Liberal and fascist Italy strove to become an empire and a European power. The Republic then had to accept a diminished ambition as a "middle power" embedded in the Western framework and integrated Europe. The end of the Cold War gradually exposed that model’s inability to cope with global transformations, and eroded its cogency. Nothing replaced it, though. Ever less influential and capable of proactive responses to the international challenges, over the last three decades Italy experienced a constant, incremental reduction of its foreign policy range and efficacy, largely due to the ineffectiveness of its institutional system and the persistence of a federalist delusion.
Keywords: Italy, Foreign policy, Europe, Globalization