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Governing Fear

Governing Fear


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In 2008, Silvio Berlusconi returned to power - thanks to a decisive electoral victory - to head a slimmer coalition whose cabinet consisted of members very close to him. The year began with the garbage crisis in Naples and ended in a climate dominated by economic uncertainty. In between some unexpected events happened: during the administrative elections, held with the general elections in April, the right in Rome claimed many victories; for the first time ever, a woman, Emma Marcegaglia, was elected President of Confindustria; and the Alitalia airline had to be rescued from the brink of economic collapse. For consecutive months, opinion polls gave Berlusconi an unprecedented level of popular support; those polled attributed their approval to either his 'decisionism' or to what they viewed as a successful strategy of continual announcements. Others pointed to the executive's success in 'governing the fears' of Italians, which was helped by a change of register in the way the media dealt with issues of security. This volume shows that the politics of vetoes, which characterised the previous center-left government, could not conceal the structural, economic and social problems that still need to be resolved, a situation not helped by the fact that the opposition parties were still unable to develop an effective political strategy by yearend. With the contribution of Italian and international experts, the volume also addresses the issues of the difficult integration of immigrants, the mismanagement of public health and the reform of the education.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781845457839
Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/01/2010
Series: Italian Politics , #24
Pages: 332
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Anna Cento Bull is Professor of Italian History and Politics in the Department of European Studies and Modern Languages, University of Bath. Her recent publications include Italian Neofascism: The Strategy of Tension and the Politics of Non-Reconciliation (Berghahn 2007) and Speaking Out and Silencing: Culture, Society and Politics in Italy in the 1970s, co-edited with Adalgisa Giorgio (Legenda 2006).

Gianfranco Baldini is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Bologna, where he teaches Parties and Pressure Groups in the European Union and the European Political System. His recent publications include Elections, Electoral Systems and Volatile Voters, with A. Pappalardo (Palgrave 2009), and La Francia di Sarkozy, co-edited with Marc Lazar (Il Mulino, 2007).

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations

Chronology of Italian Political Events, 2008

Compiled by Rinaldo Vignati

Introduction: Governing Fear

Gianfranco Baldini and Anna Cento Bull

Chapter 1. Chronicle of a Victory Foretold: The 13–14 April General Elections

Piergiorgio Corbetta

Chapter 2. Center Left, Radical Left, Anti-Politics, and Center: Four Oppositions in Search of a Comeback

James L. Newell

Chapter 3. Alemanno’s Surprising Victory in Rome

Giovanni Di Franco

Chapter 4. The Only Man in Charge? The First Eight Months of Berlusconi’s Fourth Government

Francesco Marangoni

Chapter 5. Russia’s Trojan Horse in Europe? Italy and the War in Georgia

Maurizio Carbone

Chapter 6. Still Dying at Work: The New Consolidation Act on Health and Safety in the Workplace

Elisabetta Gualmini

Chapter 7. Women in Institutions: Progress in the Economic Sector, Stagnation in Politics?

Alessia Donà

Chapter 8. Mariastella Gelmini’s Education Policy: Cuts without a Cultural Project

Giancarlo Gasperoni

Chapter 9. The Italian Health System: Cost Containment, Mismanagement, and Politicization

Franca Maino

Chapter 10. A Story Foretold of a Toxic Mix in Campania

Eleonora Pasotti

Chapter 11. The Northern League’s Victory: Immigration and Citizenship in the Veneto Region

Jacqueline Andall

Chapter 12. The Privatization of Alitalia

Grant Amyot

Documentary Appendix

Compiled by Debora Mantovani

About the Editors and Authors

Customer Reviews