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Globalization of domestic .pdf

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Titolo: Globalization's essay
Autore: Simone Tonelli

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Globalization of domestic politics: between convergence and
pluralism: the italian case.
by Simone Tonelli
This paper seeks to investigate the latest events of the italian political realm, with an
historical perspective, aiming to understand the impact of globalization on the domestic
politics. The reason of the analysis stems from the necessity to explain the episodes
occurred in Italy during the last five years, given that seems they have provoked uneven
understandings of the phenomenon and suggest the emergence of different, and by some
points of view dangerous, forthcoming perspective.
Following the insight of Nederveen Pieterse (1995) which suggest that globalization
allows the formation of several organizational forms at the same time, I will aim to
explain how it is impacting on the italian politics: on the one hand, it seems make the
state, by certain point of view, an efficient machine working in a computable manner,
constrained by scientific knowledge to give predictable outcomes, which result, by
certain perspective, dehumanizing of both, the role of the politicians and of the overall
citizenship. On the other I will illustrate how this phenomenon, together with the
historical and socio-political circumstances, seems to have been leading to the
emergence of a tendency towards the self-management of public affairs, therefore
avoiding the traditional mediated democracy. Moreover I will foresee an hybridization
of these two tendencies following the Ritzer’s insight about the unavoidability of the
human advocacy by mcdonalized organizations.
In the first part of this paper I will seek to define theoretical framework within which I
intend to fit my analysis. The object of my studying is politics, I will define it as a
cultural object, and then what I mean with culture and cultural object, and I will
separate its features through the use of the cultural diamond (Wendy Griswold 2005).
Therefore I will endeavor to conceptualize globalization, cultural globalization and
mcdonaldization, through the use of the insights of Ritzer, Robertson, DiMaggio and


In the second part of the paper I will first define the social context in which my object of
study is situated and by which is shaped, retracing a very brief history of the italian
politics from the post-WWII to the 2007’s financial crises and its developments, going
through it by the lens of the international relationship and its impact on the internal
functioning of the political system, with a specific emphasis of its influence on the
system of parties.
Following, in the third part of the paper, I will consider, on the one hand, the similarities
between mcdonaldization tendencies and the technocrats government (developed in
Italy during the financial crises) and, on the other, the relationship between cultural
globalization and the emergence of a tendency to a direct management of public affairs.

Theoretical perspective
My object of study is politics as a cultural practice, that is an institutionalized symbolic
form which serves to manage public affairs. On the side of the society as such it serves
as a practical mean to make the state’s machine working, on its cultural side is the
expression of the people’s sovereignty.
When I refer about culture I consider it as a set of tools, settled by norms, values,
believes and symbolic forms of expressions, that the individuals use in their day-to-day
lives as a mean to understand what is happening around them. The relationship between
culture and the society stems by the fact that the former suggest the expressive side of
the object, intrinsic to it, and the latter its functional side. According with Taylor I
define culture as a complex set of practices which include the arts, the knowledge, the
right, the costumes, the moral and any other skill and habit acquired as a member of the
society. As it aim to be a scientific knowledge, sociology, needs to isolate it’s object of
study and so to endeavor to explain the outcome of its shock with other variables. A
cultural object can be either an object as such or not, it can be anything, it just needs to
be a meaning incorporated into a form, the status of cultural object it’s the product of an
analytical choice rather than a given of the object as such. The form can be real or
conceptual, for instance, the crucifix is an object and indeed is practically a torture
machine, but for catholics it have became the sign of the sacrifice, the passion of Jesus
Christ towards humanity. Another example could be the concept of freedom, as a
concept it does not exist in the real world, but for some peoples it is a cultural object, for
instance, the people of United States, on which it has based its nation.

Specify the cultural object means to isolate some features of a wider culture and make
them the object of the analysis. Therefore I need to use an analytic tool, which is, in this
case the cultural diamond (Wendy Griswold). She argued that a cultural object is a
product of human beings (creators) and only after it has reached an audience (recipients)
and this audience is an active producer of meaning, and it is roots in a certain contest
(social world), than an the object becomes a cultural object. The italian political realm
will be the context of my analysis (social world), which is also, the nation-state, the
traditional boundary in which is traditionally constrained the expression of sovereignty,
which expression is the cultural side of politics. But who are the creators and the
recipients of the cultural object? And in which way politics can be created and
delivered? This is a bit more complex argument. Using an old-fashioned term it can be
argued that the cultural conception of politics is set up by the opinion-leaders and it is
delivered to its audience. While I am using this term I don’t want to say that all the
informations coming from those people are taken as givens by their recipients, which is,
among others, the reasons because Katz and Lazarsfeld have been criticized, but rather I
suggest that exist persons whose arguments stems from a certain position, which can
range from to, be the leader of a movement, be the member of a party or an activist,
until to, be the mother or the grandfather of the audience rather than a famous singer or
a football player, such that gives them a specific authority regarding certain topics, and
thus their interlocutors are influenced by them. But, as I said before, they are not passive
recipients, rather they assume their ‘filtered’ informations and they hybridize them
together with their cultural background and their experience of day-to-day life.
There are two ‘variables’ by which I intend to subject my object of study, both part of
the process of globalization: the process of cultural globalization as Ritzer (2003)
outlined it, namely that lead to a cultural pluralism; and the process of McDonaldization
(Ritzer 1997; 2008) which lead to a cultural convergence, an homogenization of
cultures. The latter is, in some parts, incorporated in the former, indeed as we will see,
the process of McDonaldization cannot overall avoid the agency of individuals.
First I must define what globalization is. The reductive definition of it is “the shrinking
of the world” that is to say the compression of time and space, but as many scholars
have highlighted globalization is not a unique process, rather is a complex phenomenon
which involve many flows across the world. Flows of capital and people allowed by the
increasing interconnectedness and regional cooperation among states around the world

