U.S. -Italian relations in the 1950s were shaped in part by Italy's pursuit of a “Neo-Atlanticist” policy—a policy that emphasized economic multilateralism within the Western alliance and active diplomatic engagement with the nonaligned Arab countries. The Neo-Atlanticist approach led to certain ac-complishments but also to some notable failures. By late 1959, when domes-tic political squabbles and an unpropitious international climate brought an end to the Neo-Atlanticist policy, Italy had been unable to attain its chief objective of a significant increase in its international standing. The country did, however, shift from being a mere client of the United States to something closer to a full-fledged partner. Despite the failures of Neo-Atlanticism, the policy showed that a reliance on “soft power” (non-coercive means of influence)can work in some circumstances.

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