Diverting from the prevailing trend that considers Italy in terms of international migrations, this article examines one aspect of its internal mass migrations, namely, how the mainstream Left of the 1960s and 1970s constructed southern immigrants in northern cities, taking the 'red city' of Bologna as a privileged context for analysis. The article argues that this construction—despite a number of significant limitations—was on the whole inclusionary, as it incorporated the immigrants into the working class and into the socialist project of societal transformation. By analytically describing the framing of immigrants by the 'socialist' Left, this article also highlights the historically specific nature in which migrants are constructed, lays the basis for a future comparison with the contemporary 'postsocialist' construction of immigrants, and provides material for a more general anthropological reflection on the trajectories followed by discourses of inclusion/exclusion in recent decades.
The socialist Left and immigrants in 1970s Italy
The rise of Matteo Renzi is one of the most significant political events of the year. This chapter analyzes Renzi's leadership of the Partito Democratico (PD), looking at both the internal politics of the party and the party's position within the Italian party system. Within the PD itself, Renzi has brought take-it-or-leave-it proposals to the party executive, which has upset a vocal minority. More broadly, Renzi has moved the party to the center on the left-right scale, while adopting a more expansionary fiscal stance, effectively marginalizing other parties. The chapter concludes that the most serious opposition to Renzi today may come from within his own party.
Paolo Bellucci and Martin Bull
In May 2001, for the first time in the history of united Italy and,
therefore, for the first time in the history of the Italian Republic,
alternation in government occurred as a direct consequence of an
electoral victory of the opposition. The incumbent centre left government
(the Ulivo – Olive Tree Coalition, led by Francesco
Rutelli) was defeated, and a centre right coalition (the Casa delle
Libertà, or CDL – House of Freedoms, led by Silvio Berlusconi)
began governing Italy with a large parliamentary majority.
Vittorio Emanuele Parsi
In 2015, Italy’s foreign policy was focused on issues that were linked to the attempt to boost Italy’s international reputation: the Libyan question, the migration crisis, and Italy’s role in the European Union. As for the first two issues, the Renzi government has sought to “Europeanize” them, with the aim of not being “left alone” in dealing with their consequences. The third issue concerns Renzi’s effort to gain fiscal flexibility and “change the course” of the European Union. However, in Europe the prime minister has found himself isolated and has struggled to lead coalitions on issues that are very relevant for the national interest. The assessment of the Renzi government’s action in foreign policy in 2015, ultimately, can be read in two ways: if it is evaluated against announcements, expectations, and demands of the prime minister, the result is disappointing; if it is measured in a more realistic fashion, the appraisal can be less harsh.
With the double defeat of the center-right in Milan and Naples,
the local elections on 15–16 and 29–30 May 2011 marked a turning
point in Italian politics. In Milan, the “moral capital” and center
of Silvio Berlusconi’s empire, the outgoing mayor, Letizia Moratti,
was defeated by the center-left candidate Giuliano Pisapia in an outcome
that recalled, with the roles reversed, the historic defeat of the
center-left in Bologna in 1999. In Naples, the city that symbolizes the
difficulties faced by the center-left in government, the center-right
candidate Giovanni Lettieri was incapable of offering an alternative
and lost to the outsider, Luigi de Magistris, an ex-magistrate and a
member of Italia dei Valori (IdV, Italy of Values) who, in the first
round, had beaten Mario Morcone, the candidate representing the
Partito Democratico (PD, Democratic Party) and Sinistra Ecologia e
Libertà (SEL, Left Ecology and Freedom).
Paolo Bellucci, Marco Maraffi and Paolo Segatti
The first Congress of the Democrats of the Left (DS), which took
place in Turin 13-16 January 2000, represented another stop in the
transformation of the former Italian Communists (PCI). The new
leader of the party – Walter Vetroni who followed Achille Occhetto
and Massimo D’Alema – tried to change the party’s politics, organization,
and culture. He planned these alterations to affirm a new
Dan Lazea, Karen V. Holliday and Giovanni Picker
The Vertigo of Late Modernity. Jock Young, London: Sage, 2007, ISBN: 9781-4129-3573-9.
Reflexive Ethnography: A Guide to Researching Selves and Others. Charlotte Aull Davies, London: Routledge, 2008, ISBN: 10: 0-415-40901-2.
Inclusionary Rhetoric/Exclusionary Practices: Left-wing Politics and Migrants in Italy. Davide Però, New York: Berghahn Books, 2007, ISBN: 978-1-84545-157-8.
Gianfranco Pasquino and Marco Valbruzzi
This chapter analyzes the processes of candidate selection in Italy for the main political parties facing the 2013 general election. In particular, the authors investigate and evaluate the primary elections organized, in November–December 2012, by the center-left coalition (composed of the Democratic Party, Left Ecology and Freedom, and the Italian Socialist Party) for the selection of the candidate to the office of president of the Council of Ministers. The chapter explores in detail the main issues at the center of the electoral campaign, the candidates involved in the process of selection, the socio-demographic profile of the “selectorate,” the electoral results of the primary elections, and their consequences for the consolidation of the Italian party system.
For the parties of the center-left, 2005 was a year of significant progress
toward the objective of wresting the government from Berlusconi’s center-
right coalition. It began with Romano Prodi’s initially uncertain return
to the Italian political stage after his “exile” in Brussels as president of
the European Commission, and familiar divisions—enthusiastically aired
in the media—over how the center-left should be organized and structured
and over the selection of candidates and alliances for the April
regional elections. However, 2005 went on to provide two major boosts
to the center-left: a surprisingly decisive victory in the regional elections,
and an equally decisive outcome to the primary election held to choose a
“premier candidate” for the alliance. Although big questions of organization
and coordination remained unresolved, the center-left finished the
year in a stronger position than at its beginning. After providing a little
background, this chapter will assess the coalition’s progress over the
year and offer some tentative interpretations of the key turning points.
Five years ago, Gianfranco Baldini and Guido Legnante began their
chapter in Italian Politics with the following summary of the reactions
to the 2002 local election results: “‘Alarm bell’ and ‘wake-up
call’ for the center-right …‘north wind’ and ‘settling of scores’ for the
center-left.”1 If we swap “center-right” and “center-left,” we could
easily be reading a synthesis of the responses to the 2007 local election
results, which saw the same municipalities and provinces voting
as in 2002. The similarity should not perhaps surprise us given that
such dramatic phrases seem to have become a staple of post-election
reactions in Italy, irrespective of which side wins. Thus, the victories
of the center-left candidates Riccardo Illy in Friuli-Venezia Giulia in
2003 and Filippo Penati in the province of Milan in 2004 and the
triumph of the center-left in the 2005 regional elections all sparked
this type of comment. In the Manichaean language of Italian political
competition, election results at every level are framed as being of
far-reaching significance and crucial for the legitimacy and stability
of the national government.