International Relations Research News

Webster Vienna Private University's Adjunct Faculty member Dr. Franz Cede, former Austrian Ambassador to Belgium and the Russian Federation, has been published in the European Journal of Minority Studies. His article titled “South Tyrol and Austria’s Protective Function” appears in the journal’s first edition of this year and discusses the different understandings of the term “Protecting Power” with a particular view on its application to Austria’s role as an advocate of South Tyrol vis-à-vis Italy.

The author first cites various examples where the notion of “Protecting Power” is frequently used. Dr. Cede discusses more specifically the use of the term “Protecting Power” in relation to treaty regimes having a direct bearing on Austria. The Gruber-de Gasperi Agreement between Austria and Italy is a case in point. Because of the international character of this agreement Austria is generally called a “Protective Power” having the right to raise the matter with Italy whenever the autonomy of South Tyrol is at issue. In his concluding observations the author strongly argues against using the term “Protecting Power” in this connection. Giving its different understandings the notion is misleading when applied to Austria’s role with regard to South Tyrol. The expression “Austria’s Protective function for South Tyrol” should be used instead. It is precise enough and does not lend itself to unnecessary misunderstandings.

You can get a copy of the current issue of the European Journal of Minority Studies here.