Berlusconi's Italy provides a fresh, thoroughly-informed account of how Italy's richest man came to be its political leader. Without dismissing the importance of personalities and political parties, it emphasizes the significance of changes in voting behaviors that led to the rise-and eventual fall-of Silvio Berlusconi, the millionaire media baron who became Prime Minister. Armed with new data and new analytic tools, Michael Shin and John Agnew use recently developed methods of spatial analysis, to offer a compelling new argument about contextual re-creation and mutation. They reveal that regional politics and shifting geographical voting patterns were far more important to Berlusconi's successes than the widely-credited role of the mass media, and conclude that Berlusconi's success (and later defeat) can be best understood in geographic terms.
How do the places where people live help structure and restructure their sociopolitical identities and interests? In this book, renowned political geographer John A. Agnew presents a theoretical model that addresses the relation of place to politics and applies it to a series of historicogeographical case studies set in modern Italy.
For Agnew, place is not just a static backdrop against which events occur, but a dynamic component of social, economic, and political processes. He shows, for instance, how the lack of a common "landscape ideal" or physical image of Italy delayed the development of a sense of nationhood among Italians after unification. And Agnew uses the post-1992 victory of the Northern League over the Christian Democrats in many parts of northern Italy to explore how parties are replaced geographically during periods of intense political change.
Providing a fresh new approach to studying the role of space and place in social change, Place and Politics in Modern Italy will interest geographers, political scientists, and social theorists.