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Italy's foreign policy has often been dismissed for punching below its weight, for being too idiosyncratic and inconsistent. This book offers new insights into the position attained by Italy in the contemporary world. It explores how the country has sought to take advantage of the passage from a bipolar to a multipolar system, the ways in which it has engaged internationally, the new responsibilities it has assumed, and the ways in which it conducts its policies in the pursuit of its interests, whether political or commercial. It argues that Italy is engaged internationally but there is a perception gap between its actions and what it actually delivers. As long as this gap continues, Italy is likely to remain a partial and inconsistent foreign policy actor. Divided into three parts: Part 1 explores the context and processes which characterise Italy's external action. Part 2 deals with Italy in a new global order and debates its relations with crucial countries and regions: the US, the EU, and the BRICs. Part 3 focuses on Italy's perspectives on security and defence policies. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of European Politics, Foreign Policy Analysis and Italian studies.