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Much Ado About Nothing?

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Volume 26

Italian Politics

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Much Ado About Nothing?

Edited by Elisabetta Gualmini and Eleonora Pasotti

312 pages, 5 tables, bibliog.

ISBN  978-0-85745-457-7 $59.95/£47.95 Pb Published (December 2011)

Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


The year 2010 marked the halfway point for Silvio Berlusconi’s fourth government with the solidity of its electoral mandate threatened on a number of occasions by strong clashes with the opposition, ultimately leading to a “divorce” from Gianfranco Fini. The upheaval that followed this rift dominated the second half of the year. This volume examines not only this rift but also the important political and social events of a period full of polemics and tensions, from the regional elections and the debate on fiscal federalism to the state of the opposition parties. The political agenda was consumed by everyday matters, such as the scandals surrounding the Civil Protection Service and the confrontations with the magistracy over phone tapping, and appeared to lack any strategic planning for the longer term. The reform of the university system was approved by a slim margin and still saw violent protests from its opponents. Then, all of the government’s actions were restricted by a return to austerity policies. Through the confidence vote of 14 December, the government retained its tenuous hold on power and left a sense of “much ado about nothing”. The crisis was averted, but possibly only postponed, and now there remains the unresolved, increasingly chronic problems of a country that is limping along without growth, more and more divided according to geographical areas, social and professional categories, and above all, torn between generations.

Elisabetta Gualmini teaches Administration Science and Public Administration and Public Policy Analysis at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Bologna. Her recent publications include La pubblica amministrazione in Italia (Il Mulino, 2006, edited with G. Capano).

Eleonora Pasotti teaches Comparative Politics in the Politics department at the University ofCalifornia, Santa Cruz. Her recent publications include Political Branding in Cities: the Decline of Machine Politics in Bogotá, Naples, and Chicago (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Subject: Postwar History
Area: Southern Europe


Chronology of Italian Political Events, 2010
compiled by R. Vignati

Introduction: Much ado about nothing?
E. Gualmini and E. Pasotti

Chapter 1. Another Divorce: the PdL in 2010
D. Hine and D. Vampa

Chapter 2. Condemned to ineffectiveness? PD and IdV between parliamentary opposition and coalition strategies
S. Braghiroli and L. Verzichelli

Chapter 3. The third pole: an annus mirabilis?
C. Baccetti

Chapter 4. Between the center and the periphery. The  regional elections and the difficult path towards fiscal federalism
B. Baldi and F. Tronconi

Chapter 5. The financial route to education reform
G. Capano

Chapter 6. Justice reforms? Phone tapping, legitimate impediment, short trials
P. Pederzoli

Chapter 7. Civil Protection Amid Disasters and Scandals
D. Alexander

Chapter 8. FIAT Restructuring and the Pomigliano Case: towards a New Era in Italian Industrial Relations?
M. Simoni

Chapter 9. The Rosarno Revolt: towards political mobilization for immigrants?
C. Devitt

Chapter 10. And yet it moves. The uneasy progress towards high speed trains and railway liberalization
M. Tebaldi

Documentary appendix
compiled by V. Sartori

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