Laura Fasanaro

Photo: Laura FasanaroDr. Laura Fasanaro
(Universitá Roma Tre, Rom)

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European Politics and the Energy-Environment-Agriculture Nexus through the Cold War and beyond – German and Italian perspectives, 1970s-1990s

Laura Fasanaro's research project is embedded in the following trajectories: (1) a rising awareness in European public debates during the last "long" decade of the Cold War of the environmental consequences of energy policies, and of the linkage between agricultural policy and environmental challenges; (2) the United Nations' growing interest in the global effects of the politics of natural resources which provided a necessary impetus for the concept of "sustainable development" in international relations, a process anticipated and endorsed by European governments and institutions; and (3) subsequent to the end of the Cold War, a rising receptivity within the EU to a concept of "security" based on both energy and environmental security, with significant implications for agricultural policy as well.

This research explores the roots of the political linkage between energy, environment, and agriculture policies in Europe from German and Italian perspectives, focusing on institutions where theoretical assumptions were envisioned or concrete initiatives were realized: governments, political parties and movements, the scientific community, research and technology institutions, and the business world. This research also looks into bilateral cooperation in these fields and analyses its impact on EC/EU policy, the UN, and the Atlantic Alliance. From a broader perspective, while the politics of natural resources had become a crucial issue in Cold War tensions, the linkage of energy-environment-agricultural challenges/policies also evolved independently from those tensions through the years of détente, the revival of East-West confrontation, and the end of the Cold War, eventually fostering the rise of a new concept: security.

Dr Laura Fasanaro is a Senior Researcher and a lecturer at the Department of Political Science at Roma Tre University (Italy). Her research and teaching interests include the Cold War, and the History of European Integration, with a focus on Italian-German relations, energy diplomacy, and Eurocommunism.

She has recently published a book on the political and economic relations between the GDR and Italy in the 1970s and 1980s, La DDR e l'Italia. Politica, Commercio e ideologia nell'Europa del cambiamento, 1973-1985 (Rome: Carocci, 2016). She is also the author of Energia contesa, energia condivisa. La Francia, il problema tedesco e la questione carbonifera nei due dopoguerra (Florence: Polistampa, 2008), and of a number of essays on Cold War history, such as: "Continuity and Transformation. Alternate Visions of Italy's Three Decades of Détente," in Oliver Bange, Poul Villaume (Eds.), The Long Détente: Changing Concepts of Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1950s-1980s (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2017); and "The Eurocommunism Years: Italy's Political Puzzle and the Limits of the Atlantic Alliance," in Giles Scott-Smith, Valérie Aubourg (Eds.), Atlantic, Euratlantic or Europe-America?  (Paris: Soleb, 2011).

In Fall 2017, Laura Fasanaro is a visiting scholar at the Berlin Center for Cold War Studies.