Download Berlusconi's Italy: Mapping Contemporary Italian Politics by Michael E. Shin PDF

By Michael E. Shin

Because 1994, Italian politics has been ruled by means of the larger-than-life determine of Silvio Berlusconi. mixing dialogue of personalities, events, and regulations with designated geographical analyses, this booklet offers cutting edge perception into Berlusconi's profession. "Berlusconi's Italy" presents a clean, completely trained account of the way Italy's richest guy got here to be its political chief. with no disregarding the significance of personalities and political events, it emphasizes the importance of alterations in balloting behaviors that ended in the increase - and eventual fall - of Silvio Berlusconi, the millionaire media baron who turned major minister.Armed with new facts and new analytic instruments, Michael Shin and John Agnew display that local politics and moving geographical balloting styles have been way more vital to Berlusconi's successes than the commonly credited function of the mass media. Shin and Agnew reject the existing orthodoxy approximately how coalitions are geared up and changed in Italy. as a substitute, utilizing lately built equipment of spatial research, they give a compelling new argument approximately contextual new version and mutation. They finish that Berlusconi's good fortune (and later defeat) might be most sensible understood in geographic phrases, they usually recommend that geographical research has an invaluable function to play in reading political habit in Italy and past.

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Television in general and Berlusconi’s ability to use it to his advantage have undoubtedly had major effects on Italian electoral 22 CHAPTER 2 politics. Parties do increasingly rely on advertising and polling to push their agendas. Television viewership is relatively higher per capita in Italy (and elsewhere in southern Europe) than in the United States and northern Europe (Wise 2005). Certainly in Italy and elsewhere, celebrity politicians— think of the actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, the wrestler Jesse Ventura in Minnesota, the businessman Thaksin Shinawatra in Thailand—have challenged the centrality of professional or machine politicians (Street 2004; Hilder 2005).

Recognizing that ballots are still cast lo- PA RT Y R E P L A C E M E N T, I T A L I A N S T Y L E 47 cally, and that national averages continue to be aggregates of local outcomes, we believe that a geographical perspective can inform and extend current understandings of political change. This is the focus of this chapter. By examining how old parties, such as the Christian Democrats and the Communists, were replaced by new ones such as Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the regionalist Northern League, useful insights into political and electoral change can be obtained.

Elections are still won locally, even if candidates are also still parachuted in from outside. It is not surprising, therefore, that levels of support for different coalitions—and swings between elections to the benefit or detriment of either—differ significantly across regions. Italy is not yet socially, economically, or politically a giant pinhead with no or even limited spatial variation in its electoral geography. Geographical variance in support for the two coalitions is extremely significant in determining which one wins nationally.

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