Italy

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Snapshot,
Andrea Mammone

After an inconclusive vote and months of gridlock, Enrico Letta was sworn in this week as Italy's prime minister. But his center-left party is weak and bereft of ideas -- a problem facing the left Europe-wide.

Snapshot,
Victor Gaetan

In geographic and spiritual identity, Pope Francis is both an insider and an outsider. He is uncategorizable -- and that will allow him to bridge old divides and reenergize the church.

Snapshot,
Jonathan Hopkin

Observers have painted the outcome of the recent election -- a split so even that no party can form a government -- as a uniquely Italian farce. In fact, the impasse is the result of a Europe-wide trend: declining support for long-standing political parties in the wake of the economic crisis.

Snapshot,
Jonathan Hopkin

Prime Minister Mario Monti's recent resignation and former Prime Minister Silivio Berlusconi’s return to politics are unlikely to be game changers. In fact, they are simply the latest examples of a broader problem in Italian politics: the inability of conservatives to build a credible political party.

Essay, May/June 2012
Andrew Moravcsik

As Europe emerges from economic crisis, a larger challenge remains: finally turning the eurozone into an optimal currency area, with economies similar enough to sustain a single monetary policy. Getting there will be difficult and expensive, but the future of European integration hangs in the balance.

Snapshot,
Jonathan Hopkin

Monti’s appointment fits an established Italian pattern: fiscal laxity under populist center-right governments followed by brief emergency periods of technocratic austerity under the center-left and EU. To make fiscal responsibility stick this time, Brussels should back Monti as he builds up a popular mandate for gradual reform.

Snapshot,
Paolo Manasse

The new government must quickly enact unpopular reforms to right the country's economy. This may cost its leaders their careers, but a consensus plan would be toothless and would come too late.

Snapshot,
Gianni Riotta

For nearly two decades Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi inspired voters with his enthusiasm, but he brought no reform to Italy. Now his likely successor and the European Central Bank are setting out with a host of reforms, but have no enthusiasm to get them passed.

Snapshot,
Maurizio Viroli

To outsiders, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi may appear to be an Italian extravagance. But behind the political and sexual scandals hides a history of moral malaise.

Review Essay, May/June 2011
Kanan Makiya

Igor Golomstock's encyclopedic tome on the art produced in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and communist China makes a good case that totalitarian art is a distinct cultural phenomenon. But a new postscript on art under Saddam Hussein is less compelling, writes a former Iraqi dissident.

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