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Lorenzo Ferrari

I am a PhD student at the IMT Institute since 2011 and I study history of European integration and of international relations.


My PhD thesis

In my thesis, I analyze the process of construction and evolution of the international identity of the European Communities in the early period of the EC's engagement on the international scene, i.e. in the 1970s. My supervisors are Mark Gilbert (Johns Hopkins University) and Giovanni Orsina (LUISS).

In particular, I look at the way in which European leaders made use of the dense relations between the EC and the Third World countries in order to pursue political goals and to establish a certain idea of Europe as an international actor. Relations with the Third World were used to project the image of the EC as an original and generous international actor, trying to move towards peace and progress in a multipolar world. Success was limited, but still the process was important for the readjustment of Europe's position and role on the world scene and for the idea of Europe emerging from the debates.

I expect to defend my thesis in December 2014.    

 

My academic career

Before joining the IMT Institute, I studied at the University of Bologna, where I graduated in international studies (BA, 2008) and in contemporary history (MA, 2010). I also spent study periods at the University of Manchester (2007-2008) and at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris (2009, 2010).

In 2012 I have been visiting student at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium, and I have been visiting student at Sciences Po in Paris from January to July 2013. 

 

My research interests

I am very interested in the political, social, and cultural aspects of the process of European integration and of international relations. In particular, I am fascinated by the interactions between ideas and politics and by the way in which they influence each other. I am also interested in the process of formation and evolution of collective identities and of collective memory.

I am very interested in interdisciplinary dialogue, and I see it crucial for historians to take into account works from other disciplines. Personally, I am very fascinated by the interactions between history, geography, and art.

You can take a look at my personal webpage: www.ferrarilorenzo.com.

Research Interest

 

My PhD thesis

The title of my thesis is "From Imperial Powers to Civilian Power: The Making of the International Identity of the European Communities, 1972-1980". My supervisors are Mark Gilbert and Giovanni Orsina.

In my thesis, I analyze the process of construction and evolution of the international identity of the European Communities in the early period of the EC's engagement on the international scene, i.e. in the 1970s. It was during the 1970s that the EC started to have significant common external policies and started to present itself as a "civilian" international actor, and this conception of itself still influences EU's external policies nowadays.

What I look in particular is the way in which European leaders made use of the dense relations between the EC and the Third World countries in order to establish a certain idea of Europe as an international actor. Relations with the Third World were used to project the image of the EC as an original and generous international actor, trying to move towards peace and progress in a multipolar world. Success was limited, but still the process was important for the readjustment of Europe's position and role on the world scene and for the idea of Europe emerging from the debates.  

I focus on some particularly influential European leaders and policy-makers, such as the EC commissioner for development Claude Cheysson, the commissioners for external relations and some high-ranking officials and diplomats. I try to reconstruct the cultural atmosphere in which they operated, the intellectual influences which they received and the social networks in which they were included. Doing this, I show how and why a certain idea of the EC as a distinctive international actor was elaborated and promoted, and how such an idea interacted with relevant political interests.

The research is mainly based on the institutional archives of the EU in Florence and Brussels and on the archives of the ministries for foreign affairs of the main EC's member states. I expect to defend my thesis by 2014.

 

Other research interests

I am very interested in the political, social, and cultural aspects of the process of European integration and of international relations. In particular, I am fascinated by the interactions between ideas and politics and by the way in which they influence each other. I am also interested in the process of formation and evolution of collective identities and of collective memory.

Specific topics I am interested in are the policies of management of the colonial memories in Europe, the European policies for democracy promotion abroad and the external perceptions on European integration. I am also interested in the pursuit of political goals through architecture.