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The inconclusive Italian election is an expression of long-standing deficiencies of both Italian society and Italian political parties

An expert on the ways in which intellectuals' analyse Italian society has summarised the recent inconclusive Italian election as an expression of long-standing deficiencies of both Italian society and Italian political parties.

Dr. Raffaello Palumbo Mosca, Post-Doctoral researcher in Italian at the University of Kent, has published extensively on nonfictional representations of Italian politics and society.

He said: ‘The great success obtained by the Movimento 5 Stelle shows how difficult it is for Italians to distinguish between populist charisma and good leadership.

‘This is also true if we think of Berlusconi and how he could once again seduce Italians with promises that dangerously border lies. Even if their voters appear to be extremely different, Berlusconi’s party (PDL) and M5S share some crucial elements.

‘First of all they both presuppose an enemy, the phantasmal “communist danger” for the former, and the more real clique of politicians (“la casta”) for the latter. Moreover, both parties have ridden, and in fact promoted, the popular disparaging attitude toward professional politicians. Partly understandable in the light of a long history of public corruption, this attitude nonetheless also reveals the disquieting idea that competency, or even a proper education, are not essential requirements for doing politics.

‘It also needs to be said that the political campaign of the left-wing parties was at the very least uninspiring. Not only the Partito Democratico and its allies were unable to attract the vote of the many discontents, but they also seem to have lost a consistent part of their traditional electorate.

‘The same lack of vision that facilitated Berlusconi’s first election in 1994, seems today to have favored the rise of yet another populistic party such as the M5S.’

Dr. Raffaello Palumbo Mosca specializes in Italian and is part of the University of Kent’s School of European Culture and Languages.

He has been published extensively, including: Roberto Saviano's Gomorrah, Antonio Franchini's L'Abusivo, and Pier Paolo Pasolini's Porcile, Before and After Gomorrah: Nonfiction Novels and Political Engagement in PP.Antonello, F. Mussgnug (eds.) Postmodern Impegno: Ethics and Commitment in Contemporary Italian Culture, Peter Lang: Bern, 2009). His forthcoming book is titled: L'invenzione del vero. Romanzi ibridi e discorso etico nell'Italia contemporanea ("The Invention of Truth. Hybrid Novels and Ethical Discourse in Contemporary Italy", Rome: Gaffi, 2013).


Story published at 12:08pm 27 February 2013

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Last Updated: 12/06/2013