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‘Veniamo da Lontano e Andiamo Lontano’: the Italian Left and the problem of transition

Edwards, Phil (2009) ‘Veniamo da Lontano e Andiamo Lontano’: the Italian Left and the problem of transition. Bulletin of Italian Politics, 1 (2). pp. 211-32.

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Abstract

A key challenge for the Italian Left is the problematic of ‘transition’: the enduring perception that Italy has not yet attained a state of democratic normality. The Left has suffered a series of setbacks and crises since the formation of the Democratic Party (Partito Democratico, PD) in 2007, thanks in large part to the adoption by PD leader Walter Veltroni of a novelty-oriented strategy which failed to address the ‘transition’ agenda. Veltroni’s successor, Pierluigi Bersani, has mobilised a formidable nationwide coalition of support for a more conservative approach, cutting across the ideological divisions which persist within the PD. However, Veltroni’s strategy has created enduring problems for his party, including the effective delegitimation of the far Left; only when this is remedied will a revival of the broader Left, and a successful engagement with the problems of transition, become possible.

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