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Over the last hundred years the history of capitalism hardly supports the idea of a dynamic equilibrium between democracy and capitalism. The unprecedented triumph of global capitalism and its stronger power of transformation are changing the nature of political community and its institutions, transforming the conditions of democratic politics and governance. The writings collected in this volume present leading statements of theories of democracy and capitalism in Italy starting from Vilfredo Pareto who firstly focused on the transformation of democracy into a plutocracy in which vested interests use the government as a tool for their own profit, until Norberto Bobbio who expressed a strong defence of democracy and a deep critique of capitalism. As Marx, Weber, and Schumpeter-from different perspectives-have pointed out capitalism rather then just an economic mode of organization, is a 'mentality', a 'social logic', a 'form of living', that influences and reshapes political structures, and culture. The globalized economic order is challenging the foundations and political principles upon which liberal democracy is based. Global markets have unleashed economic forces that are becoming too powerful for democratic institutions to control. Even if the formal elements of democracy still survive, the 'government by the people, for the people' is declining; elections, debates, parties, are evacuated, and bypassed by new, less accountable processes.
There has been a significant surge in recent Argentine cinema, with an explosion in the number of films made in the country since the mid-1990s. Many of these productions have been highly acclaimed by critics in Argentina and elsewhere. What makes this boom all the more extraordinary is its coinciding with a period of severe economic crisis and civil unrest in the nation. Offering the first in-depth English-language study of Argentine fiction films of the late twentieth century and early twenty-first, Joanna Page explains how these productions have registered Argentina’s experience of capitalism, neoliberalism, and economic crisis. In different ways, the films selected for discussion testify to the social consequences of growing unemployment, rising crime, marginalization, and the expansion of the informal economy. Page focuses particularly on films associated with New Argentine Cinema, but she also discusses highly experimental films and genre movies that borrow from the conventions of crime thrillers, Westerns, and film noir. She analyzes films that have received wide international recognition alongside others that have rarely been shown outside Argentina. What unites all the films she examines is their attention to shifts in subjectivity provoked by political or economic conditions and events. Page emphasizes the paradoxes arising from the circulation of Argentine films within the same global economy they so often critique, and she argues that while Argentine cinema has been intent on narrating the collapse of the nation-state, it has also contributed to the nation’s reconstruction. She brings the films into dialogue with a broader range of issues in contemporary film criticism, including the role of national and transnational film studies, theories of subjectivity and spectatorship, and the relationship between private and public spheres.
This book gathers together fifteen classic essays by leading scholar Richard Bellamy, tracing the history of Italian political thought from Beccaria to Bobbio. Written over the past 25 years, they constitute the first account in English of the modern Italian political tradition. The author pays special attention to the different ways Italian theorists have linked politics and ethics, and their various conceptions of the state and of democracy. The resulting variations on Machiavellian themes gave rise to distinctively Italian understandings of Liberalism, Marxism, Fascism and Socialism, which were all associated with a peculiarly realist account of democracy. Among the thinkers discussed are Cesare Beccaria, Antonio Genovesi, Giuseppe Mazzini, Benedetto Croce, Giovanni Gentile, Antonio Gramsci, Vilfredo Pareto, Gaetano Mosca and Norberto Bobbio. ‘In advancing the tantalising claims that the Italians invented modern politics as well as one of the most important political traditions we have for understanding it, this book is sure to entice and provoke. Richard Bellamy shows how the diverse titular thinkers thought through problems of force and consent, morality and utility, mass movements and democracy, the social role of critical intellectuals, and the critical and utopian dimensions of liberalism and socialism. An important book by one of our most sophisticated observers of contemporary politics.’ Walter L Adamson Dobbs Professor of History, Emory University ‘This is a brilliant and much-needed book on the history of political ideas in modern Italy. An excellent text both for students of Italy’s political thought, and for scholars of democratic theory.’ Nadia Urbinati Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory and Hellenic Studies, Columbia University ‘Admirably combining conceptual and historical analysis, these essays offer imaginative interpretations of important Italian thinkers, and remind us that Bellamy’s world-class contribution in this field has been inspired by his sustained engagement with the premises and principles of liberalism. While specialists in Italian thought will be grateful to ECPR Press for gathering these essays in a single volume, Bellamy’s clear, elegant arguments will interest all students of political theory.’ Joseph V Femia Emeritus Professor of Political Theory, University of Liverpool
When Pope Francis wrote in his apostolic letter The Joy of the Gospel that the economy of the West is one that “kills,” he was immediately labeled by some as a Marxist. Criticisms came fast and furious, not only from financial columnists and conservative cable personalities, but also from some Catholic commentators, especially in the United States. In This Economy Kills, two of the most respected journalists covering the Vatican today explore the Pope’s teaching and witness on the topic; the ways it relates to other topics like war, the environment, and family life; its connections to the teaching of his predecessors; and the criticism it has generated, especially from the direction of the United States. This fascinating book includes the full text of an extended interview the authors conducted with Francis on the topic of capitalism and social justice, appearing here in English for the first time. This Economy Kills is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand Pope Francis’s convictions about the world we live in and the way he believes Christians are called to shape it.

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