This wide-ranging book seeks to unravel the complexities of post-1992 Italian democracy. It takes as its point of departure the dramatic political tensions of the early 1990s and evaluates these against the background of an analysis of the ‘First Republic’ that predates these changes.
Martin Bull and James Newell, renowned scholars of Italian Politics, argue that the early 1990s revolution in Italian party politics should be seen both as a major cause of subsequent changes in the political system and as a consequence of longer-term, still on-going changes in the Italian polity. The books explains how we can understand in this light the mixed success of the parties in attempting to act as autonomous vehicles of reform – and therefore why, if we are witnessing a transformation to a ‘Second Republic’, many of its key features still remain to be shaped. Each of the thematic chapters clearly juxtaposes Italy as it was before the 1990s with Italy today, thereby evaluating the degree to which the early 1990s can be seen as a watershed. In this way the book offers a novel account of both contemporary political developments and their historical significance in teh context of the ‘Italian political model’ that took shape in the period after 1945.
This will be essential reading for all students of Italian and Comparative Politics, who will find the clarity and breadth of the book invaluable. Equally, scholars will be fascinated by this new and compelling argument.