leaded by the economic capitalism; flows of informations allowed by the exponential
growth of informatics infrastructures and the more than ever centrality of the media;
flows of negatives externalities such as pollution, nuclear proliferation and terrorism
(Ritzer 2010). For our purpose we have to consider globalization as cultural
globalization, and according with Roland, Ritzer and Stillman (1993;2003): << in terms
of the intellectual and practical terrain on which actors draw their conclusions about
globalization, thereby leaving open the possibility of multiple images of globalization.
[...] despite the wide variety on globalization it is possible to distill few key proposition
concerning the contemporary global culture: (1-A) the world is more pluralistic than the
hegemonic world-views of modern social theory had previously allowed[...]; (2-A)
individuals have more power to adapt and maneuver within a globalized world than the
top-down perspective of modern social theory had previously allowed[...]; (3-A) social
processes are rational and contingent. Cultural globalization provokes a variety of
reaction [...] that feed back on and transform globalization[...] (4-A) [...]the increasing
commodification of social life and increasing velocity and centrality of media.[...] >>
(Ritzer and Stillman 2003)
McDonaldization (Ritzer 2010) is a new process rooted in the historical process of
rationalization described by Max Weber, and, as well as the latter, it has a profound
consequences in the experience of the world of an individual. The concept describe the
rationalization of society using the fast-food restaurants as paradigm. In these
restaurants the main organizational features are (1-B) the push for a greater efficiency,
(2-B) predictability and (3-B) calculability, that is to say that both, employee and
customers, follow a script and know very well what the other does expect, and thus they
are able to give and receive what they want to, in a certain manner and in a certain time.
Thus, is (4-B) the control exercised by non-human technology on human labour another
feature of this kind of organization. Interesting is the example of the fast-food’s frenchfry machines: as soon as the machine ring, the fries are ready and the employee must
run to pick them up avoiding burns. At the same way works everything else within this
organization: meat and bread’s cook is controlled by a machine who decide when it’s
done, thus there’s no possibilities for the employees to decide if it has got to be more or
less cooked, to them remain the task to assembly it, as well as if they were working in
an automobile factory. Moreover another characteristic of this kind of organizational
culture is what Ritzer called (5-B) the rationality of irrationality, that is to say the

dehumanization of employee and customers. The first are forced to work following
machines orders, as within an assembly line, and the latter have to eat fast and in
uncomfortable manners. Despite the tendency to convergence, McDonaldization is
subject to the forces of pluralism in at least three senses: the models are exported and
subjected to an indigenous adaptation, and they can develop indigenously in a process
of emulation that tends towards isomorphism, and for a variety of ends.

Since the end of the second world war, until the collapse of the wall of Berlin and the
consequently end of the cold war, the italian politics have been strongly influenced by
the international relationship. The world was polarized, and was dominated by two
superpowers challenging each other and representing two different ideologies. Each
pole task were to attract under its influences as much as geopolitical actors as possible
endeavoring to pull them away from the influence of the enemy. This situation used to
influence strongly the italian system of parties of the post-WWII: on the far-left-wing
was situated the Italian Communist Party, on the far-right-wing the Italian Social
Movement, ideologically fascist. Within the range between these two anti-liberal-system
parties there was a wide set of more o less liberal but moderate parties, among which
the biggest one was the Christian Democracy. What stemmed by this system was that
the smallest moderate parties were forces to unite themselves, independently by the
ideology, into the same central coalition, with the aim to challenge the ICP and ISM and
avoiding them to pull consensus away from the center and thus overturn the liberal
system into another one (mostly to avoid the communist party to overturn it into a soviet
society, given that due to the previous fascist experience the ISM did not enjoyed a wide
consensus). What does this dynamic, the so-called ‘centrifuge system of
parties’ (Giovanni Sartori 1982), produced? It does produced more than fifty years of
hegemonic Government, that is a situation in which other parties are legal but to govern
is always the same one, preventing the typical recirculation of parties which is
characteristic of the healthy democracies.
After the end of the cold war the Christian Democracy started to lose consensus because
this dynamics was not anymore necessary and the communism was not anymore a
danger. The coup de grace to the CD arrived in 1992 by a series of prosecution for
bribes to the highest public authorities, the so-called Tangentopoli (Bribesbury) scandal.

