This research is a case study of post-war Italy's policy in the Mediterranean. The study examines Italy's course of action vis-à-vis the island-state of Malta during the Cold War under the assumption that - although Italy's main interests lay in Europe - the Mediterranean remains an important area of concern for Italian policy makers.

It argues that security concerns stemming from geopolitical considerations have consistently been playing the dominant role in determining Italy's policy decisions concerning its relations with Malta, and specifically with respect to those policy decisions involving political and military commitments.

The study concludes by stressing the continuity of Italy's policy in the region, in spite of the dramatic changes that have characterized the international and domestic scene since the end of the Cold War.