Post-1994 delegitimizing discourses borrowed a lot from antifascism and anticommunism, which they updated to fit the new historical circumstances. Yet, with the events of 1992–94, the role, credibility, autonomy, and boundaries of the Italian political sphere entered a crisis, and this turned arguments about politics and antipolitics into new instruments of delegitimation. This article analyzes how delegitimizing traditions survived the end of the Cold War, and how they interacted with the new issues generated by Tangentopoli. Section 2 describes Berlusconi’s anticommunism, nurtured by the persistence of pre-1989 memories, but also by three present-oriented arguments: the fact that the communists had been able to survive the end of communism; their being professional politicians; and their statism. Section 3 deals with antiberlusconism, which is also composed of three threads: antifascism; the refusal of the ‘spirit of the Eighties’; and moralism. The final section of the article connects post-1994 delegitimizing discourses with the conflict between two opposed solutions to the crisis of the political, both fraught with contradictions: Berlusconi’s offer of less politics; and the conviction of the left that the correct answer was not less, but good politics.

Antifascism, anticommunism, antipolitics: delegitimation in Berlusconi’s Italy / Orsina, Giovanni. - In: JOURNAL OF MODERN ITALIAN STUDIES. - ISSN 1354-571X. - 22:1(2017), pp. 7-26. [10.1080/1354571X.2017.1267978]

Antifascism, anticommunism, antipolitics: delegitimation in Berlusconi’s Italy

ORSINA, GIOVANNI
2017

Abstract

Post-1994 delegitimizing discourses borrowed a lot from antifascism and anticommunism, which they updated to fit the new historical circumstances. Yet, with the events of 1992–94, the role, credibility, autonomy, and boundaries of the Italian political sphere entered a crisis, and this turned arguments about politics and antipolitics into new instruments of delegitimation. This article analyzes how delegitimizing traditions survived the end of the Cold War, and how they interacted with the new issues generated by Tangentopoli. Section 2 describes Berlusconi’s anticommunism, nurtured by the persistence of pre-1989 memories, but also by three present-oriented arguments: the fact that the communists had been able to survive the end of communism; their being professional politicians; and their statism. Section 3 deals with antiberlusconism, which is also composed of three threads: antifascism; the refusal of the ‘spirit of the Eighties’; and moralism. The final section of the article connects post-1994 delegitimizing discourses with the conflict between two opposed solutions to the crisis of the political, both fraught with contradictions: Berlusconi’s offer of less politics; and the conviction of the left that the correct answer was not less, but good politics.
Anticommunism; antifascism; antipolitics; Berlusconi; moralism; Tangentopoli; Cultural Studies; History; Sociology and Political Science; Political Science and International Relations
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11385/173985
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