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Centre for European Research

Policy Papers

The Centre for European Research Policy paper series serves to disseminate the research of the Centre’s members in a format that benefits both policy-makers and the wider public. It is aimed to strengthen links between the academic and the policy world and inform decision making and public discourse.

CER Policy Paper Series - Issue 1: China's Reforms Fortieth Anniversary and EU-China Relations

The first issue of the CER Policy Paper Series titled China's Reforms Fortieth Anniversary and EU-China Relations, written by CER member Dr Matthieu Burnay.

CER Policy Paper Series - Issue 1 [PDF 300KB]


NEXTEUK Working Paper Series - Issue 4: 

By James Vigni


Italy’s foreign policy in Africa since the Second World War has long oscillated between two principal strategies: one of increased investment and geopolitical presence in regions, such as the Maghreb and the Sahel, and one of reduced involvement, in some cases total political and economic disengagement, as is the case, for instance, in the Horn of Africa with its former colonies, Eritrea and Somalia (Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale, 2020: 19). This two-fold, seemingly contradictory, policy sets Italy apart from other former colonial powers operating on a large scale in Africa, such as France and the United Kingdom (UK), whose neo-colonial exploits on the continent are more commonly documented (Bouamama, 2018; Haag, 2011; Curtis, 2016). At the same time, Italy’s standing within the “core-periphery” structure of the European Union (EU) sets it apart from typically peripheral member states as the peninsula can assume both a dominant and a subaltern role within the bloc depending on the political and economic circumstances (Wallerstein, 1974: 401). For instance, Italy has in the past gravitated more towards the periphery whenever the bloc has faced an existential threat, such as the refugee crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic (Karolewski and Benedikter, 2018: 100). Ultimately, Italy’s atypical role in both Africa and in Europe can be traced back to its atypical history as both a colonial power and a subaltern nation, from its relations with its former colonies to its peripheral role within the EU and the contradictory stereotypes of both grandeur and profligacy which define it.

The Italian Paradox [PDF 622KB]



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