Investigators and Research Units

The project is a unitary effort, with fecund and continuous intellectual exchange among three research units based at the Universities of Bologna, Venice and Florence. The functional division among the three units follows the different specializations of their respective coordinators and departments in specific subjects and areas.

Massimiliano Trentin

Principal Investigator, Head of Bologna Research Unit, Assistant Professor, Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna.

Academic Discipline: Asian History and Institutions.

Massimiliano Trentin is Associate Professor of History and International Relations of Western Asia at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Italy. He works on the International History of the Middle East and North Africa, with a special focus on the interplay between diplomacy, economics and patterns of development.

His Ph.d thesis, Which kind of modernity for Syria? The construction of the Ba’thist regime under the shadow of the Berlin Wall (University of Florence, 2008), dealt with the influence of East and West Germany’s models of economic and institutional development on Syria in the Sixties and early Seventies of the XX century. His monographs, Engineers of Modern Development : East German Experts in Ba’thist Syria, 1965-1972La Guerra fredda tedesca in Siria. Diplomazia, politica ed economia, 1963-1970 (Cleup, 2010 and 2015) as well as the edited volume editions, The Middle East and the Cold War. Between Security and Development (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012) focus on the critical conjuncture between Cold War interventions and patterns of development in the postcolonial Middle East. He published articles on the topic in international academic journals, like Diplomatic History, Cold War History, Journal of History of European Integration, Foro Internacional, Phoenix in Domo Foscari, The International Spectator, and several essays in volumes for Italian and foreign editors (IB Tauris, Lynne Rienner, Peter Lang, Cahiers Irice, Bruno Mondadori, Marsilio, Franco Angeli).  As for current developments in the region, he pays attention to the political economy of the transformations affecting the Arab world. He edited the dossier "Lines of conflict: the transformation of the Arab world" (Afriche e Orienti, vol. 1-2, 2013), and the volume “L’Ultimo Califfato. L’Organizzazione dello stato islamico in Medio Oriente (il Mulino, 2017) on time and space coordinates of the political organization in Iraq and Syria.

In the context of the project, he works on the postures adopted by the G77 on the debt issues, with a special focus on the Middle East and North African countries through the archival records of the United Nations and special agencies and institutions, like UNCTAD, UN-ESCWA and the Arab League.

Among his publications:

Power and Integration. An Historical Overview on Euro- Mediterranean Relations, «SİYASAL BİLİMLER DERgİSİ / JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE / REVUE DE SCIENCE POLITIQUE», 2018, 6, pp. 1 - 18;

Le Comunità Europee e gli Stati arabi nei «lunghi anni settanta»: economia, politica e potere, in: L’Unione Europea e il Mediterraneo Relazioni internazionali, crisi politiche e regionali (1947-2016), Milano, Franco Angeli, 2017, pp. 129 - 148;

La Guerra Fredda tedesca in Siria. Diplomazia, economia e politica, 1963-1970. Padova: CLEUP, 2015;

Divergence in the Mediterranean. The Economic Relations Between the EC and the Arab Countries in the Long 1980s, «JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION HISTORY», 2015, 21, pp. 89 - 108;

Boom e Crisi. Lo sviluppo economico dei Paesi MENA negli anni Duemila a confronto con i lunghi anni Settanta in: Barbara Airò, Massimo Zaccaria, I Confini della cittadinanza nel nuovo Medio Oriente, Roma, Viella-Asia Major, 2013, pp. 71-86;

The Distant Neighbours and the Cooperation Agreements between the EEC and the Mashreq, 1977, in: Détente in Cold War EuropePolitics and Diplomacy in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, LONDON, I.B. Tauris, 2013, pp. 221 - 233;

Le distanze del Mediterraneo. Europa e mondo arabo tra sviluppo e nazionalismo, in: Il Mediterraneo attuale tra storia e politica, VENEZIA, Marsilio, 2012, pp. 283 - 304;

Tra sicurezza e sviluppo. La guerra fredda nel medioriente post-coloniale, in: Sviluppo, crisi, integrazioneTemi di storia delle relazioni internazionali per il XXI secolo, MILANO, Bruno Mondadori, 2012, pp. 145 - 168;

Modernization as State-Building. The Two Germanys in Syria, 1963-1972, «DIPLOMATIC HISTORY», 2009, 33, pp. 487 - 505.


Duccio Basosi

Head of Venice Research Unit, Researcher, Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies, Ca' Foscari University of Venice.

Academic Discipline: History of International Relations.

Duccio Basosi teaches History of International Relations at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice. In the context of the Prin programme, he is currently researching the ways in which, respectively, the United States and the Soviet Union dealt with the debt/credit crisis of the 1980s.

