Tra status e agency: Cina e Italia a 50 anni dalla normalizzazione delle relazioni - Between Status and Agency: China and Italy 50 Years after the Normalization of Relations


The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative marks the culmination of several years of deepening relations between Italy and China. While many observers have emphasised the international implications of the first G-7 country formally adhering to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy agenda, more attention needs to be devoted to the domestic politics and political economy rationales underlying Italy’s choices. This article argues that the contentious foreign policy choice made by Rome’s populist government in 2019 is premised on a trade-off between international status and greater bargaining power on critical trade and investment negotiations.