Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 1,564 items for :

  • All content x
Clear All
Full access

Carlo Bacetti

In the year 2000, Center leaning political parties and groups played

a major role in the crowded scene of Italian politics. This is especially

true in the case of parties which occupied the center space

of the Center-Left, the focus of this analysis. Their political visibility

notwithstanding, they persistently displayed confused tactics

and contradictory goals. Leading protagonists and supporting

actors disagreed over key questions including the very definition of

“Center” and the political subjects it encompasses, and, with that,

the meaning of the bloc’s left flank. In fact, the groups of the Center-

Left even debated the hyphen linking the two components of

its name. In turn, a political force – the Democrats – was even created

with the strategic goal of bypassing the Left/Right cleavage.

The Democrats sought to unify the various forces that had joined

the Ulivo’s (Olive Tree) electoral cartel into a “democratic party,”

that was inspired by the American Democrats, down to the choice

of a donkey as its symbol – hence their nickname “Asinello.”

Another element that makes it difficult to assign clear boundaries

to the political center was that these groups of the center and Center-

Left repeatedly took the “reformist” label. As a result, it is quite

difficult to trace the boundaries of the semantic universes to which

they refer and, in the end, it is often impossible to assess the true

nature of the issues dividing political forces and of the stakes

involved in particular choices or outcomes. The Center of the Center-

Left is not easily analyzed.

Open access

Squatted Social Centers in London

Temporary Nodes of Resistance to Capitalism

E.T.C. Dee

This article assesses squatted social centers in London as a means to understand the cycles, contexts and institutionalization processes of the local squatters movement. This diffuse social movement had its heyday in the late 1970s and early 1980s when there were 30,000 squatters and still exists today despite squatting in residential buildings being criminalized in 2012. Analysis is based on a database of 245 social centers, which are examined in terms of duration, time period, type of building and location. Important centers are briefly profiled and important factors affecting the squatters movement are examined, in particular institutionalization, gentrification, and criminalisation.

Free access

Jean-Louis Briquet and Alfio Mastropaolo

In the immediate aftermath of the center-right Casa delle Libertà (CdL,

House of Freedoms) general election victory in 2001, many commentators

observed that while the long-running period of “transition” had

not yet come to an end, Italian politics increasingly resembled that

of other advanced democracies. To use a term much in vogue over

the last two decades, it was becoming more “normal.” Firstly, electoral

competition was firmly structured around two main center-left

and center-right formations. Secondly, the long-evoked alternation in

power had finally occurred, not just once but on several occasions

following the general election victories of the center-right in 1994 and

2001 and the center-left in 1996. Thirdly, voters were exerting a greater

and more direct role in determining the political color and leadership

of the government. Seen in these terms, the 2006 general election

further consolidated the “normalization” thesis.

Restricted access

The World Trade Center and Global Crisis

Some Critical Perspectives

Bruce Kapferer, Marshall Sahlins, Keith Hart, Jonathan Friedman, Allen Feldman, Michael Humphrey, Ibrahim Aoude, Michael Rowlands, John Gledhill, and Leif Manger

The World Trade Center disaster is an event of such significance that it exhausts interpretation. This is not because of the enormity of the event itself. Numerous humanly caused destructed of just the last hundred years dwarf it in scale, and the attention now addressed to it may over the next year appear disproportionate. But events are never significant in the imagination of human beings independently of the way they are socially constructed into significance in the context of the social, political and cultural forces that somehow are articulated through a particular event, and thrown into relief by its occurrence. Undoubtedly, much of the significance that attaches to the World Trade Center catastrophe relates to the character of the conflict it defines, and the several paradoxes the event gathers up in its prism: of the strong against the weak, the powerful as victims, the cycle of revenge, the generalization of suffering, the vulnerability of technological potency, and so on.

Full access

James L. Newell

Besides bringing about a “normal” change of government, the general

election of 2008 had unusual consequences for the parties that had

been in office at the beginning of the year. Three were expelled, not

only from government, but from Parliament altogether. Two retained

seats, but as part of a much less fragmented party system. One,

although losing its place in government, achieved a spectacular growth

in support, which, given the changed party system context, gave it the

opportunity to acquire a considerably higher profile. In opposition,

these parties were joined by a former ally of the victorious center-right.

Having survived the election despite campaigning independently as a

third center force, this party was in the best position it had been in to

date to pursue its ambition of acquiring and exploiting a pivotal position,

governing now with the center-right, now with the center-left.