Among his publications:

The Missing Cold War: Reflections on the Latin American Debt Crisis, 1979-89 in Kalinovsky A., Radchenko S., The End of the Cold War and The Third World. New Perspectives on Regional Conflict, London, Routledge, pp. 208-228 (ISBN9780415600545);

Verso un mondo unipolare? L'amministrazione Reagan e la crisi del debito estero latinoamericano, 1981-89 in M.L. NAPOLITANO; M.E. GUASCONI; M. CRICCO, L'America latina tra guerra fredda e globalizzazione, FIRENZE, Polistampa, pp.135-161 (ISBN 9788859607380);

In the Shadow of the Washington Consensus: Cuba’s Rapprochement with Latin America in a World Going Unipolar, 1985-1996 in BASOSI D.; LORINI A., Cuba in the World, the World in Cuba. Essays in Cuban History, Politics and Culture, FIRENZE, Firenze University Press, pp. 279-290 (ISBN 9788884539717).

Mauro Campus

Head of Florence Research Unit, Researcher, Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Florence.

Academic Discipline: History of International Relations.

Mauro Campus is Lecturer in International History at “Cesare Alfieri” School of Political Science at the University of Florence since 2013. He has previously worked at LUISS “Guido Carli” University, the IMT, and at Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR). His contributions to the field of international economic history have been in (a) European monetary cooperation and integration; (b) the policies of post-war reconstruction in Italy; and (c) the rise of both global economic governance. He is currently working on a political and economic history of Italy on joining the European monetary integration from EMS to Euro. He has published numerous articles in journals and books and is the author of L′Italia, gli Stati Uniti e il piano Marshall, 1947-1951, Roma-Bari: Laterza 2008 (Fondazione De Gasperi prize); Sviluppo, crisi, integrazione (ed. by) Milano: Bruno Mondadori 2012. He is one of the co-founders of the «Programma di Storia orale della politica estera italiana» at Istituto dell′Enciclopedia italiana “Giovanni Treccani”, Rome. He is member of The Machiavelli Center for Cold War Studies (CIMA) advisory board and of the journal “Parole Chiave” Editorial Board. He writes for the Italian daily "Il Sole 24 Ore".

Francesco Privitera

Bologna Research Unit, Associate Professor, Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna.

Academic Discipline: History of International Relations.

Francesco Privitera's research focus is about nation/state building processes in East Central Europe and the Balkans. In this framework of studies the dissolution of Socialist Yugoslavia is connected to the "Washington Consensus" issue as the financial/economic crisis faced by Yugoslavia, in between the end of the '70 and the beginning of the '80, can be considered an integral part of the collapsing process of the Yugoslav Federation.

Project-Related Literature:  

John Lampe, Yugoslavia a Hisotry: Twice There was a Country, Cambridge, 1996;

Shoup,Paul,  Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation, TV Books, NY, 1996;

Susan Woodward, Balkan Tragedy; Brookings, 1995.

Relevant websites:; 

Michele Marchi

Bologna Research Unit, Senior Assistant Professor, Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna.

Academic Discipline: Contemporary History.

Alessandro Romagnoli

Bologna Research Unit, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Bologna.

Academic Discipline: Economics.

Alessandro Romagnoli is Associate Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Bologna since 1992. He is interested in the problems of modern economies (with particular interest in developing countries) and of agricultural and industrial sectors. After investigating productive processes and firm structural evolution, his researches now focus on economic systems and development process in the Middle East and North Africa. On these topics converge his recent works, printed by national and international publishers. The aim of the research is to study the effects that the structural adjustment policies implemented in Morocco during the seventies and the eighties produced on its development process and the debate that this shift from the Social Contract to the ‘Washington Consensus’ sprang up. The investigation starts with the analysis of the international and domestic economic environment in which the debt crisis of MENA economies appeared, it goes through the policies implemented to face this emergency in Morocco and reviews the discussion about the effects of these measures on the model of economy built after the independence. One paper for each phase will be provided.

Among his publications:

with Mengoni, L. (2014) The economic development process in the Middle East and Nord Africa, London, Routledge;  

La finanza nei paesi Sud-orientali del Mediterraneo, in: Economia e istituzioni dei paesi del Mediterraneo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2014, pp. 375 - 402.

Francesco Saverio Leopardi

Bologna Research Unit, Research Fellow, University of Bologna.

Academic Discipline: Asian History and Institutions.

Francesco Saverio Leopardi works on the contemporary history of the Middle East and North Africa. During his PhD in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, earned at the University of Edinburgh, his research focused on the history of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (1982-2007) a study widely based on Arabic primary sources. His contribution to the present project is a study of Algeria's relations with its foreign creditors, particularly the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, throughout the late 1980s and the 1990s. The goal of such survey is to identify the priorities and political drivers that influenced the different sides involved in negotiations on loans and and adjustment programs.

