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PhD Students

Eugenio Lilli


Research topics

US Foreign Policy; The Middle East; International Terrorism; The European Union and Arab Awakening.

Research project

On June 4th 2009 during a public speech in Cairo President Barack Obama committed his administration to set a new beginning in US-Muslim relations. The principal goal of this research is to assess if after four years Obama delivered on his promise. To what extent did Obama represent discontinuity in US foreign policy toward the Muslim world? To answer this question we first investigate the two main components of US foreign policy -its rhetoric and its practice- and point out their respective traditional characteristics in US relations with the Muslim world. We do that through both a comprehensive study of the origins and evolution of US rhetoric and a detailed analysis of two significant historical examples: the 1953 overthrow of the Mossadeq government in Iran, and US support for the Afghan resistance against the Soviet invasion in the 1980s. After having highlighted the traditional traits of US foreign policy toward the Muslim world we assess President Obama’s records, in particular his administration’s responses to the Arab Awakenings, that is the series of revolts which have swept throughout the Muslim world during the years 2011-2012.   


Professor Greg Kennedy, Defence Studies Department, UK Joint Services Command and Staff College


Eugenio holds a BA (110 cum laude) in Economics, Politics and Institutions of the European Union and aMA (110 cum laude) in Economics and politics of European Integration (University of Bologna, Forlì Campus). During his MA he won a one year scholarship to study at the University of California, San Diego where he undertook most of his research on international terrorism and the US War on Terror. He joined King’s College London, War Studies Department, in 2010 and is currently a Teaching Fellow at Defence Studies Department, UK Joint Services Command and Staff College.


  • Syria is Not Iraq Revisited,, February 26, 2013.
  • The Obama Administration Flunks the Arab Awakening Test,, February 7, 2013.
  • Morsi the Moderate?,, December 13, 2012.
  • When the Rubber Meets the Road: Time to Rethink the Wisdom of a Military Intervention in Syria, The Heptagon Post, November 26, 2012.
  • Syria: four obstacles to a solution of the current crisis,, July 21, 2012.
  • Book Review: Bending History: Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy by Martin S. Indyk et al, Global Policy Journal, May 30, 2011.
  • Adattare lo Strumento Militare dell’Italia,, February 17, 2011.
  • The Illusion of US Isolationism, Cornell International Affairs Review, Vol.5, Issue 1, 2011.
  • Libya: The (unwise) ICC’s decision to issue an arrest warrant against Qaddafi,, July 10, 2011.
  • The Peril of Hasty Triumphalism and Osama bin Laden’s Death, Journal for Terrorism Research, Vol.2, Issue 1, May 2011.
  • Revolts in the Arab World: Is It Bad News for Islamic Terrorists?, Journal for Terrorism Research, Vol.2, Issue 1, April 2011.
  • Medio Oriente e Maghreb: Le Rivolte Sono Una Cattiva Notizia Per Il Terrorismo Islamico Internazionale,, March 25, 2011.
  • Obama’s Global War On Terror, World Defence Systems, Atalink, London, Vol.2, pp,193-195, 2010.
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