Interests and Stability or Ideologies and Order in Contemporary World Politics
Drawing upon extensive experience of both theoretical and empirical research, according to the Italian school of Political Science, this book provides a holistic assessment of contemporary world politics. It begins by defining concepts such as “world order”, before going on to classify foreign policies into four models of political cultures: namely, the “interests-intensive” conservative; the “ideologies-intensive” liberal, the leftist constructivist, and the leftist Manichean. The volume shows how multipolar and bipolar systems have remained relatively stable, with each main power defending its own interests, yet ultimately not promoting ideas and order. Change periods, however, are instable. Between 1915 and 1945, Nazi-fascist and communist ideologies emerged, but, after Yalta, the West did not effectively export market, democracy and peace to the Third World. After 1989, the ideas of liberalism (in economic globalization and EU enlargement), neo-conservatism (in the Iraq war), and multi-cultural leftism (in pluri-national conflict resolution processes) began to be applied toward a “near” world order. Since 2001, Islamic fundamentalism’s threat has prevented both stability (with the failure of the concert of powers of the 1990s), and order (with minimal improvements in democracy and peace). Following the Arab Spring, Obama has also abandoned interests-intensive conservative diplomacy, no longer supporting “lesser evils” (personalistic or military regimes) against “absolute evils” (such as the Islamic State), and waged only “low intensity” wars in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
Fabio Fossati is Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Trieste, Italy, where he teaches International Relations. In 1992, he received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Florence, Italy, before obtaining a post-doctoral research scholarship at the University of Bologna, Italy. He has worked as a Researcher at the Forum on the Problems of Peace and War in Florence and obtained several research grants from the Consiglio Nazionale Ricerche. He was Visiting Scholar at the University of California in Berkeley, Essex University, UK, and Universidad Complutense in Madrid, among others. He has published four books in Italian: three monographs and one manual, as well as 45 articles in Italian comparative politics and international relations journals.
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