In early 2020 Italy was a country whose political parties stood as significant obstacles in the way of resolution of its social and economic problems. The purpose of this book is to help the reader to understand how Italian politics had reached this point. It does this by tracing the most significant processes of political, economic and social change to have marked Italian history in recent years back to their roots in the Italian political system as it emerged at the end of the Second World War. Starting with the restoration of democracy, the volume discusses the post-war party system and how it came under increasing pressure from the mid-1970s. From there it discusses the political upheavals of the early 1990s and the transformations they led to, the rise and fall of Silvio Berlusconi, and the watershed election of 2018. In short, the book provides a narrative. Narratives tell us who we are, where we have come from, where we are now and where we are going. Without them, we cannot make sense of the world. At the end of this narrative, if it has done its job properly, Italian politics and current affairs should ‘make sense’ if before they seemed confusing.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Italian politics in the spring 2020
2. A 'blocked' political system: Politics in the 'First Republic'
3. Revolutions cultural, judicial and political: the deadline and fall of the First Republic
4. The Berlusconi era: The politics of the 'Second Republic'
5. Decline of a celebrity and more: The end of the 'Second Republic'
6. A bridge between two worlds: The XVII legislature
7. The 2018 general election and its aftermath: Italia Quo Vadis?
James L. Newell is former Professor of Politics at the University of Salford. His recent books include Corruption in Contemporary Politics: A New Travel Guide (2018) and Silvio Berlusconi: A Study in Failure (2019) (both published by Manchester University Press) and the edited volume Europe and the Left: Resisting the Populist Tide (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming). He is founder and co-editor of the quarterly journal Contemporary Italian Politics.