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Dwayne Woods

Olivetti’s successful takeover of Telecom Italia was an astounding

feat that represents a significant change in Italian and European

capitalism. As one observer put it, ‘for Americans who have long

since grown used to the dog-eat-dog world of hostile corporate

takeovers, none of this sounds new. But for Europeans, the ground

is shaking’. The fact that Olivetti succeeded in such a flamboyant

fashion in acquiring a firm seven times its size indicates that the

structure of ownership in Italy is changing and that the Italian

stock market has finally become a player in determining ownership

and influencing the behaviour of management. In particular, the

family-owned and tightly knit ownership patterns of the past are

giving way to the influence of shareholders. It is becoming harder

for a few shareholders with a limited amount of stock to control a

company. Also, foreign investors, in particular, Americans and

British, are demanding clearer accounting practices and the reporting

of quarterly earnings.

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Franca Maino

A year ago, assessing the health-care situation, Enza Caruso and Nerina

Dirindin wrote: “The year 2007 can only be described as a positive one

for health in terms of planning, given the great number of programs

launched, commissions and councils put in place, and protocols of

agreement signed by the Ministry of Health. Finance within the health

sector was also notable for complying with the health pact and the rigorous

control of public accounts backed up by deficit reduction plans,

which regions under financial warning had to observe scrupulously or

be put under compulsory administration.” The year 2008, however,

began and then continued with a shocking series of health-care mismanagement

cases, including the controversy over the appointment

procedure for general managers and chief medical officers of health-care

providers, the question of controlling health expenses, and the possible

compulsory administration of regions that are unable to meet deficit

reduction plans.

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Grant Amyot

Throughout 2008, the crisis of Alitalia filled the headlines and the news

programs as the state-owned airline lurched closer to final bankruptcy,

while politicians, unionists, and business leaders argued and negotiated

over its fate. It was one of the principal issues of the election campaign:

Silvio Berlusconi came out strongly against the proposed sale of

the company to Air France-KLM, vowing to keep the airline in Italian

hands. He eventually induced an Italian consortium to step in and take

over the company, but in January 2009 the new Alitalia signed a partnership

agreement with Air France-KLM, which made the Franco-Dutch

company the largest single shareholder and was very possibly a prelude

to a future takeover. In the meantime, however, Berlusconi’s efforts to

preserve the appearance of Italian control cost the taxpayers up to 4 billion

euros more than the original deal with Air France.

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Camilla Devitt

“Rosarno: Immigrant revolt, hundreds of cars damaged” was the

alarming headline in La Repubblica on 7 January 2010. An immigrant

protest and ensuing episodes of violence in the small town of Rosarno

in Calabria in southern Italy were followed with intense interest by the

national and international media and prompted a heated public debate

in Italy. Upcoming regional elections and shared political responsibility

for immigration resulted in politicians blaming their opponents

for the disorder. Minister of the Interior Roberto Maroni’s immediate

response was to maintain that the events were the result of too much

tolerance toward undocumented immigrants. Following the discovery

that the majority of migrants involved were legally resident in Italy,

the government subsequently emphasized the role of inadequate labor

market controls and organized crime.

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Carl Strikwerda

World War I is the most important single event in the history of globalization. The war ended the first significant era of increasing economic ties among nations and thereby shaped the economic history of the twentieth century. The war set off both a search for ways to re-create the prewar liberal world economy and attempts to create statist alternatives to it. The collapse of interbank cooperation and expansion of controls on trade, migration, and agriculture meant that economic globalization re-emerged only very slowly over the rest of the twentieth century. Indeed, the long-term effects of World War I lasted until the 1990s. The lesson of this story for the twenty-first century is to check the dangers inherent in a multipolar world, where globalization produces both economic growth and social tensions.

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The Complexity of History

Russia and Steven Pinker’s Thesis

Nancy Shields Kollmann

This article finds Steven Pinker’s argument for a decline of violence too Eurocentric and generalizing to fit all cases. Study of the early modern Russian criminal law, and society in general, shows that different states can develop radically different approaches to violence when influenced by some of the same factors (in this case Enlightenment values). The centralized Muscovite autocracy in many ways relied less on official violence and exerted better control over social violence than did early modern Europe, while at the same time it supported violence in institutions such as serfdom, exile, and aspects of imperial governance. Violence in the form of capital punishment declined but many aspects of social and official violence endured. Such a differentiated approach is explained by the state’s need to mobilize scarce human and material resources to survive and expand.

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Olesya Khromeychuk

Much historiography focusing on women in the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army consists of describing, rediscovering, and celebrating the participation of women in the nationalist underground. This article rejects the celebratory approach to the inclusion of women in the narrative of the nationalist struggle. Instead, it focuses on the ways in which militarization of women was carried out by the nationalists from the 1930s to the 1950s. The article argues that the nationalist leadership was able to militarize a large number of women because no viable alternative to the nationalist state-building project was offered at the time, and because the nationalists propagated a conservative type of femininity that did not threaten traditional gender norms. By exploring the movement’s construction, control, and use of femininity, the article argues that deviations from traditional gender roles occurred only within the limits of, and for the benefit of, nationalist militarization.

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Carmen Firan

As a child in Romania, I would choose a word and repeat it over and over until it lost its meaning. The syllables would superimpose one another and sound like a foreign language, not invented yet or long ago abandoned, something mysterious and antique, rough and absurd. Instead of opening up and shining acoustically, the sounds choked like marine animals tossed in a boiling cauldron. The word would then become tangible, heavy, like a clay rock thrown in the ocean. I would then await its dissolution, would watch for its disappearance while continuing to repeat it, compulsively, unable to control the joy of my offence. What are words? I asked myself. Where do they come from and where do they go?

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The Whole World Revolves Around It

Sex Education and Sex Reform in First Republic Czech Print Media

Karla Huebner

This article explores attitudes towards sex and sexuality in First Republic Czechoslovakia (1918–1938), focusing on the urban Czech population. By looking at articles, advertisements and references to sex and sexuality in Czech periodicals from 1920 to 1935, it shows that inter-war Czechoslovaks were enthusiastic participants in closely linked discourses about hygiene, physical culture, sex education, birth control and sex reform, and provides evidence that Czech discourse about sex and sexuality was al- most always – apart from erotica and pornography – closely tied to discourse about health, hygiene and social reform. The article also shows how inter-war Czechoslovaks participated in the struggle for sexual minority rights. By exploring these discourses, this article helps place Czech ideas about sexuality within the larger framework of European ideas about sexuality, especially in relation to the German discourses with which Czech writers and activists were in constant dialogue.

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Femininity (Con)scripted

Female Images in Soviet Wartime Poster Propaganda, 1941–1945

Susan Corbesero

During the Second World War, legions of Soviet women behind the lines participated in war-time production in both industry and agriculture. Soviet propaganda, despite the overwhelming numbers, contributions and sacrifices of women, graphically portrayed them in ways that both re-established the pre-war patriarchal gender relations of the Stalinist era and circumscribed women’s wartime experiences. This article examines how, during the initial and la er years of the conflict, and in the important and under- studied source of Soviet poster propaganda, the symbolic configuration and recon- figuration of femininity and the female image was transmitted through shifting official policies and attitudes on the role of women. While early posters portrayed women’s wartime participation as atypical, temporary and unwomanly, propaganda by the end of the war featured hyper-feminised representations of women while the Soviet state moved to reassert political controls and institutionalise conservative gender policies to serve the needs of war and reconstruction.