The Politics of Italian Foreign Policy

The Politics of Italian Foreign Policy

The Politics of Italian Foreign Policy

The Politics of Italian Foreign Policy

Excerpt

There has been a growing awareness in recent years among students of international politics, both professional and amateur, of the role the domestic social and political environment plays in influencing, perhaps determining, foreign policy. Studies of an earlier day centered on the international environment--the international political system, international institutions, and reciprocal interstate influences. Traditional diplomatic histories seemed rather two-dimensional, concentrating on the exchanges between diplomats and the reports from emissaries stationed abroad, while neglecting the attitudes, aspirations, political forces, and movements at work within the country's boundaries.

My intention is not to deride and criticize this earlier approach, which produced many outstanding works, but rather to explain the assumptions underlying the material to be presented here. The recent emphasis on the internal environment is not intended to disparage earlier viewpoints or to claim that the study of the international environment is not essential to an understanding of a nation's foreign policy, but I wish to redress the balance to some degree. The growth of modern mass societies, with the impact of mass needs and demands, even though they may remain unarticulated through the political process; the presence or absence of identifications or the rejection of traditional identifications--all these affect the making of political decisions, including foreign-policy decisions. This holds true even in a society that may be very oligarchic and permits only a limited number of individuals or groups to exert influence upon decision-makers.

I have operated under the assumption that a society's attitudes about the nature and goals of man, about the reasons for participation in politics, and about the expectations of the results of such participation, affect not only the motives of political decision-makers. but their methods of operation as well. I have assumed that there is . . .

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