Chapter 16

Chapter 16 - Chapter 16 The Making of the Modern Italian...

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Chapter 16: The Making of the Modern Italian State Politics in Action o For nearly 50 yrs Italian political system was considered blocked/frozen. One party dominated from 1948-1992 (Christian Democracy party). o In 1994 the political system imploded, and governing parties dissolved. The now largest party in the country had not existed 5 months earlier. o There was hope that Italy’s political system would become ‘normal’. Where one government would be voted out by another. o 2001-2006 two consecutive elections took place, bringing Italy closer to normalcy. However, it is still not normal. o Lack of normalcy is currently due to the Italian PM, Silvio Berlusconi (a rich business man), he is very wealthy, and owns three of Italy’s four private television networks, its Internet Company and the country’s largest publication house. This does not allow fair competition. o His regime has been self-serving. The falsification of corporate budgets and the illegal export of capital were decriminalized. In 2006, he did loose power, however, he contracted various heads of government to assure he would be back in power soon. o Italy’s problematic transition is due to more than just Berlusconi. Party system is still very fragmented, which allows minor partners to jeopardize the entire coalition; a fall can occur when a minor party withdraws its support. o Since the country is so evenly divided between two major political blocs, ignoring the minor players can be very detrimental. Geographic Setting o Very mountainous, poorly endowed with natural resources (delayed industrialization) only one significant navigable river. o Was a late industrializer and a latecomer to the family of nation- states. o Modern transportation and communications systems unified the country culturally and linguistically (during 20th century). Critical Junctures o Strategic location gave Italy a central role in the history of the west. o
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Chapter 16 - Chapter 16 The Making of the Modern Italian...

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