Global Independence versus Regional Interdependence: France and Italy in the Mediterranean since 1945
The Mediterranean has been completely transformed since the end of World War II. It has evolved from an imperial transportation and com munication route connecting east and west and north and south, to a peripheral yet critical theater in the Cold War, to one of the most perilous regions in the world today. The two largest European powers in the region, France and Italy, not only witnessed but also contributed to this Mediterranean metamorphosis. Devastated physically and spiritually by World War II, these two nations looked to the Mediterranean as a stage upon which to rebuild their national pride and international status. Yet France and Italy - neighboring countries that share many historical, political, economic, cultural and religious interests - adopted starkly different approaches to Mediterranean affairs.