Italian elites’ traditional esterofilia – the tendency to compare Italy unfavourably with other polities and to look to foreign models for solutions to the country’s political problems – looks very interesting in the aftermath of Brexit. Always held up as a model of political stability, home to a civic culture of which Italians could supposedly only dream, British politics must look very different now, in light of the referendum outcome – as must the quality of British and Italian democracy in relative terms. It seems ironic, considering what has happened, that Anglo-Saxon authors could once write books and articles with such snobbish titles as ‘Republic without government’, ‘Sick man of Europe’, to name just a few, and that these titles could be largely accepted by Italian elites as embodying appropriate judgments of the relative quality of Italy as a democracy. For what the referendum outcome has shown is that British democracy shares all of the problems traditionally seen as supposedly distinguishing features of the Italian case, if anything to a far greater degree. Thereby, it has revealed a number of stark warnings for Italy’s political elites, as well as having had several unwelcome impacts. Continue reading “Brexit and Italian politics: parallels, warnings and impacts by A. Giovannini and J. Newell”
As the results of the second round of municipal elections in some amongst Italy’s main cities are known, Professors James Newell and Maurizio Carbone share with CONGRIPS their thoughts on what these results mean for Italy’s democracy (editorial piece for the forthcoming issue of Contemporary Italian Politics)
The day before we began writing this editorial, the results of the second round of the local elections were announced. Although they involved only around one quarter of the Italian electorate and were of the second-order variety, their outcome was widely framed in the media as a significant defeat for Matteo Renzi and therefore to a significant extent were so: in politics, perhaps more than in any other sphere, a situation defined as real is real in its consequences.
In a post on Liberta’ e Giustizia, Nadia Urbinati shares her views on the Renzi-Boschi Constitutional reform, reconstructing the historical and ideological roots of the changes foreseen. (in Italian)
CONGRIPS is the Conference Group on Italian Politics and Society. CONGRIPS was formally initiated on September 2, 1975, at the American Political Science Association (APSA) convention in San Francisco, California. Norman Kogan of the University of Connecticut spearheaded the effort which, in the first year, garnered 117 members. The original purpose of the organization was to encourage and support academic research and writing on current and past Italian political issues and practices. That charter was expanded in 1986 to include Italian social issues, hence the name change that year to the Conference on Italian Politics & Society ( CONGRIPS ). During its first year, CONGRIP also adopted a Constitution and Bylaws .