Keywords: International Relations; Think Tank; Public Diplomacy; Italy; Ford Foundation.
In the early Sixties, the intellectual Liberal group of «il Mulino» from Bologna contemplated creating an association devoted to analysing international relations; this think tank was planned for the future ruling classes. The purpose was to fill the gap between Italy and other nations from the Western world in the field of diplomacy and international affairs in order to allow Italy to play a more active part in the Atlantic community. This project met the new US Administration's policy that was keen to revitalize the Atlantic alliance partly contested by de Gaulle's policy. The realization of the project went all but smoothly: in Italy as in the US, the scopes of the different players - the Federalist intellectual and politician Spinelli, some of the Mulino's leaders, the Ford Foundation which was approached to back the new association, and the State Department - did not perfectly match. Nevertheless, under Spinelli's direction the new IIA succeeded in setting up one of the first Italian Foreign policy think-tanks.