International conference on “The Mediterranean and Southern Europe: crisis and transformation from détente to the Second Cold War
University of Padua, (ITALY) 1-3 July 2010
In the narrative of the Cold War the 1970s remain the decade of détente and confrontation: Kissinger’s foreign policy led to the Moscow Treaty of 1972 and the thawing of the relationship with Communist China, and German Ostpolitik paved the way to the Helsinki agreements, yet the Mediterranean, as other extra-European areas, paid the price of the European stabilization and became a battleground of the global cold war. Indeed after mid-1960s the Mediterranean ceased to be an American lake; neutrals and radical regimes in Syria, Libya, Algeria appeared to be more and more hostile to Western interests; the Arab-Israeli dispute became an open confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union and the Yom Kippur war opened the age of the political use of raw materials; international terrorism launched an unconventional warfare, up to the Israeli team massacre at the Munich Olympic Games. On the “northern tier” the whole southern flank of the Atlantic alliance seemed to collapse owing to domestic changes in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece and to the Cyprus crisis of summer 1974, that left two Nato allies – Greece and Turkey – permanently on the brink of war.
If the East-West confrontation certainly was (and remained) the first lens applied to Mediterranean turmoil, dynamics in the Mediterranean could never be reduced to pure Cold War logics. Placing the Mediterranean crises into a more articulated analysis of the global change of the last decades of the XX century is the aim of this conference: the 1980s were not only the last decade of the “short century” dominated by the East-West conflict, but the cradle of a new global era, then the 1970s represented the crucial decade of attempts to change the rules of north-south interdependence, to build up a meaningful European identity and international role, to redefine relations between the West and the Arab world in the oil age, to face new unconventional challenges. The field is therefore open for new researches able to explain the economic, political and military trends of the 1970s. A new democratic regime in southern Europe, a widened European Community endowed with a Mediterranean policy, the Egypt-Israeli armistice, the rebuilding of a Western hegemony in the area were indeed some results of a this dramatic decade.
The conference aims at answering the following questions:
1) How did Western countries perceive and react to the crises in the Mediterranean and southern Europe?
2) Had Mediterranean turmoil an influence on the deterioration of détente and on the origins of a new cold war?
3) How far did links between the East–West dynamic and other regional dynamics work?
4) How did the Mediterranean countries themselves get through this period of turmoil and regional changes?
5) How were Euro-American disagreements on Mediterranean issues framed within the alliance rules?
Main topics of the conference will be:
1) The impact of international terrorism on Mediterranean politics.
2) Economic dynamics in the Mediterranean and Southern Europe.
3) The management of the transatlantic relationship in the Mediterranean.
4) The role played by the major western European nations and by the European Community in the search for a Euro-Mediterranean interdependence.
5) The Mediterranean as a case study for the evolution of the North-South relationship during the '70s.
6) Regional actors and emerging regional networks.
The conference, jointly organized by the Department of International Studies of the University of Padua (Prof. Elena Calandri and Prof. Antonio Varsori) and the Faculty of Political Science of the S. Pio V University of Rome (Prof. Daniele Caviglia), will be held on the 1st, the 2nd and the 3rd of July 2010 at the University of Padua. English and French will be the conference working languages. Accommodation and travel expenses will be covered by the organisers of the conference
Proposals for contributions, (500 words max) with a CV, should be sent, before the 30th April 2010, to firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Padua
Dipartimento di studi internazionali
via del santo 77 (PD) ITALY Email: email@example.com
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