Various studies explored under which conditions junior coalition partners are able to have an impact on foreign policy outcomes. However, these parties do not always manage to get what they want. In this situation, they face a dilemma: defecting or staying? In the Italian context, as far as Military Operations Abroad (MOA) are concerned, the latter option has invariably prevailed. In particular, Italy's involvement in Operation Allied Force in Kosovo (1999) and Operation Unified Protector in Libya (2011) raised considerable contestation from junior partners that did not result in the termination of the respective cabinets. Employing extensive qualitative data, including a set of original interviews with relevant policymakers, this article aims to understand why junior partners did not defect in these two cases. The empirical findings highlight a variation in parties' motivations according to their ideological leaning: while extreme-left parties were afraid of being punished by their own voters for leaving the cabinet because of the participation in the operation in Kosovo, the far-right and autonomist Lega Nord did not consider opposition to the military intervention in Libya as a salient issue. Therefore, the article has considerable implications for the research agendas on the party politics of military interventions and government termination.

The barking dogs: junior coalition partners and military operations abroad in Italy / V. Vignoli. - In: RIVISTA ITALIANA DI SCIENZA POLITICA. - ISSN 0048-8402. - 51:1(2021 Mar), pp. 25-41. [10.1017/ipo.2020.10]

The barking dogs: junior coalition partners and military operations abroad in Italy

V. Vignoli
2021-03

Abstract

Various studies explored under which conditions junior coalition partners are able to have an impact on foreign policy outcomes. However, these parties do not always manage to get what they want. In this situation, they face a dilemma: defecting or staying? In the Italian context, as far as Military Operations Abroad (MOA) are concerned, the latter option has invariably prevailed. In particular, Italy's involvement in Operation Allied Force in Kosovo (1999) and Operation Unified Protector in Libya (2011) raised considerable contestation from junior partners that did not result in the termination of the respective cabinets. Employing extensive qualitative data, including a set of original interviews with relevant policymakers, this article aims to understand why junior partners did not defect in these two cases. The empirical findings highlight a variation in parties' motivations according to their ideological leaning: while extreme-left parties were afraid of being punished by their own voters for leaving the cabinet because of the participation in the operation in Kosovo, the far-right and autonomist Lega Nord did not consider opposition to the military intervention in Libya as a salient issue. Therefore, the article has considerable implications for the research agendas on the party politics of military interventions and government termination.
Italy; junior partners; Kosovo; Libya; military operations; political parties
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
26-mar-2020
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/727957
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