Il rombo dei cannoni? Immigration and the centre-right in Italy

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details Vol.15, No.3, April 2008, p349-367
Publication Date April 2008
ISSN 1350-1763
Content Type

Abstract: This contribution analyses immigration policy during the five years of centre-right government in Italy 2001-06 led by Silvio Berlusconi and his Forza Italia party. It analyses the immigration discourse of the four main centre-right parties and the negotiations surrounding the landmark Bossi-Fini immigration law. It shows that, despite harsh and illiberal rhetoric, there were unprecedented increases in Italy's legally resident foreign population between 2001 and 2006. This contribution demonstrates how, why and when party system and governmental variables intervened in the relationship between policy 'inputs' and 'outputs' to generate outcomes that did not correspond with some of the harsher contributions to public debate, particularly those by the regional-populist Lega Nord party. Beyond the specificities of the Italian case, this contribution shows that apparent contradictions, paradoxes and ambiguities can actually be functional elements of immigration politics (and of thorny social and political issues, more generally) and that supposed policy failings need to be related to the political processes that generate them and to the pay-offs to political actors that occur within these processes, that may not be negative.

Source Link
Countries / Regions