Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > 'Americanization' Versus 'Europeanization' in Italian Foreign Policy

Italy's foreign policy since the end of the Cold War is routinely characterized as inconsistent and weak, when compared to the foreign policies of its European counterparts. It is in this context that Italy is faced with the ever-present choice of linking its foreign policy to the framework of the European Union or adhering to its traditionally strong relationship with the United States. Critics argue that this division is rather obvious, manifesting itself along ideological lines, with the centre-left in Italy arguing for a more Europeanist direction and the centre-right a more Atlanticist direction in Italian foreign policy. However, my analysis will show that although Italy has been somewhat active in the international arena during this period, domestic political fragmentation and inherent institutional weakness effectively limits Italy from developing a clear and coherent direction in foreign policy and in the end, no clear-cut division really exists at all.