Since 1994, Italian politics has been dominated by the larger-than-life figure of Silvio Berlusconi. Blending discussion of personalities, parties, and policies with detailed geographical analyses, this book provides innovative insight into Berlusconi's career. Berlusconi's Italy provides a fresh, thoroughly informed account of how Italy's richest man came to be its political leader. Without dismissing the importance of personalities and political parties, it emphasizes the significance of changes in voting behaviors that led to the rise--and eventual fall--of Silvio Berlusconi, the millionaire media baron who became prime minister. Armed with new data and new analytic tools, Michael Shin and John Agnew reveal that regional politics and shifting geographical voting patterns were far more important to Berlusconi's successes than the widely credited role of the mass media. Shin and Agnew reject the prevailing orthodoxy about how coalitions are organized and replaced in Italy. Instead, using recently developed methods of spatial analysis, they offer a compelling new argument about contextual re-creation and mutation.They conclude that Berlusconi's success (and later defeat) can be best understood in geographic terms, and they suggest that geographical analysis has a useful role to play in examining political behavior in Italy and beyond.
"This book presents a novel argument in a succinct manner, offering a new perspective on a big issue: the rise to prominence of Silvio Berlusconi. It adds considerably to our understanding of the Berlusconi phenomenon." Martin Bull, University of Salford "Short but detailed...The book is written in part as a reaction to notions that political geography no longer matters, and that personality and national media are dominant in Italian politics and Western politics generally...The most crucial chapters...detail how Berlusconi put together center-right coalitions with differing allies in different parts of Italy. Summing Up: Recommended." Choice "This book is not just another of the many explanations of why and how Berlusconi keeps returning to power. It is, rather, an impressive and, in my view, a much needed correction to overly facile claims about the effects on elections of modern systems of communication, and particularly of television... highly recommended." - Perspectives on Politics, March 2009 "Political geographers Michael Shin and John Agnew offer historians of contemporary Italy fresh insights with their in-depth study entitled Berlusconi's Italy. They challenge the common explanations for Berlusconi's rise in Italian politics...In sum, this is a thought-provoking book with a highly convincing argument." The Journal of Contemporary History, July 2009 "Shin and Agnew illustrate [their] argument with a convincing narrative sustained by sophisticated spatial analyses... In making [their] argument so well, sustained by careful analyses of the rich electoral data available, Shin and Agnew have not only illuminated Italy's recent electoral history as, in fact, a historical geography, but have also provided a paradigm for studies elsewhere. This short book is a worthy extension of Agnew's work on Italy and on the role of place in politics and a fine example of what geography has to offer to electoral analysis." Party Politics, May 2011
Number Of Pages: 184
Published: 30th April 2008
Publisher: Temple University Press,U.S.
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 14.0
Weight (kg): 0.23