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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)

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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: History: 20th Century to Present
Area: Southern Europe


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