred around the concept of sharing. The article argues that the need to preserve or at least reinforce its international status as a middle-ranking power has been one of the factors that led Italy to relaunch its involvement in Africa. Nevertheless, statements of intent aside, Italian foreign policy is lagging behind other extra-regional players operating on the continent. Indeed, despite Italy’s natural geographical projection towards the South, its many structural weaknesses and lack of a coherent foreign policy make it a declining middle-ranking power in the international arena, able to operate in Africa, even now, only within the framework of multilateral initiatives.

Reasserting (middle) power by looking southwards: Italy’s policy towards Africa

Donelli F.
2021-01-01

Abstract

In 2015, the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi launched a new Italian agenda for Africa. Until then Italian involvement in African affairs had been almost exclusively restricted to multilateral initiatives. Through its new pro-active approach, Italy has engaged with the African countries through a dynamic and multi-layered partnership aimed at fostering peace, stability, economic growth and human development on the continent. Within this framework, Italy intended to go beyond the traditional ‘donor-beneficiary’ relationship to build a new partnership model centred around the concept of sharing. The article argues that the need to preserve or at least reinforce its international status as a middle-ranking power has been one of the factors that led Italy to relaunch its involvement in Africa. Nevertheless, statements of intent aside, Italian foreign policy is lagging behind other extra-regional players operating on the continent. Indeed, despite Italy’s natural geographical projection towards the South, its many structural weaknesses and lack of a coherent foreign policy make it a declining middle-ranking power in the international arena, able to operate in Africa, even now, only within the framework of multilateral initiatives.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3032167
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