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The Oxford Handbook of Italian Politics

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The Oxford Handbook of Italian Politics provides a comprehensive look at the political life of one of Europe's most exciting and turbulent democracies. Under the hegemonic influence of Christian Democracy in the early post-World War II decades, Italy went through a period of rapid growth and political transformation. In part this resulted in tumult and a crisis of governability; however, it also gave rise to innovation in the form of Eurocommunism and new forms of political accommodation. The great strength of Italy lay in its constitution; its great weakness lay in certain legacies of the past. Organized crime - popularly but not exclusively associated with the mafia - is one example. A self-contained and well entrenched 'caste' of political and economic elites is another. These weaknesses became apparent in the breakdown of political order in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This ushered in a combination of populist political mobilization and experimentation with electoral systems design, and the result has been more evolutionary than transformative. Italian politics today is different from what it was during the immediate post-World War II period, but it still shows many of the influences of the past.
Published by Oxford University Press on 11/05/2015
Book details: 664 pages.

Reassessing Political Ideologies

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This book is a high-level examination of each of the major ideologies that have shaped political thinking, action and conflict. Each chapter provides a critical overview of the current state of the major ideologies and a retrospective assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, developments and transformations of these ideologies over the past century. The volume poses a strong challenge to those who have loudly proclaimed the "end of ideology", by demonstrating that it is impossible to understand current political developments without an appreciation of their ideological context. It features internationally respected contributors who are authorities in their fields, and will be an invaluable resource for both students and specialists in areas including Politics and International Relations.
Published by Routledge on 08/02/2004
Book details: 224 pages.

The Historiography of Transition

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Defining a “historic transition” means understanding how the complex system of intellectual, social, and material structures formed that determined the transition from a certain “universe” to a “new universe,” where the old explanations were radically rethought. In this book, a group of historians with specializations ranging from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries and across political, religious, and social fields, attempt a reinterpretation of “modernity” as the new “Axial Age.”
Published by Routledge on 10/23/2015
Book details: 226 pages.

Western European Liberation Theology

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Western European Liberation Theology is the first comprehensive survey of the development of a distinct, progressive variant of Catholicism in twentieth-century Western Europe. This Left Catholicism served to lay the basis for the subsequent events and evolutions associated with Vatican II. Initially emerging within the boundaries of Catholic Action, fuelled by the growing power and self-confidence of the Catholic laity, a series of challenges to received wisdom and an array of novel experiments were launched in various corners of Western Europe. The moment of liberation from Nazi occupation and world war in 1944/45 turned out to be the highpoint of these optimistic paradigm shifts. Concentrating on interrelated developments in theology, Catholic politics and apostolic social action, Gerd-Rainer Horn integrates evidence from Italian, French and Belgian national contexts. Drawing on his research in over twenty archives between Leuven and Rome, he highlights the role of organisations, social movements, and intellectual trends. The pivotal contributions of key individuals are assessed, from theologians such as Jacques Maritain and Emmanuel Mounier, to the millenarian activist priests, Don Zeno Saltini and Don Primo Mazzolari. In conclusion Horn suggests that first-wave Western European Left Catholicism served as an inspiration - and constituted a prototype - for subsequent Third World Liberation Theology.
Published by Oxford University Press on Demand on 10/09/2008
Book details: 314 pages.

Schooling in Modernity

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Between 1948 and the end of the 1950s, Italian and American government agencies and corporations commissioned hundreds of short films for domestic and foreign consumption on topics such as the fight against unemployment, the transformation of rural and urban spaces, and the re-establishment of democratic regimes in Italy and throughout Europe. In Schooling in Modernity, Paola Bonifazio investigates the ways in which these sponsored films promoted a particular vision of modernization and industry and functioned as tools to govern the Italian people. The author uses extensive archival research and various theoretical approaches to examine the politics of sponsored filmmaking in postwar Italy. Among the many topics explored are target audiences and audience response, sources of funding, censorship, debates on cinematic realism, and the connections and differences between American and Italian strategies and styles of documentary filmmaking. Insightful and richly detailed, Schooling in Modernity shows the importance of these under-appreciated films in the postwar modernization process, the transition from Fascism to democracy, and Italy’s involvement in the Cold War.
Published by University of Toronto Press on 05/27/2014
Book details: 304 pages.

