Thursday, 26 September 2013


The Italian Politics Specialist Group is promoting two Call for Papers for the next PSA annual conference, which will be held in Manchester (14-16 April 2014).

Details of the CfPs can be found below:


‘The Day After Tomorrow’ – Italian politics and the long transition

Convenors&Chair:  Arianna Giovannini, Leeds Metropolitan University (; Antonella Seddone, University of Turin, Italy (
Discussant:                             Daniele Albertazzi, University of Birmingham


The Italian general election of February 2013 can be described as a watershed event. Its results have been not only unexpected and indecisive – they have also put into question the very key values (and meaning) of the Italian political system.
As many commentators have argued, the startling outcome of these elections has provided ‘a shock to the system’ of Italian politics, especially for what concerns the ‘majoritarian bi-polarism’ which was achieved through a long and thorny process during the so-called Second Republic. And yet, whilst the precepts of the Second Republic may have started to crumble after February 2013, so far there has been no sign either of a clear break with the past, or of an emerging Third Republic. Instead, Italy seems to be muddling through a ‘long phase of transition’ – without a clear path and/or objective.
The aim of this panel is to develop a timely reflection on the Italian political system at this critical conjuncture, focussing on the idea that the current phase of transition is characterised on the one hand by new developments and on the other by strong signs of ‘resistance’ towards the radical change that much of the Italian electorate seems to be asking for.
Against this background, we welcome papers that will help to throw light on this momentous point in Italian politics, by exploring such issues as:
  • New tendencies—looking in particular at: i) how traditional parties have tried to respond to the current climate, especially by redefining their organisational structures (e.g. primary elections within the PD; or the extent to which the PDL is trying/will have to develop strategies to overcome its over-personalisation, especially in light of Berlusconi’s recent trials); ii) the emergence of new movements/forms of parties (e.g. M5S) which have more fluid organisational dynamics, and use new-media as means and channels of participation/discussion
  • The electoral law and its reform—focussing on the proposals put forward by the main political actors within the current government and the long-term effects these may have
  • Political communication and its changing forms/dynamics—looking in particular at the relationship and/or the tension between new social media (such as twitter and facebook—which, many argue, are gaining more and more prominence) and TV and newspapers (which played a crucial role during the Second Republic and still provide a key source of political information for the electorate)
  • Institutional change—looking at the effect that the recent reform of meso-level bodies (i.e. the disbandment of Provinces and re-allocation of their powers to Regions) will have on the decentralised structures/measures previously put in place and on the power geometry inherent to these
  • The role of Europe and the changing attitudes towards the EU—focussing on how, whilst the Second Republic started with a strong emphasis on Europe (in spite of the austerity measures imposed by the parameters of the Maastricht Treaty), twenty years later the EU seems to have lost its appeal (and to some extent its legitimacy) amongst the Italian electorate, giving rise to more controversial feelings and perceptions of the European dimension.
Paper abstracts (250 words) should be submitted via email by 17 October to Antonella Seddone and AriannaGiovannini, from either of whom further details about the panel can be obtained.


The Italian Politics Specialist Group (IPSG) and the Greek Politics Specialist Group (GPSG) intend to co-organise a panel at the 2014 PSA Annual Conference (Manchester 14-16 April 2014) under the theme Economic and Political crisis in Greece and Italy in the context of Europe.

In the last few years, Europe has faced its deepest crisis in decades. The crisis is predominantly economic in nature, but it has wider political and social implications. The countries of the South of Europe have been particularly hit by it and they have consequently been asked to implement tough austerity measures under mounting political and social pressure. The crisis has been discussed at length both within academia and the media. However, much less attention has been paid to the possible ways out of it and the extent to which the crisis itself might constitute a chance to ameliorate the long-standing politico-economic issues of the countries concerned. This panel aims at filling this gap.
Italy is the biggest country in both economic and population terms in the South of Europe and a key state in the European Union. Greece has been the country hit the hardest by the crisis and has faced the deepest austerity measures and reactions to them. Hence, comparing the experience of these two countries could yield some interesting insights on the ‘way forward’.
We thus welcome papers on the economic and political crisis in Greece and Italy against the background of Europe. The papers should follow a comparative approach and may discuss, but are not limited to:
  • Policy reforms in Greece and Italy
  • New political parties/forces that have emerged as a response/reaction to the crisis
  • The way in which traditional parties have reacted to or adjusted their strategies in light of the crisis
  • The role of media in the two countries in portraying the crisis and in spreading  specific perceptions of the EU and austerity measures
  • The emergence of anti-politics feelings and their impact on the institution of democracy in Italy and Greece
  • The future role and place of Italy and Greece in the EU

Proposals should include: title and name, e-mail address and affiliation of each author, and a paper title and abstract of not more than 250 words. Paper proposals should be sent by Thursday 17 October 2013 to Vasilis Leontitsis ( and Arianna Giovannini ( from either of whom further details about the panel can be obtained.

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