Restricted access

From the Margins to the Center

The São Paulo Biennial, the Biennale of Sydney, and the Istanbul Biennial

Rebecca Coates

This article explores the continuing evolution of biennials, particularly those outside the traditional European/North American “centers”. From their early beginnings in Venice in 1895, biennials have become one of the most vital and visible sites for the production, distribution, and discussion of contemporary art. A “third wave” of biennials in the 1980s was part of a growing focus on a global “south”, and played a key role in redefining notions of center and periphery in the global contemporary art world. This article shows how the São Paulo, Sydney, and Istanbul biennials were part of these trends toward the “biennialization” of contemporary art, mass spectatorship, the interweaving of the global and the local, and the rise of a generation of nomadic curators and artists whose work exemplified these themes. It argues that the most recent editions of these biennials may reflect a further shift in the evolution of the biennial model: a possible fourth wave, where the biennial provides an international platform for local politics.

Full access

Mark Donovan

On 18 November 2007, in the midst of a rally calling for early elections,

Silvio Berlusconi announced the formation of a new party, to

be known tentatively as “the Party of the People of Freedoms … into

which Forza Italia will dissolve itself.” This announcement was unexpected,

indeed sensational. Asked whether the other center-right leaders

and their parties would follow this initiative, Berlusconi replied

that it was up to them. He hoped so, but he was responding to “the

people, who are more advanced than we are, and who are asking us to

follow a unitary path, to gather all the moderates into a single formation.”

1 The announcement built on both the permanent mobilization

of the electorate that Berlusconi had maintained since his narrow

defeat in the 2006 election and on his use of the theme of unification

to bolster his leadership of the center-right as a whole.

Open access

Sophie Toupin

I propose the concept of squatting as a way of exploring and understanding the recent Occupy movement and other manifestations that have taken hold of a physical and virtual space. To do this, I focus on squatting as a protest tactic employed by social movements, to gather, create and transform private and public spaces in common spaces. I follow Miguel Martinez (2006) premise that squatting has been aimed at constructing liberating spaces for living, communicating, and criticizing the global city and confronting capitalism. Using such framework to analyse the Occupy movement helps bring to the forefront what appears to be a somewhat similar experience, this time however, not solely via the occupation of buildings, but also via the occupation of parks or squares. The act of reclaiming and decommodifying open ‘public’ spaces in an attempt to create autonomous experiments visible to and ‘experimentable’ by all seem to have brought much visibility, appeal and relative openness to and of the occupy movement. From there, I discuss the particularities with moments of squatting, particularly with the occupied social centers movement, and instances of occupy sites in North America to underline a number of hidden and visible characteristics and features these phenomena share. In North America, the concept of squatting, including the practice of occupied social centers, seems to have had much less prevalence and impact on social movements than in Europe, but the occupy movement seems to have opened up new repertoire of actions for both activist and non-activists a like.

Full access

Massimo Baldini and Paolo Bosi

The year 2007 was an important test bed for the social policy of the

center-left government, the fundamental nature of which was revealed

in the legislative activity related, either directly or indirectly, to the 2007

and 2008 budgets. In this chapter, we review the principal measures

taken and seek to assess both their significance and the coherence of

the general policy design that they embody. A number of criteria (e.g.,

housing, pensions, measures related to unemployment, the status of

families, health care, and social benefits) can be employed to evaluate

social or welfare policies. The first criterion, however, is whether

the government’s actions are consistent with the objectives that it set

itself at the beginning of its mandate. In this context, it is particularly

important to assess the factors that conditioned welfare reform, among

which the constraint of public finances is generally significant. In this

sense, it is important to try to distinguish the objective factors from

those attributable to contrasting viewpoints that existed within the different

strands of the center-left coalition.

Full access

Guido Legnante

In 2004, for the third successive year, the center-left opposition achieved

political success in the local elections, while the center-right government

suffered a clear defeat. The headlines of the main daily papers

were unequivocal: “Cities and Provinces, the Victory of the Center-

Left” (Corriere della Sera, 15 June); “Olive-Tree Coalition Victorious in

the Cities” (la Repubblica, 15 June); “The Center-Left Wins the Race in

Milan” (Corriere della Sera, 28 June); “The Polo Loses Even in Milan”

(la Repubblica, 28 June); “The Center-Right Hands Milan over to the

DS” (Il Giornale, 28 June). The 2002 and 2003 elections had already

registered clear victories for the center-left, not least because of the

symbolic importance of the successes of Riccardo Illy in Friuli-Venezia

Giulia and Enrico Gasbarra in the Rome provincial elections.