The School of International Studies has a long-standing research interest in European issues, in particular those related with the tension between integration and disintegration, and with the social and institutional challenges triggered by the recent economic crisis. Current research in this area includes the rising support for populist parties, the protection of minority rights across Europe, the role of subnational entities in the European integration, the EU external action, and the evolution of economic policies in Europe. 

Antonino Alì, Luisa Antoniolli, Matteo Borzaga, Jens Woelk

Specific Research Areas

Technology, Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), and International Politics

At the core of Strategic Studies is the relationship between changes in military power and their impact on the offence/defence/deterrence balance. Military power includes two components: a hardware component, made of technological innovation and diffusion; and a software element, made of military doctrines. The relations between these two components change over time and there is not always a perfect match between them. Sometimes military technology favours a defensive behaviour, while military doctrines stress an offensive posture, sometime the reverse is true. 

The changes in military technology – e.g. the development and spread of nuclear energy, the development and diffusion of missile technology, the development of Precision Guided Munitions (PGM), and the introduction of computer-assisted battlefield – emphasize a more pronounced offensive posture, making international cooperation in the field of security more and more difficult.
These developments, combined with the phenomenon of privatization of war – i.e., the increasing capacity of non-state actors of producing dramatic level of destruction – raise many research questions that deserve further investigation.
Possible research topics concern the relationship between new information technology and RMA; the differences between the first and second nuclear age; the prospects of arms control agreements and non-proliferations regimes; the relationship between military doctrines and weapons innovations (are military doctrines technology-driven or do they shape weapons development and deployment?); the relationship between new military technologies, operational doctrines and the offence/defence/deterrence balance; battlefield experience and adaptation of the national military doctrines.

Antonino Alì, Paolo Rosa 

Bargaining, voting and power in European decision-making processes. 

The role of nations, parties,institutions and burocracies can be analyzed through  game theory approach, using both cooperative and non cooperative models, with the purpose of analyzing the power of reciprocal actors and 
predicting the outcome of negotiations.

Stefano Benati

‘Complex’ commerce: disputed areas, embargos and sanctions 
Antonino Alì, Matteo Borzaga, Andrea Fracasso, Marco Pertile

Cross-Border Co-operation, Sub-National Entities and Multi-Level Governance
Scholarship financed by European Academy Bolzano (EURAC Research)

Cross-border cooperation (CBC) has become a common and widespread phenomenon. In Europe, it is part of the multiple processes which can be summarized as an increasing ‘denationalization’ of policies and politics on the one hand, and a significant – legal, political and symbolic – relativization of borders on the other. Increased interconnections through technological progress in the areas of communication and transport have also contributed to the spreading out of the phenomenon.
Starting in Western Europe with spontaneous and informal activities, which received legal recognition, first at international level, in bilateral agreements and in the realm of the Council of Europe (Madrid Outline Convention, 1980), in the last two decades it has significantly developed through the processes of European integration. The European Union introduced Interreg, made it part of the EU’s cohesion policy, as “European Territorial Co-operation” and adopted a specific instrument, the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation. In 2009, with the “macroregional strategies” a new form of European transnational cooperation has been launched. This was firstly applied to the Baltic Sea Region and was followed by the Danube area, the Adriatic-Ionian Sea, and the Alpine Region. 
Over the last years, CBC has increasingly become a subject of research and numerous publications have analyzed incentives, barriers, actors and processes of CBC from different disciplinary perspectives. 
The PhD scholarship sponsored by Eurac Research’s Institute for Comparative Federalism will be awarded to a research project-proposal which adds an original and innovative contribution to the existing research in the field. 
The potential of CBC for sub-national entities as well as for the multilevel governance-architecture of European integration shall be further explored. 

Francesco Palermo from EURAC Research, Jens Woelk