Among his publications:

“The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine during the First Intifada: From Opportunity to Marginalisation (1987-1990)”. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 44, no. 2 (February 20, 2017), 268-282.

“Coalition Politics and Regional Steadfastness: The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine between 1983 and 1984”, Annali di Ca’ Foscari 50, (2014), 75-96.

Project-related literature:

Lowi, Miriam R. Oil Wealth and the Poverty of Politics : Algeria Compared. Cambridge Middle East Studies ; No. 32. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009;

Dahmani, Ahmed L’Algérie à l’epreuve. Economie Politique Des Réformes 1980-1997. (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1999);

Harrigan, Jane and Al-Said, Hamed, Aid and Power in the Arab World. IMF and World Bank Policy_Based Lending in the Middle East and North Africa. (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 197–98.

Luis Fernando Beneduzi

Venice Research Unit, Associate Professor, Department Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies, Ca' Foscari University of Venice.

Academic Discipline: Contemporary History.

Marzia Anna Linda Maria Rosti

Venice Research Unit, Associate Professor, Department of International, Legal, Historical and Political Studies, State University of Milan.

Academic Discipline: History of International Relations, non-European Societies and Institutions.

Marzia Anna Linda Maria Rosti is associate Professor at the Department of International, Legal, Historical and Political Studies at the State University of Milan where she teaches history and institutions of Latin America.  Within the context of the present project she will provide a historical and economic outline of Argentina under the Alfonsín presidency (1983-1989). Furthermore, she will identify the fundamental moments (discourses, statements and debates) characterizing the 1980s Argentinian serious economic crisis (the massive foreign debt, the large public deficit, a huge level of inflation and an inefficient and not very dynamic production system) while introducing the solutions adopted  and the reaction of civil society and political world.

Among her publications:

Argentina, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2011, 179 pp. (collana “Si governano così”, 17). [ISBN 978-88-15-15057-8];

“L’Argentina da Menem a Macri”, in Democrazie inquiete. Viaggio nelle trasformazioni dell’America Latina, a cura di V. Giannattasio e R. Nocera, Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, Milano, 2017, pp. 25-35, in [ISBN 978-88-6835-271-4].

Relevant websites:

Biblioteca Nazionale Mariano Moreno (Buenos Aires):;

Biblioteca del Congreso de la Nación Argentina (Buenos Aires):;

Ibero Amerikanisches Institut (Berlino):;

Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani (Buenos Aires):;

Instituto de Desarrollo Economico y Social- IDES:;

Discursos. La historia a través de los discursos de sus líderes

Laura Sabani

Florence Research Unit, Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Management, University of Florence.

Academic Discipline: Political Economy.

Laura Sabani teaches economics of the financial markets and international economics at the University of Florence. Her reaserch interests focus on the negotiations between recipient countries and International Financial Organizations (IFO) during the debt crisis according to a Principal-Agent  framework. Moreover she is also looking into the evolution of conditionality and adjustments programs and IFO cooperation.

Among her publications:

(2018). The IMF and the World Bank: the role of competition and domain dissent in communication and decision making. ECONOMIC NOTES. ISSN: 0391-5026;

with S. Marchesi, A. Dreher (2011). Read my lips: the role of information transmission in multilateral reform design. JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS, vol. 84, p. 86-98, ISSN: 0022-1996;

with S.Marchesi, (2007). IMF concern for reputation and conditional lending failure: theory and empirics. JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS, vol. 84, p. 640-666, ISSN: 0304-3878.

Francesco Petrini

Florence Research Unit, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Law, and International Studies, University of Padua.

Academic Discipline: History of International Relations.

Francesco Petrini is Associate Professor in History of International Relations at the University of Padova, Italy. His research focuses on the interplay between the socio-economic structure and the international sphere. In particular he has written about European integration history, Italy and international economic relations, the crisis of the “Golden Age”, the oil industry and State power, the debate on the multinational companies in the 1970s. In the frame of the Prin project he will deal with the EEC role in the debt crisis.

Among his publication:

Bringing Social Conflict Back in: The Historiography of Industrial Milieux and European Integration, in “Contemporanea. Rivista di storia dell'800 e del '900”, n. 3, 2014, pp. 525-541;

Counter-shocked? The oil majors and the price slump of the 1980s, in in D. Basosi, G. Garavini, M. Trentin, eds., Countershock: The Oil Counter-Revolution of the 1980s, London, I.B. Tauris, 2018, pp. 76-96;

Capital Hits the Road: Regulating Multinational Corporations during the Long 1970s, in Knud Andresen and Stefan Müller (eds), Contesting Deregulation: Debates and Practices in the West since the 1970s, New York-Oxford, Berghahn Books, 2017, pp. 185-198.