Italian Politics: Mapping the Future

Italian Politics: Mapping the Future

Italian Politics: Mapping the Future

Italian Politics: Mapping the Future

Synopsis

This annual volume provides a detailed analysis of developments in Italian politics in 1997, a critical period of transformation and an effort to plan for the future of Italian reform. As emerges clearly from the chapters collected in this volume, 1997 can be seen as a year in which the future of Italy's institutional and regulatory reform was substantially mapped, but, in the short-term, far more difficultly executed. The Parliamentary Commission on Constitutional Reform was initiated, as well as a definitive and decisive move toward Italian entry into the European Monetary Union (EMU) Draft laws on reform refigured important aspects of the Constitution, such as the judicial system, electoral reform, the organization of the state, relations between central, regional, and local tiers of government, and all sought to initiate a long-awaited passage from the "First" to "Second" Republics. By their nature, these drafts contained many gray areas, and they represent only the first steps toward effective reform of the Italian political system. The year was one of hesitation, contraction, and, perhaps, lost opportunity on the road to a new political and economic order. Effort toward policy innovation and progress encountered much political uncertainty, and the country's political forces moved slowly toward a redefinition of their identities and alliances. While politicians and political parties engaged in a frequently futile struggle to form coherent bipoloar strategies, technocrats, political reformers, and industrial and financial actors often managed to push ahead with some fundamental change, both independently and in collaboration with political forces. Italian Politics: Mapping the Future argues that 1997 will be seen, in retrospect, as a critical junction between the decadence and paralysis of the 1980s and early 1990s and a still uncertain, but perhaps more promising, political future.
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