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Ilaria Poggiolini

Ilaria Poggiolini is Professor of International History and Pro-Rector for International Affairs at the University of Pavia. She is a partner of the Machiavelli Centre for Cold War Studies (CIMA), a member of the teaching staff of the Doctorate Program in History at the University of Pavia and SCR Fellow at the European Study Centre, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Her early research activities and publications centered on post WWII international peace making with a focus on the cases of Italy, Japan and Vietnam and on political and diplomatic relations between Italy and the Allies in the 1940s and ‘50s. Her research and publications has contributed to the discussion on the domestic and regional significance of British accession to the EEC, on ‘second Europe’ and Ostpolitik in the 1970s and 1980s, on Thatcher’s European and East/West policy in the 1980s and on the historical and contemporary meaning and implications of Euroscepticism.

Margaret Thatcher was a major political figure of the end of the Cold War era, who is still surrounded by much controversy today. There are two main reasons for this: she openly pursued an alternative vision of Europe at a time when federalism was still the dominant discourse; and she called for the liberalisation of the Eastern bloc, rather than its disintegration.