Civics Citizenship

The New Italian Republic by imon Parker, SIMON PARKER, Stephen Gundle

By imon Parker, SIMON PARKER, Stephen Gundle

First released in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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The New Italian Republic

First released in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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The result has been massive political and cultural disorientation, especially in the north of the country. Coincident with this profound change has been the explosion of what Ulrich Beck has called the long-term process of ‘individualisation’ (Beck 1992:87ff). The individual is increasingly forced to confront the risks and choices of a society where large-group aggregations and solidarities are on the decline, where family cohesion is very much under threat, where gender roles are being radically redefined.

CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE SOUTH Southern Italian society in the last 20 years has been subject to many of the same long-term changes as the North, especially that of home-based consumption, but presents some radical differences. In the South, the balance between choice and risk is much more heavily tilted towards the latter. If we concentrate only on Sicily because of its crucial role in the wider structure of the Italian crisis, certain key characteristics become visible immediately. Possibilities of employment are very much more limited than in Lombardy-Veneto, with very high levels of youth and female unemployment.

It was, though, the only way to demonstrate the undoubted difference between the PDS and the old ruling parties. To have come clean in the spring of 1992 would have been traumatic and disruptive, but it would have put the whole of the Left in a much better position for the crucial elections of two years later. As it was—and this is testimony to a failed strategy—the PDS seemed at the key moment to be a more compromised element of the old system than it actually was. Second, the PDS failed almost completely to launch initiatives that would have taken the crisis away from the courts and the television screens and into everyday life.

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