The Italian exception and the evolution of Jihadism in the Mediterranean

As everyone working in the Academia knows, trying to write during the teaching semester is always somewhat challenging. Indeed, I have not managed to write as much as hoped during the past few months. However, I have still managed to finish – and publish – a few works. My most recent article deals with “the Italian Exception” in the rather depressing landscape of a Europe under the perennial threat of terrorism. Italy, so far, has managed to weather this danger thanks to a number of peculiar socio-demographic features but also to its rather significant investigative capacities, those that Italy has developed over the past decades and make Italy one of the most efficient countries in Europe in dealing with criminal and security threats. This is part of a more comprehensive research I am doing on Italy and terrorist risks, and the hope is to produce something bigger and more detailed in the coming months. Always on Italy, I wrote an article a few months ago describing the impact of the rising role played by Russia in the Mediterranean, namely in Libya.

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Posted in Africa, Arab Spring, European Union, Gulf region, Islamism, Italy, Libya, Maghreb, Mashreq, Mediterranean, Middle East, Russia, Syria | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AQIM at 10 and other works

Greetings from Tunis, where I am spending a few months to do some research before returning to my Fall teaching routine. At the moment, I am working on a few, rather diverse projects, and I hope I can give you some more updates very soon. In the meantime, I have published a few works for the Jamestown Foundation: Continue reading

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Consolidating pluralism under the terrorist threat: the Tunisian case and the Algerian experience

At the end of 2016, I published a research/policy article on European View, analysing the current Tunisian troubled, but still successful, path to consolidate democracy to the Algerian experience of the ’80s and ’90s. Below you can find the conclusions, but if you want to download the full article in PDF, click here. Ça va sans dire, I would be very happy to receive readers’ comments on this work (you can use the email address provided in the article).

The Algerian experience during the 1990s shows that the emergence of radical Islamist terrorism can become a systemic threat which has the potential to put the structure of the state at risk and to inflict political, social and psychological wounds that are particularly complicated, if not impossible, to heal. Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Algeria, Arab Spring, Economy, Islamism, Maghreb, Mediterranean, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The internal and external Algerian thorns

I have recently published two analyses on Algeria for the Jamestown Foundation. The first one, published in early December, dealt with the Libyan problems and how Algiers is trying to exert “Influence Without Interference“, sticking to its traditional foreign policy doctrine of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other States.

The second one was published last week and was instead focused on the riots that erupted in Algeria in early January 2017. As you can see from my words, I don’t actually agree with that strange ‘Pavlovian reflex’ of many in the West, who think that every eruption of violence in the Middle East and North Africa is the beginning of a new ‘Arab Spring’ (whatever this expression means now). That said, Algeria is undergoing a rather complex phase of its history, possibly one of the most challenging since the end of the civil war. As such, it’s worth giving an eye (or better, two) on what will happen within the country in the coming months.

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The three-hour Turkish putsch ​

After a very particular evening following the news, let’s also post here the considerations I wrote in Italian on my other website on Turkey’s hectic night. My plan was to start posting again on here as well, the events forced me to do that tonight. Good, I needed someone/something pushing me.

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Gezi, l’AKP e la natura delle proteste a Istanbul

Negli ultimi sei mesi ho avuto la fortuna di vivere, studiare e lavorare in Turchia. Vivere a Istanbul è un’esperienza che tutti dovrebbero fare almeno una volta nella vita e mi ritengo fortunato nell’ aver scelto di vivere nel lato asiatico, nella vivace e bella Kadıköy, dove c’è anche uno dei migliori ristoranti della città, Ciya (e per me che ho lavorato in passato come cuoco queste cose hanno sempre un peso notevole). Già conoscevo questo paese ma chiaramente viverci aiuta a capire meglio alcune dinamiche, anche se devo dire che le idee di fondo che mi ero fatto non le ho cambiate tanto (anche se uno non vive normalmente in un posto, leggere buoni libri sulla storia, cultura e politica di quel paese aiuta in genere).

Ad ogni modo, le proteste delle ultime due settimane hanno riattizzato ferocemente l’attenzione dei media globali su un paese di cui si parla tanto ma di cui si capisce sempre troppo poco. Su Limes Online ho provato, ad inizio settimana, a raccontare la mia percezione analitica di quello che è successo. Essa è tendenzialmente diversa da molte idee apparse in giro, in particolare sulla stampa italiana dove si è fatta passare l’idea che questo fosse un paese sull’orlo della rivoluzione (non vi dico le telefonate allarmate dalla famiglia). Come ha detto bene una mia amica americana che vive in Italia: “puoi dirmi cosa ne pensi? i media americani ne parlano poco ma qui sembra che la Turchia stia per implodere”. No, la Turchia non sta per implodere. Ha solo qualche difficoltà – che è strutturale, cioè di lungo periodo- nel gestire, veicolare e assorbire il dissenso.  Ma direi che i sensazionalismi e le letture “orientaliste” (e ve lo dice uno che non è un grandissimo fan di Said) basate su uno scontro titanico islamisti vs secolaristi nuociono alla comprensione: di questo paese in genere e dei fatti di Gezi nello specifico.

Per l’articolo completo su Limes, clicca qui

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