Italy from Crisis to Crisis seeks to understand Italy’s approach to crises by studying the country in regional, international, and comparative context. Without assuming that the country is abnormal or unusually crisis-prone, the authors treat Italy as an example from which other countries might learn.
The book integrates the analysis of domestic politics and foreign policy, including Italy’s approach to military interventions, energy security, economic relations with the European Union (EU), and to the NATO alliance, and covers a number of issues that normally receive little attention in studies of "high politics," such as information policy, national identity, immigration, youth unemployment, and family relations. Finally, it puts Italy in a comparative perspective – with other European states, naturally – but also with Latin America, and even the United States, all countries that have experienced similar crises to Italy’s and similar – often populist – responses.
This text will be of key interest to scholars and students of, and courses on, Italian politics and history, European politics and, more broadly, comparative politics and democracy.
‘The great national sport for the Italians for a century and a half has been complaining about their condition. Foreign observers have often encouraged this sport with critical narratives on Italy and Italians. The value of the most qualified comparative analysis is to reject this sport and to look at Italy for what it is, comparing it with the experiences of other countries. After the extraordinary economic and democratic miracle of the post-war era, since the 1970s Italy has taken a long break, but it hasn’t stopped. This book brings together a team of authoritative scholars who conduct a wide-ranging, accurate, and intriguing exploration of the peninsula’s society, economy, and politics of the last quarter century. What the work shows is a country undergoing profound change: Italy has changed and is still changing. It changes, after all, as the world around it changes, in some respects for the better, in some for the worse. But it changes. Isn’t it time to file away the idea of a crisis without a break?’ - Alfio Mastropaolo, University of Torino, Italy.
‘Other parts of the world, not least Italy, have often been viewed as "not normal" or idiosyncratic relative to an Anglo-American norm of socio-political stability and maturity. The model has recently suffered some obvious blows on home turf that thereby draw attention to its longstanding insufficiency. This welcome volume shows how useful and limited a crisis motif can be in understanding recent Italian history without recourse to dubious role models.’ - John Agnew, UCLA, USA.
‘With a cross-disciplinary approach and within a comparative perspective, this important volume helps us to understand the effects of the neoliberal crisis as it interacts with long lasting and multifarious crises.’ - Donatella della Porta, European University Institute, Italy.
Part I: Introduction
1. Italy in Crisis: Eppur si muove [Matthew Evangelista]
Part II: The Political-economic Nexus
2. The Canary in the Coal Mine: Movements, Parties, and Populists in the Italian Crises [Sidney Tarrow]
3. Disembedding the Italian Economy? Four Trajectories of Structural Reform [Jonathan Hopkin and Julia Lynch]
4. The Trickle Down of Corruption: Italy, Mafia, and the Crisis of Legality [Fabio Armao]
Part III: Foreign, Energy, and Security Policy
5. Italian Foreign Policy after the Cold War: Enduring Crisis and the Limits of a Post-ideological Foreign Policy [Elisabetta Brighi]
6. Running in Chains: The Transformation of Italian Defense Policy [Fabrizio Coticchia]
7. Between Shocks and Crises: Changes in Italian Energy Policies from the Cold War to Today [Elisabetta Bini]
Part IV: Societal Change and Adaptation
8. Where Have All the Young People Gone? Generations, Family, and Work in Italy [Adele Lebano]
9. An Italian "Integration Crisis": The Role of the State and Political Actors in Excluding Immigrants and Ethnic Minorities [Teresa M. Cappiali]
10. Va pensiero: The Evolution of Italy's Information Society [Giampiero Giacomello]
11. Crisis and Improvisation?: A Historical Meditation on Italian Post-war Political Development [Mabel Berezin]
12. The Italian Crisis in Comparative Perspective [Kenneth Roberts]