The Political Theory of Political Thinking

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This book is the first to explore systematically what it means to think 'politically'. Using detailed contemporary and historical material, and investigating both professional and 'amateur' forms of political thinking, this study challenges much accepted wisdom on the topic, arguing that it is to be approached as a cluster of interacting features.
Published by Oxford University Press on 08/08/2013
Book details: 345 pages.

The Oxford Handbook of Political Ideologies

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This is the first comprehensive volume to offer a state of the art investigation both of the nature of political ideologies and of their main manifestations. The diversity of ideology studies is represented by a mixture of the range of theories that illuminate the field, combined with an appreciation of the changing complexity of concrete ideologies and the emergence of new ones. Ideologies, however, are always with us. The Handbook is divided into three sections: The first is divided into three sections: The first reflects some of the latest thinking about the development of ideology on an historical dimension, from the standpoints of conceptual history, Marx studies, social science theory and history, and leading schools of continental philosophy. The second includes some of the most recent interpretations and theories of ideology, all of which are sympathetic in their own ways to its exploration and close investigation, even when judiciously critical of its social impact. This section contains many of the more salient contemporary accounts of ideology. The third focuses on the leading ideological families and traditions, as well as on some of their cultural and geographical manifestations, incorporating both historical and contemporary perspectives. Each chapter is written by an expert in their field, bringing the latest approaches and understandings to their task. The Handbook will position the study of ideologies in the mainstream of political theory and political analysis and will attest to its indispensability both to courses on political theory and to scholars who wish to take their understanding of ideologies in new directions.
Published by OUP Oxford on 08/15/2013
Book details: 752 pages.

Twisted Cross

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How did Germany's Christians respond to Nazism? In Twisted Cross, Doris Bergen addresses one important element of this response by focusing on the 600,000 self-described 'German Christians,' who sought to expunge all Jewish elements from the Christian church. In a process that became more daring as Nazi plans for genocide unfolded, this group of Protestant lay people and clergy rejected the Old Testament, ousted people defined as non-Aryans from their congregations, denied the Jewish ancestry of Jesus, and removed Hebrew words like 'Hallelujah' from hymns. Bergen refutes the notion that the German Christians were a marginal group and demonstrates that members occupied key positions within the Protestant church even after their agenda was rejected by the Nazi leadership. Extending her analysis into the postwar period, Bergen shows how the German Christians were relatively easily reincorporated into mainstream church life after 1945. Throughout Twisted Cross, Bergen reveals the important role played by women and by the ideology of spiritual motherhood amid the German Christians' glorification of a 'manly' church.
Published by Univ of North Carolina Press on 11/09/2000
Book details: 360 pages.

Contesting Democracy

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DIVThis book is the first major account of political thought in twentieth-century Europe, both West and East, to appear since the end of the Cold War. Skillfully blending intellectual, political, and cultural history, Jan-Werner Müller elucidates the ideas that shaped the period of ideological extremes before 1945 and the liberalization of West European politics after the Second World War. He also offers vivid portraits of famous as well as unjustly forgotten political thinkers and the movements and institutions they inspired. Müller pays particular attention to ideas advanced to justify fascism and how they relate to the special kind of liberal democracy that was created in postwar Western Europe. He also explains the impact of the 1960s and neoliberalism, ending with a critical assessment of today's self-consciously post-ideological age./div
Published by Yale University Press on 09/20/2011
Book details: 304 pages.

Building a Civil Society

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The most passionate advocates of Italy’s unification in the nineteenth century possessed an almost limitless faith in the benefits of civic association. They also shared a common concern: once Italian unification was achieved and various freedoms were established, would ordinary Italians naturally become responsible, progressive citizens – especially after centuries of foreign rule, regional division, and economic decline? Most unification advocates doubted that their fellow citizens could form a modern, progressive civil society on their own, or that a vibrant association life would develop from the ground up. Building a Civil Society is the first book-length English-language study of associational life in nineteenth-century Italy. Drawing on extensive research in published and unpublished documents – including associational records, newspapers, periodicals, government documents, guidebooks, exhibition catalogues, memoirs, and private letters – Steven C. Soper provides a complex account of Italian liberalism during Europe’s age of association. His study also raises important questions about the role that associations play in emerging democracies.
Published by University of Toronto Press on 12/06/2013
Book details: 320 pages.
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