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Italy and Tito’s Yugoslavia in the Age of International Détente


Massimo Bucarelli, Luca Micheletta, Luciano Monzali and Luca Riccardi

World War II and East-West confrontation redefined borders between Italy and Yugoslavia, reshaped national frontiers and adversely affected political relations. As a result, major quarrels and disputes arose over territorial claims, demarcation of State boundaries, expulsion of national minorities, and diverging visions on international and domestic politics. It was only in the 1960s and 1970s, during the years of Détente, that rapprochement between Rome and Belgrade became possible and normalization of bilateral relations was attained. Long-lasting territorial disputes, such as the Trieste question, were solved and bilateral relationship greatly improved, so much so that Belgrade became an important asset in Italy’s Balkan and Adriatic strategy, while Rome was a sort of bridge between Socialist Yugoslavia and Western Europe.
This book is intended to shed light on the process of Italian-Yugoslav normalization and rapprochement, which ultimately brought to the Adriatic Détente. Based on a wide collection of primary sources and documentary materials, it aims to contribute to a better understanding of the history of the Adriatic region, a conflicted European space that had been affected by territorial disputes and ethnic strife for decades during the 20th century.
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Resisting Détente. The Associative Network and the Osimo Treaty


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Resisting Détente

The Associative Network and the Osimo Treaty


After the end of the “Trieste question” the Italian government fully embraced its new European and Atlantic impulses in foreign policy and purposed a new and friendly relation with the Yugoslav neighbor.1 The signature of the London Memorandum, indeed, relegated the unsettled issue of the ex-Zone B of the former Free Territory of Trieste to the borders of Cold War politics. Despite official statements, Trieste’s de facto return to Italy coincided with the definitive partition of the Adriatic border. As a consequence, recurrent political tensions that marked the years between 1954 and the Osimo Treaty were generally neglected and understudied.2 In particular, Trieste, after having first experienced the downsides of the emerging climate of the Cold War,3 also inaugurated a new season of political relaxation which greatly anticipated Nixon’s détente.4

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