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Giulia Maria Cavaletto

In May 2016, the Italian Parliament passed Law No. 76/2016 titled “Regulations of Civil Unions between Persons of the Same Sex and Discipline of Cohabitation.” The law provides for same-sex marriages and also introduces rights and protections to unmarried cohabitants. It followed on from a decision of the European Court of Human Rights, which in July 2015 condemned Italy for its legislative gap with respect to homosexual unions. Civil unions have since become a new public institution that regulates the rights and obligations of all couples living together without marriage, whether homosexual or any other type of couple. The legislation contains some gray areas: it excludes the possibility of stepchild adoption by homosexual couples and does not allow the adoption of children by unmarried heterosexual couples. Nonetheless, the civil union represents a key step toward the achievement of equality by recognizing new ways of being a family.

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Luigi Ceccarini

In the early months of 2007, the question of legal recognition for de

facto couples was one of the main talking points in public and political

debate. Having been included in the center-left Unione coalition’s

2006 general election manifesto, it gave rise to a parliamentary bill

known as the DICO. In this chapter, we will examine the issue and

implications of civil unions in order to gain a better understanding of

the current relationship between the Church, the Catholic community,

and Italian politics. Moreover, as we will see, analyzing events surrounding

the DICO inevitably leads to the sensitive subject of the Italian

state’s lay character. Campaigns for and against the DICO bill were

launched in the media and at the ground level not only by the Church

and specific parties, but also by ad hoc groups of Catholics and lay

people involved in politics. Indeed, we can view the DICO episode

against a wider background of regulation (or attempted regulation)

concerning ethically sensitive questions in recent years. It therefore

offers an interesting perspective from which to consider the type of

political representation adopted by the Church.

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The Politics and Poetics of Union Transgression

The Role of Visual Methods in Analyzing Union Protest Strategy

Janis Bailey and Di McAtee

This article reports on an unusual participant observer study of a union campaign. The researchers are an academic with an interest in union strategy and a visual artist/community arts trainer. We used a multi-method approach, with a focus on ethnography. Visual mater- ial (including many photographs) and ephemera were collected as part of the study. The essay examines how the use of visual repre- sentations contributed both to the unfolding methodology of the study and the theoretical analysis. It enabled us to develop a complex cultural materialist framework to analyze the campaign, bringing together a variety of theoretical approaches that have not hitherto been used in the field of study of industrial relations. We began the research with a 'simple' desire to collect illustrative material of a col- orful and interesting campaign. The research led us to conclude, however, that visual data can contribute in important ways, in the words of Stallybrass and White (1986), to a deeper understanding of “the politics and poetics of union transgression.”

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Dominic Bryan

In the summer of 1985 the BBC entered a period of crisis. It had planned to broadcast a documentary called At the Edge of the Union which featured extensive interviews with two of Northern Ireland’s more outspoken political figures, Martin McGuinness, senior Sinn Féin politician and someone who has admitted membership of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Derry, and Gregory Campbell, an outspoken member of Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Unaware of the existence of the yet to be broadcast programme, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made a speech in Washington arguing that the media should not give terrorists ‘the oxygen of publicity’. After Rupert Murdoch’s paper, The Times, linked the stories, the Home Secretary at the time asked for the programme to be banned, the Board of Governors of the BBC attempted to intervene, and the system of editorial control of the BBC spiralled down into disarray. Rupert Murdoch was busy launching Sky Television so undermining the BBC was convenient but for the BBC, covering Northern Ireland, which its journalists and documentary makers were always keen to do, had always been a problem. Much editorial policy within the organisation had developed specifically to deal with the precarious position of the state in the six northeastern counties of the island of Ireland.

