In 2008, Silvio Berlusconi returned to power — thanks to a decisive electoral victory — to head a slimmer coalition whose cabinet consisted of members very close to him. The year began with the garbage crisis in Naples and ended in a climate dominated by economic uncertainty. In between some unexpected events happened: during the administrative elections, held with the general elections in April, the right in Rome claimed many victories; for the first time ever, a woman, Emma Marcegaglia, was elected President of Confindustria; and the Alitalia airline had to be rescued from the brink of economic collapse. For consecutive months, opinion polls gave Berlusconi an unprecedented level of popular support; those polled attributed their approval to either his ‘decisionism’ or to what they viewed as a successful strategy of continual announcements. Others pointed to the executive’s success in ‘governing the fears’ of Italians, which was helped by a change of register in the way the media dealt with issues of security. This volume shows that the politics of vetoes, which characterised the previous center-left government, could not conceal the structural, economic and social problems that still need to be resolved, a situation not helped by the fact that the opposition parties were still unable to develop an effective political strategy by yearend. With the contribution of Italian and international experts, the volume also addresses the issues of the difficult integration of immigrants, the mismanagement of public health and the reform of the education.
|Place of Publication||New York and Oxford|
|Number of pages||321|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|