Italy and the Economic Crisis: Political Change and Crisis of Legitimacy
AbstractHave concepts such as political legitimacy as well as democracy been further undermined by the recent financial crisis of 2008? This is what many social scientists have asked among many other questions which have addressed the effects of the crisis on political institutions and political processes. The change of government in Italy in 2011 and the Italian election of 2013 reflect these assumptions and they reflect the crisis of European politics. In fact, EU countries, notably Southern European countries have had their political and economic agenda dictated by EU bureaucrats and influenced by the Big Three credit rating agencies. There are different indicators which show that the political and democratic institutions of a country are challenged. For instance, the public opinion mistrust about political elites or the effects that globalisation and deregulation have had on societies, in turns, reflect the problem of corruption and illegality, and the erosion of national sovereignty. Within this context, this paper will investigate the crisis of legitimacy and the democratic deficit by analysing the recent events which characterised Italian politics following the economic crisis. Firstly, it will be discussed the relation between the concepts of legitimacy ‘n the context of democratic institutions. Secondly, it will be discussed the political situation of Italy since 2011 and the way a technocratic government replaced a democratically elected government as well as a political agenda explicitly dictated by the EU bureaucrats. Moreover, it will be taken into consideration the different factors which led to such a dramatic change.
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