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Francesc Morata

On 1 July 2003, Italy assumed for the seventh time the presidency of

the European Union. The previous Italian presidency was held during

the first semester of 1996 under the leadership of Romano Prodi. For

various reasons, which will be explored in the first section of this

chapter, the role of the presidency of the EU has been of great political

importance not only in Europe but also on domestic and international

levels. Every member state has, in its own history, experienced

an EU presidency that was more or less successful and that helped

build its European reputation. Beyond producing effective reports, the

previous six Italian presidencies contributed to the construction of the

image of a country that, although politically weak, identified strongly

with the values and objectives of European integration. The 1996

presidency, marked by salient issues such as the start of intergovernmental

negotiations that led to the Treaty of Amsterdam, growth and

employment, and preparation for monetary union, had even managed

to increase Italy’s European credibility.

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Craig Parsons

Erik Oddvar Eriksen and John Erik Fossum, eds., Democracy in the European Union (New York: Routledge, 2000)

Dusan Sidjanski, The Federal Future of Europe: From the European Community to the European Union (Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 2000)

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Richard G. Hirsch

The ninetieth anniversary of the World Union enables us to highlight our achievements. In 1973 we moved the international headquarters from New York to Jerusalem and built a magnificent cultural/educational centre there. We pioneered the development of a dynamic Reform/Progressive movement in Israel consisting of congregations, kibbutzim, an Israel religious action centre and educational, cultural and youth programmes. We became active leaders in the Jewish Agency for Israel and the World Zionist Organization. We established synagogues and educational programmes in the Former Soviet Union, Europe, Latin America and the Far East, thus fulfilling our mandate to perpetuate Jewish life wherever Jews live. We formulated an ideology of Reform Zionism as an antidote to the contracting Jewish identity induced by contemporary diaspora conditions. Whereas we encourage aliyah for Jews who want to live in Israel, we are adamantly opposed to those who advocate aliyah as a positive response to anti-Semitism. Instead, we demand that European democracies guarantee equal rights and full security to Jews as well as to all other groups in society.

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Michael Gueldry

Du 1er juillet au 31 décembre 2000, la France présida le Conseil de l’Union européenne (UE), et ce pour la onzième fois depuis la création de la troïka et de la présidence tournante en 1978. Elle assuma ce rôle précédemment au second semestre 1989 et au premier semestre 1995. En 1999, l’Allemagne et la Finlande assumèrent cette responsabilité, puis le Portugal précéda la France au premier semestre 2000. Cette fonction est un moment fort de la politique nationale—du fait de la cohabitation—et de la politique continentale, car les pays d’Europe centrale et orientale (PECO) frappent à la porte de l’UE, qui doit se préparer pour les intégrer.

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Jeffrey Newman

This article describes the work of the Youth Section of the WUPJ (the World Union for Progressive Judaism) in Europe soon after the Second World War and the establishment of the State of Israel, with especial attention to the influence of Rabbi Lionel Blue. It covers tensions between generations over how to ‘teach’ Judaism; the astonishing numbers of rabbinical students recruited; ways we ‘encountered’ the Bible; the first post-war youth conference in Germany; early meetings with young Jews from Eastern Europe; first encounters with Muslims; and particularly the Six-Day War. The changes this brought about through Netzer and the shift in focus towards a more Israel-centred ideology are described. Finally, the conclusion is drawn that only ongoing messianic or prophetic ideals keep Judaism alive.

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Constructing Europe and the European Union via Education

Contrasts and Congruence within and between Germany and England

Eleanor Brown, Beatrice Szczepek Reed, Alistair Ross, Ian Davies and Géraldine Bengsch

This article is based on an analysis of the treatment of the European Union in a sample of textbooks from Germany and England. Following contextual remarks about civic education (politische Bildung) in Germany and citizenship education in England and a review of young people’s views, we demonstrate that textbooks in Germany and in England largely mirror the prevailing political climate in each country regarding Europe. At the same time, the analysis reveals a disparity between the perspectives presented by the textbooks and young people’s views. The textbooks in Germany provide more detail and take a more open approach to Europe than those in England. Finally, we argue that the textbooks may be seen as contributing to a process of socialization rather than one of education when it comes to characterizations of Europe.