Thursday, 16 January 2014


The Italian general election of February 2013 can fairly be described as a watershed event, resulting as it did in a political stalemate. With the country more or less divided into three equal segments among which there appeared to be no viable governing combination it was not until the end of April that a government could be formed, and then it was only thanks to the fact that the election’s aftermath coincided with the need to elect a new President of the Republic. The centre-left appeared to have won the election by a wafer-thin margin - but it had no Senate majority and, most importantly, it emerged in front only by virtue of the fact that the haemorrhage in its votes was slightly smaller than the haemorrhage of votes for the centre right. Support for the newly formed Five-star Movement (M5s), at its first general-election outing, exploded dramatically, to make it the largest single party. As a consequence of the outcome, neither of the logics on which government formation had been based in the ‘First’ and ‘Second Republics’, the consensual and the majoritarian respectively, was any longer available. If therefore, the election seemed to mark the end of an era, the one that appeared to be being ushered in pointed in the direction of a highly uncertain future.
Against this background, the University of Birmingham will host a one-day conference on 17 January 2014 focussing on the future of Italian politics after the general election of February 2013. 

You can follow the conference on Twitter using the hashtag #ItalianPolitics

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME (Including links to papers**):

9.30 – 9.40                 Welcome address (Arianna Giovannini)

9.40 – 10.40               Key-note address

                                   Gianfranco Pasquino (John Hopkins University, Bologna, Italy)

10.40 – 12.10             Session 1: Political Parties and the challenges ahead

·       A New Start?The Selection of the fifth Secretary of the Democratic PartyFulvio Venturino & Natascia Porcellato (University of Cagliari)

·       After theElections: A Test for the Five Star MovementFabio Bordignon & Luigi Ceccarini (University of Urbino)

·       The Window onthe Secret Garden of Politics: MPs’ Primary Elections in the Democratic Party, Five Star Movement and Left Ecology Freedom – Marco Valbruzzi (EUI) & Natascia Porcellato (University of Cagliari)  **please note that this paper will be presented in Italian. An English version of the paper will be available to download ahead of the conference. 
12.15 – 13.15              Session 2: Campaigns & Media

·      Agenda’sDynamics in the Mainstream Media During the 2013 Electoral Campaign – Giuliano Bobba & Antonella Seddone (University of Turin)

·      New Forms of Media Partisanship? The 2013 Electoral Campaign from the Perspective of Entertainment Media – Marco Mazzoni (University of Perugia) & Antonio Ciaglia (SUM, Florence)
 14.30 – 16.30              Session 3: Key Themes & Open Questions

·      Do YoungerItalians Prefer ‘Technocratic’ Politics? An Interpretation of Young People’s Voting Behaviour – Elisa Lello (University of Urbino)

·      The Paradox ofthe Rhetoric on Immigration in Italy. From 2013 Electoral Manifestos to Lampedusa, via Kyenge – Eva Garau (University of Cagliari)

·      ‘Eye of theStorm’: the Italian 2013 Elections and Institutional ReformMartin Bull (University of Salford)

·      Letta’sGovernment and Constitutional Reforms Elisabetta Cassina Wolff (University of Oslo)
17.00 – 18.00              Round Table Discussion (Moderated by Daniele Albertazzi)

Gianfranco Pasquino (John Hopkins University, Bologna); Anna Cento Bull (University of Bath); Gugliemo Meardi (Warwick University); Martin Bull (University of Salford)

18.00 – 18.15              Concluding Reflections

                                    James L. Newell (University of Salford)

**   Please note that all the papers are works in progress, and should not be quoted for any purpose without the authors' permission.             

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