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Professor discusses economic situation in Italy

| Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Leonardo Morlino, professor of Political Science and director of the Research Center on Democracies and Democratizations at LUISS, Rome, presented his research on Italian economics on Tuesday at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. Morlino’s lecture, titled ‘The Political Consequences of Economic Crisis: Italy and Beyond,’ focused on the relationship between the implementation of democracy in Italy and how it has shaped its current economic situation, as well as the European Union’s role in the issue.
You cannot address a question such as, ‘What are the theoretical results of democratization?’ because within democratization, there are several focuses,” Morlino said.
Italy currently faces both an enormous public debt and an equally worrying unemployment rate, with over eight million people below poverty level, he said.
The period between 1992-2008 is critical in understanding Italy’s economic situation. The years leading up to 2008 were characterized by a decline in electoral participation and dissatisfaction with democracy, Morlino said.
“Until 2008, virtually, you have some kind of [political] instability,” he said. “In Italy, they faced a moment of uncertainty, of ambiguity, of stagnate, where there was no expected change. This is in the context of the crisis.”
Morlino referred to Italy’s crisis as “the crisis within democracy.” He said knowledge of citizen participation in Italy’s government and the aspects of the country’s constitution are key to understanding Italy’s current situation.
“When we consider a traditional perspective of how to analyze the crisis, we consider key mechanisms such as public resources, global economic conflict, pressure of the Europian Union [and] pressure of the market with consequences for our crisis,” Morlino said
Both Italy’s and Greece’s economies were the most affected by the political crisis faced by the EuropeanuUnion, he said
Morlino said the transition to democracy entails analysis and revision of a country’s constitution in order to implement effective decision-making within a country’s political context.
“If we revise the traditional views of a crisis of democracy, we come to some serious results in terms of reshaping of the system,” he said.
Contact Gabriela Malespin at gmalespi@nd.edu

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