Modern Italy: A Very Short Introduction [#494]
Modern Italy: A Very Short Introduction [#494]


  • Covers the history of Italy from the Risorgimento (Resurgence), the movement leading to Italian Unification in 1861, to the present
  • Addresses the question of whether modern Italy is a modern country, and explores the extent to which modernity still represents a shared vision among Italian intellectuals, political leaders, and ordinary people
  • Contemplates themes of identity and asks what Modern Italy stands for by looking at the different cultural and political projects of modernity which have unfolded in Italy since the Risorgimento

The history of modern Italy is characterized by recurrent cultural and political projects of modernity, rejuvenation, and regeneration; projects which often had their roots in a widespread dissatisfaction with social and political reality, and perceived moral corruption. The Risorgimento, the movement leading to Italian Unification in 1861, explicitly linked the quest for national unity to a process of moral regeneration and progress. Later forms of nationalism and the rise of fascism in the first two decades of the twentieth century advocated a spiritual revolution and the moulding of new Italians through war and violence. The tragic outcome of Italian fascism led to the emergence of new visions of progress during the post-war First Republic, in which European integration was embraced with conviction. In the last 25 years a project of of modernization epitomized by Silvio Berlusconi has characterized Italian politics, invoking a mixture of nationalist themes and an uncritical embracing of consumer and media culture. 

In this Very Short Introduction Anna Cento Bull addresses the question of what modernity means to Italy, and asks what modern Italy stands for. She considers Italy's political system and style of government, and looks at its economic modernisation and issues with emigration, internal migration and immigration. Bull concludes by looking at the Italian culture and lifestyle, including modern art and architecture, cinema, literature, gastronomy, fashion and sport.


1: Projects of modernity
2: Governing Italy
3: Made in Italy
4: Emigration, immigration and citizenship
5: Art, culture, sport and diplomacy: Italy's 'soft' power
Further Reading


Anna Cento Bull, Professor of Italian Studies, University of Bath
Anna Cento Bull is Professor of Italian Studies at the University of Bath. She is the author of numerous books on Italian History and Politics, including From Peasant to Entrepreneur. The Survival of the Family Economy in Italy (with P. Corner, Berg, 1993), Social Identities and Political Cultures in Italy (Berghahn, 2000), The Lega Nord and the Northern Question in Italian Politics (with M. Gilbert, Palgrave MacMillan, 2001), and Ending Terrorism in Italy (with P. Cooke, Routledge, 2013). Her work on Italy has been wide-ranging, covering the economy and society, culture and identity, contemporary politics, terrorism, and collective memory. From 2005 to 2010 she was Editor of the interdisciplinary journal Modern Italy (Taylor and Francis) and in this role she both promoted and became familiar with new, original and ground-breaking scholarly work on all aspects of modern and contemporary Italy.

"They say 'good things come in small packages' and this compact tome definitely proves the point. Packed into its 140-odd pages is all any italophile needs to know about the evolution of Modern Italy from the Risorgimento in the mid-1800s to the present day ... this snappy small-format guide is crammed with detail but never dry - the tone easy and accessible. An excellent overview, not to be missed." - Italia!


ISBN : 9780198726517

Anna Cento Bull
160 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Modern Italy: A Very Short Introduction [#494]

Modern Italy: A Very Short Introduction [#494]

Modern Italy: A Very Short Introduction [#494]