Italy’s Foreign Policy in the 1980s: From Enthusiasm to Disillusion
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This chapter re-assesses Italy’s foreign policy during the 1980s, contextualising the development of Italian diplomatic actions during this crucial decade within the broader framework of Rome’s traditional quest for international status and the ambiguities characterising Italy’s internal political system. The chapter shows that, during the 1980s, Italy’s alliance with the USA developed between the traditional alignment to the Western system and the search for new space for diplomatic manoeuvres, particularly in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. It also emphasises the fact that Italian policy-makers in the 1980s confirmed Italy’s steady loyalty to European ideals and support for re-launching European integration. Lastly, this chapter also demonstrates that the end of the Cold War and the new emerging international order were to have a sudden dramatic and negative impact on Italy’s international position, as shown by the nation’s attitude within the frameworks of German reunification, the demise of Yugoslavia, the Albanian crisis, the Gulf War, and the negotiations leading to the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.