Italy the Politics of Ambiguity

Publication Date01 June 1967
AuthorEzio Cappodocia
DOI10.1177/002070206702200210
Date01 June 1967
SubjectReview Article
306
INTERNATIONAL
JOURNAL
Ezio
Cappodocia,
McMaster
University
Italy
The
Politics
of
Ambiguity*
In
spite
of
the
apparent
stability
that
has
characterized
Italian
politics
in
recent
years,
the
orderly
development
of a
liberal-democratic
state
is
not
yet
assured.
The
apertura
a
sintstra,
the
"opening
to
the
Left"
that
finally
materialized
in
1964,
after
a
decade
of
debate
over
its
advisability
has yet
to
prove
it
has
won
the
loyalty
of
the
parties
concerned.
The
general
elections
of
1968
will
subject
it
to
the
supreme
test.
And
as
in
all
elections
since
the
collapse
of
Fascism,
the
Vatican's
role
will
be
of
major
significance.
Whether the
apertura
becomes
a
turn-
ing point
in
the
development
of
political
as
well
as
social
democracy
depends
more
on
the
Vatican
than
on
the
Communist
party
which
still
retains
the
support
of
a
quarter
of
the
electorate.
Many
observers
of
the
post-war
Italian
scene
have
focused
on
the
failure
of
the
Action
Party
in
1945
to
realize
the
hopes
of
the
Resist-
ance
movement
to
bring
about
a
peaceful
political
as
well
as
a
social
and
economic
revolution
in
Italy.
The
anti-Fascist
leaders
led
by
Ferruccio
Parri,
who headed
the
government,
envisaged
an
Italy
where
the
forces
of
traditionalism
and
hierarchy
would
at
last
be
mastered.
The
Action
Party
grew
out
of
the
anti-Fascist
exiles'
Giustizua
e
Liber-
td
group founded
by
Carlo
Rosselli,
which
looked
to
Mazzmman
ante-
cedents
for
a
programme
of
democratic
reformism.
As
the
party
never
developed
a mass
following,
it
remained
the
preserve
of
the
intellectuals
and
soon
revealed
its
split
between
those
who
wanted
reformism
and
socialism
and those
who
stressed reformism
and liberalism.
The
failure
of
Parri
is
bemoaned both
by
Kogan
and
Mammarella
who
feel
Italy
missed
a
crucial moment
in
her
democratic evolution.
To
them
the
successful
reassertion
of
the
traditional
conservative
forces
was
made
possible
by
the
rise
of
political
Catholicism in
the form
of
the
Christian
Democratic
party
and
by
the
presence
of
the
other
mass
party
the
Communist.
Both
authors
cover
the
same
period
in
somewhat
similar
fashion.
Professor
Mammarella,
who
like Kogan
is
a
political
scientist,
tends
to
present
a
more
strictly
historical
approach
and
to
assume
less
knowl-
edge
of
the
subject
on
the
part
of
the reader.
Fascism
is
dealt
with
rather
summarily
by
both. They
limit
themselves
to
viewing
it
as
back-
ground
for the
current
situation.
Neither
wastes
much
time
in
wonder
Ing
whether
Fascism
was
merely
a
passing
disease
in
the
body
politic,
as
Croce
claimed,
or
whether it
was
a
development
emerging out
of
A
Political
History
of
Post
War
Italy.
By
Norman
Kogan.
1966.
(New
York:
Frederick
A.
Praeger.
Toronto:
Burns
&
MacEachern.
VIII,
252
pp.
$7.25)
Italy
After
Fascism:
A
Political
History,5
1943-1965.
By
Giuseppe
Mammarella.
1966.
(Notre
Dame: University
of
Notre
Dame
Press.
VI.
377
pp.
$6.50)
Italy:
The
Politics
of
Planntng.
By
Joseph La
Palombara.
Preface
by
Bertram
M.
Gross.
1966.
(Syracuse:
Syracuse
University
Press.
Toronto:
Burns
&
Mac-
Eachern.
XVII,
184
pp.
$4.75)
Catholic
Action
in
taly:
The
Sociology
of
Sponsored
Organization.
By
Glan-
franco
Poggi.
1967
(Stanford:
Stanford
University
Press.
XV 280
pp.
$8.00)

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