Italian Politics: Ending the First Republic

Italian Politics: Ending the First Republic

Italian Politics: Ending the First Republic

Italian Politics: Ending the First Republic

Excerpt

This is the ninth volume in the series Italian Politics , edited by the Cattaneo Institute.

The series, which began in 1986, remains faithful to its original intention: the thorough examination and analysis of the facts and events that, each year, mark trends and continuities in the Italian political system. This volume provides a chronicle and analysis of the events of 1993.

When the project Italian Politics began, thirty years of scholarship had focused on the stability of Italian political life. In contrast to the situation of other countries, where the shifting electoral fates of politicians gave the appearance, if not the reality, of political change, the persistence of political leadership in Italy from the post-war period until the 1980s was taken as proof of the absence of political change in general. Nevertheless, during the long period that followed post-war democratic consolidation, Italian politics was changing, though at a pace much slower than changes in the economy and society. There were no grand transformations like those that elsewhere announced a restructuring, true or presumed, between politics and society. Rather, political change was subtly manifested in a multitude of everyday events: interviews, manifestos, demonstrations, and partial elections. To inventory these events, to weigh their significance and to analyze their meanings, were the goals of the Italian Politics project at its inception in 1986 and remain our guiding principles in this volume.

The Italian politics of the present has lost every trace of stability. For Italy, the passage from the 1980s to the 1990s has signaled deep transformations in the main components of the political system: in political parties and institutions, in the orientation of public opinion, and in the mechanics of the electoral system. In the eyes of the international media, Italy has become a "laboratory" for the observation of the dynamics of democratic regimes. Scholars now debate whether this transformation constitutes a new regime and if it is legitimate to speak of a "Second Republic."

In a certain sense, the acceleration of change in Italian politics has made it easier to single out, from the multitude of chronicled facts, those events . . .

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