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Women's Political and Social Activism in the Early Cold War Era

The Case of Yugoslavia

Chiara Bonfiglioli

The Cold War era has been mainly represented as a period of gender conservatism in feminist literature, and communist women in Eastern and Western Europe have been often described as manipulated or deprived of agency due to their lack of autonomy from Communist Party politics. On the basis of archival sources and autobiographies, this article explores the Cold War activities of a women's organization founded in Yugoslavia during the Second World War: the Antifašistički Front Žena (Antifascist Women's Front, or AFŽ). The article describes the activities of the AFŽ from its creation until its dissolution in 1953, focusing on its campaigns for women's political, economic, and social rights in the postwar and early Cold War period. By engaging with the pioneering work of Zagreb feminist historian Lydia Sklevicky and with new archival sources, the article aims to shed light on women's political and social agency in Cold War times.

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Abbreviations

List of abbreviations

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Back in Europe? Italy, the Troika, and the Chancelleries

Francesco Stolfi

Having inherited high and increasing interest rates on public debt from its predecessor, the Monti government had to bring these yields down to sustainable levels and to push through the reforms that the Berlusconi government had abandoned. This article discusses the strategies that the Monti government employed to achieve these goals. It also analyzes the government?s international actions and finds that its international credibility was a subtle but significant asset. Although it did not necessarily acquire greater flexibility in its dealings with Italy?s international partners, the Monti government engaged in negotiations with the German government and the European Central Bank in an effort to help to defuse the Italian (and European) government debt crisis.

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Between Retaliatory Punishment and Reform: Some Thoughts on Vatileaks and Italian Politics

Alberto Melloni

What impact did the so-called Vatileaks scandal have on Italian politics? And how deep were the connections between the Vatican and the Italian transition of political assets in 2012? This in-depth analysis shows that the problems of the Church in relation to the state came much before the 2012 crisis, namely, during the time of the reluctant submission of Catholic hierarchies to Berlusconism.

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The Challenge of the Five Star Movement

Rinaldo Vignati

This chapter describes the main events in the recent history of the Five Star Movement (M5S). The first section deals with the party's success in municipal elections in May 2012 and hypothesizes that up to now M5S voters are mainly former supporters of center-left parties and that the success of the M5S was influenced by previous leftist movements. The second section is about the first steps taken by the new M5S mayor of Parma, Federico Pizzarotti, while the following covers the rise of the party in opinion polls and its success in Sicily's regional elections. The next section deals with the organizational problems and dilemmas of the M5S, and the final section sketches a profile of the movement—a party in which there are both populist and hyper-democratic traits, civism and anti-politics sentiments.

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Chronology of Italian Political Events, 2012

Rinaldo Vignati

Chronology of Italian Political Events, 2012

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The Costs of Politics and Reform: The Year of “Little Trims”

Sergio Rizzo and Gian Antonio Stella

In this chapter, the efforts of the Italian ruling class to cut the costs of politics during 2012 are analyzed. An informal division of labor was established between Monti's executive, which was to take care of budgetary problems, and the Parliament, which was supposed to tackle the frequent scandals of corruption and public money mismanagement. The results of the latter's efforts were amply (and predictably) disappointing, justifying once more the low levels of trust that citizens display toward politicians. In particular, we consider five points: the expenditure cuts by the constitutional bodies, the failure to reduce the number of MPs, the effort to cut back on the public funding of political parties, the “anarchy” of regional expenditures, and the inability to decide about the abolition of provincial government.

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Documentary Appendix

Valentina Sartori

This documentary appendix provides the reader with the demographic,

economic, political, and social background to the main events of 2012

discussed in this volume. The appendix is divided into two sections.

The first comprises tables A1 to A14, which present socio-demographic

and economic data, while the second comprises tables B1 to B14,

which supply data on elections held in 2012.

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Interest Groups and the “Amended” Liberalizations of the Monti Government

Liborio Mattina

This article examines the liberalization of public services promoted by the Monti government with a law to which it attached great importance, arguing that liberalization would bring significant improvements to the economy and to consumers within a few years. In fact, the innovative capacity of the decree has been significantly diminished due to the amendments adopted in Parliament in response to efforts to maintain the status quo made by interest groups threatened by liberalization. This outcome is explained by the lack of cohesion of the parliamentary majority that supported the caretaker government and by its susceptibility to the influence of organized interests.