Publisher description for Not a normal country : Italy after Berlusconi / Geoff Andrews.


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Not a Normal Country explores Italian politics and culture in the era of Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's richest man and one of its longest serving Prime Ministers. Based on interviews with leading figures, diaries of key events and his extensive travel throughout Italy, Geoff Andrews argues that the Berlusconi phenomenon was a populist response to widespread cynicism about politics. Berlusconi posed as an 'anti-politician' and attempted to extend his success as a salesman into his role as a statesman.



However, as the second part of the book shows, a new opposition began to challenge Berlusconi's grip on power. This is the first book to address Berlusconi's decline and the nature of the movements which grew in response, including the anti-global protests at Genoa in 2001, less conventional ones like the girotondi, led by the film director Nanni Moretti, and the revival of civil society in some of the remotest corners of southern Italy. According to Andrews, this new associationism helped rebuild Italian politics in ways beyond the imagination of political parties.



Finally, Andrews looks to the future and, through the varied examples of anti-mafia protest in Sicily, the huge demonstrations for peace and the Slow Food movement, asks what this richer 'postmodern' mix of politics, culture and ideology will mean for Italy after Berlusconi.



Geoff Andrews has written widely on Italian and British politics. His books include Endgames and New Times: The Final Years of British Communism (Lawrence and Wishart 2004). He is Staff Tutor in Politics at the Open University and an associate editor of Surroundings.




Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Politics and culture -- Italy -- History -- 20th century.
Politics and culture -- Italy -- History -- 21st century.
Berlusconi, Silvio, -- 1936-
National characteristics, Italian.
Political parties -- Italy -- History -- 20th century.
Political parties -- Italy -- History -- 21st century.