SOCIAL CHANGE AND POLITICS IN CONTEMPORARY ITALY
Political change of contemporary Italy has attracted a great deal of attention in recent decades. The end of the Cold War, the end of the 'first' Republic and the birth of the 'second' one, the spread of populism and the growth of 'post-democracy' have been the topic, and with reason, of many studies.
But in the meantime, how has Italian society changed? And aren't changes in politics an effect, or a consequence, of social changes? Perhaps, writing only political history, don’t we run the risk of not understanding contemporary Italy if attention does not also go to social history? Does not much of the surprise in so many observers of recent political change come from their underestimating the relevance of social change?
Knowing dimension and composition of social classes, age groups and generations of contemporary Italy, within the framework of the old relationship between city and countryside, is no less important than knowing events of the her small political parties. Identifying changing relationships between genders, generations and social groups is indeed a prerequisite for understanding how - in the context of contemporary globalization – Italian society 'expresses' political movements, parties, and governments. The new social conflicts created by the Great Recession (after 2008) have strongly changed social classes and groups, making worse (or modifying) the previous ones.
In short, it is time to move from political history, even if without abandoning it, to the history of social classes, social behavior, cultures of the social groups – all fundamental makers of contemporary Italy.
The course aims at providing basic information on this topic. It will therefore not be a course in political history (or, at least, not only) because the seminar will try to understand if and how social, cultural, etc. opposition lies behind the political divisions.
Through the analysis of social change this year the course aims at surveying many aspects of Italian history during and after the Cold War, at studying how it has changed, to try to suggest mutual relations between society and politics in the contemporary Italian crisis.
The first part (modulo) of this course is mainly dedicated to the knowledge of the major political changes that have altered the face of contemporary Italy.