Berlusconi's Italy: Mapping Contemporary Italian Politics by Michael E. Shin

By Michael E. Shin

Given that 1994, Italian politics has been ruled by means of the larger-than-life determine of Silvio Berlusconi. mixing dialogue of personalities, events, and rules with targeted geographical analyses, this booklet offers leading edge perception into Berlusconi's occupation. "Berlusconi's Italy" presents a clean, completely proficient account of ways Italy's richest guy got here to be its political chief. with out pushing aside the significance of personalities and political events, it emphasizes the importance of alterations in vote casting behaviors that ended in the increase - and eventual fall - of Silvio Berlusconi, the millionaire media baron who turned major minister.Armed with new facts and new analytic instruments, Michael Shin and John Agnew exhibit that neighborhood politics and moving geographical vote casting styles have been way more very important to Berlusconi's successes than the commonly credited function of the mass media. Shin and Agnew reject the existing orthodoxy approximately how coalitions are prepared and changed in Italy. in its place, utilizing lately constructed equipment of spatial research, they provide a compelling new argument approximately contextual new edition and mutation. They finish that Berlusconi's good fortune (and later defeat) might be most sensible understood in geographic phrases, they usually recommend that geographical research has an invaluable function to play in analyzing political habit in Italy and past.

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Of course, this is one of the things that most fascinates many of us about Italy, notwithstanding the best efforts of those scholars and commentators who would simply turn it into a paradigm case of failed national modernity when the country refuses to live up to this or that foreign model (by not nationalizing and having other such “pathological” attributes). 3 Party Replacement, Italian Style M uch has been written about the success of Silvio Berlusconi and his party, Forza Italia. The attention that he and his party receive is indeed warranted on many levels.

As described previously in Chapter 2, it is often argued that Berlusconi epitomizes a new era in Italian politics characterized by personalities instead of political parties and by the nationalization of the electorate thanks to the psychological power of the media and the mass appeal of television. Recognizing that ballots are still cast lo- PA RT Y R E P L A C E M E N T, I T A L I A N S T Y L E 47 cally, and that national averages continue to be aggregates of local outcomes, we believe that a geographical perspective can inform and extend current understandings of political change.

3 Party Replacement, Italian Style M uch has been written about the success of Silvio Berlusconi and his party, Forza Italia. The attention that he and his party receive is indeed warranted on many levels. From his financial success and conflicts of interest to his personal appeal and public gaffes, Berlusconi is the object of both fascination and morbid curiosity. Yet how did Berlusconi and Forza Italia establish themselves so quickly on a political landscape once dominated by Christian Democrats, Communists, and Socialists?

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