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The man who never was? The Italian transition and 2008 election

Newell, JL 2009, 'The man who never was? The Italian transition and 2008 election' , Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 14 (4) , pp. 395-412.

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    Abstract

    The implications for the co-called Italian transition of the 2008 election initially seemed significant – but have since become increasingly uncertain as Berlusconi's conflict of interests has risen higher up the political agenda. This underscores the pertinence of asking about the sense in which the notion of ‘transition’ is actually applicable to the Italian case at all – bearing in mind that it describes a process now supposedly underway for some 17 years; and bearing in mind that its end point can seemingly not be identified (though by definition ‘transition’ implies movement between two points). Discovering if the term applies to the Italian case and if so whether 2008 has brought its conclusion nearer requires exploring if the political protagonists that have emerged from the election as the most significant players – the Popolo della Libertà and the Partito Democratico – have sufficient commonality of view, sufficient desire and sufficient power to complete a process of constitutional overhaul. The evidence suggests that while they have the view and the desire, there are significant limitations on their power. The election might potentially have been a watershed in the so-called Italian transition in the broader sense of system performance, aside from formal constitutional change. Here too, however, the evidence points away from the idea that 2008 represents a real sea change – though the chances seem good that it will come to be perceived as such.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Italy, Berlusconi, transition, party system, government, May 2008 election
    Themes: Memory, Text and Place
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Democracy and Human Rights
    Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
    Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Modern Italian Studies
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis
    Refereed: Yes
    ISSN: 1354-571X
    Depositing User: Users 47901 not found.
    Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2011 12:23
    Last Modified: 28 Jul 2014 11:00
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/16870

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