Libya in the Mist. Italy at the Crossroad between Diplomacy and Interventionism

Following the statement by Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. on Monday, January 25, concerning the planning of a new military intervention in Libya in order to tackle the increasing threat posed by IS in the Mediterranean area, other European countries, including Italy, have pledged their support to this future campaign which, according to Dunford, might begin in a matter of weeks. The shift in the international approach to the Libyan “knot” needs be analyzed in order to understand the reasons underpinning it as well as the possible future scenarios that might unfold from a new military intervention in the country. The present paper is divided in two macro-sections, each one adopting a specific point of view to investigate the Libyan knot. Indeed, on the one hand, the first one specifically analyzes the present scenario and gives a socio-political interpretation to the Libyan puzzle, by using sociologic categories to argue against an interventionist approach. On the other, the second one sheds light on the relations between Libya and Italy, proving how the European country has always been driven by the primary needs of protecting national interests while structuring its strategy towards Libya.

Valentina Cantori

Master’s Degree in Culture and Languages for Communication and International Cooperation (University of Milan)

Giulia Formichetti

Master’s Degree in International Relations (LUISS “Guido Carli”)

Read and download the Report No. 2 (2016) clicking here



  • Abstract (p. 4)
  • Libya, Italy, and the War on Terror (p. 7)
    • Introduction (p. 7)
    • Libya, the “stateless state” between jihadism and international intervention (p. 8)
    • The international military intervention: a “total” war? (p. 15)
    • Conclusions: geopolitical consequences of Italian Interventionism (p. 22)
  • Libya and Italy relations Historical approach (p. 29)
    • Italy and Libya in the Past: A “Privileged Partnership” (p. 29)
    • Italy and Libya in the Present (p. 40)
  • References (p. 50)
  • About the Authors (p. 61)

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