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Italy: reformers without reforms?

  • Anna Cento Bull and Gian Luca Gardini


At the end of 2009, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced that 2010 would be the year of reforms in Italy (Il Sole 24 Ore, 26 December 2009). Indeed Mr Berlusconi and the question of institutional reforms have been the crucial elements of Italian political discourse and debate in recent years. However, while much has been said and written about the former, a number of key questions still beg to be answered about the latter. First of all, what reforms are we talking about? Are these a specific package of institutional engineering or are they, rather, an eye-catching and consensus-building yet still diffused set of aspirations? In either case, what vision of twenty-first-century Italy do they reflect or propose? Is there consensus enough – within and across parliamentary coalitions – on what the priorities ought to be and how they should be tackled?



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