This bribes’ system was the product of an unofficial monopoly of political power hold
during the iron curtains’ period. Thus in 1993 italian’s people decide through
referendum to switch from a proportional voting system to a majority system,
endeavoring to produce an higher accountability towards the Government. Moreover
through the same referendum the people decided to remove the public funding to the
parties. Both of the choices taken in 1993 have been circumvent and already in 1994 the
latter has been replaced by ‘electoral campaign reimbursement’, and in 2005 the voting
system has been replaced by one more proportional (defined by its same supervisor as
“a crap”) against the people’s will. Indeed the latter voting system has been declared
unconstitutional by the end of 2013.
What concern us in this brief overview is the unreliability of the italian political elite
which have undermined the legitimacy of the representative democracy. This process of
disillusion has been emphasized by the globalization tendencies of the latest years. For
instance, the entrance of Italy in the monetary union implied a huge loss of sovereignty
and made the Government lose two of the three tools of monetary policy, that represent,
at least for a political elite which has never been able to implement structural reforms
but rather it has always relied on the open market operations (at least hiterto it was
possible) for devaluate the national currency and make italian products more
competitive abroad, a tough challenge to re-legitimize representative democracy.
Indeed, in the middle of the public debt crises, when the yield spread between german
and italian bonds were over 500, in November 2011 has been nominated Mario Monti as
Prime Minister, and he has been charged by the task to form a technocratic
Government, that is a task force of persons who have never hold a political role, have
never been elected and their legitimation stems from the high competences
acknowledged by the international scientific community (Il Fatto Quotidiano
16/11/2011). Monti, has been nominated by the Head of the state with the aim to
implement those structural reforms which the traditional political elite has never been
able to do, aiming to reduce the public deficit through cuts at the public spending and
higher taxes, and thus its ratio with the GDP.
Following the insight of DiMaggio and Powell, it can be argued that, by choosing Mario
Monti, the italian public authority, showed the necessity to transform the country a more
competing organizational structure, and demonstrate the unsuitability of previous
Governments to do it. DiMaggio and Powell argued that organizations look at each

other in an environment of symbolic uncertainty, and thus did states during the crises.
Monti’s figure stemmed because of his credentials, which fitted the system developed
by the process of professionalization. In this sense it can be argued that italian politics is
in a process of mcdonaldizatioin. Italy in several decades had accumulated a huge debt
that was fine at least hitherto the GDP was stable, but as soon as its interest rate starts to
grow because of the widespread uncertainty among investors, and the production starts
a dangerous decrease because the banks were not anymore willing to land loans, was
becoming everyday more true the possibility of an italian default. If this ever it would
happened would have made to start a domino effect all around EU, and thus became
necessary to fulfill some condition that, it can be argued, are characteristic of a
mcdonaldized organization. For example, (1-B) a country which wants to place its bond
on the primary market with a successful performance, needs to show the investors its
efficiency in implement the necessary structural reforms when the surrounding market
conditions require it, and therefore the Government must be able to transform it into a
reliable investment, otherwise none would not be willing to finance it. This is what
happened to Italy: as soon as the possibility that billions of euros could be lost
(threatening the greatest attempt of peace and democracy ever putted in place, EU),
became necessary to involve a professional, one of those MBA graduates discussed by
DiMaggio and Powell (of course, Mario Monti is not an MBA graduate, rather he has
been the Rector and he is a Professor of an excellent italian University, but is the
analogy which concern us); (2-B) therefore, the Government of a country which aspire
to be competitive must be able to calculate how to allocate the resources, and it has to
be capable to convince the investors that it is doing it in the best way possible to do it,
because in an environment of symbolic uncertainty we look for something familiar. And
therefore, as a traveler who is distrustful about unknown food looks for a ‘Mc sign’
while he or she is abroad, so do the investors whom, in an environment of symbolic
uncertainty, find reassurance in familiar organizations. Therefore became a necessary
task to calculate how much to reduce the public deficit aiming to step back in a reliable
condition, and due it was not anymore possible to devaluate the currency, the only way
remained was to cut the public spending and to rise taxes. Monti’s task was to calculate
how much, in which services, and for how long doing it, he had to set up an
organization capable to fit the investors understanding and to be ‘a light in the darkness
of uncertainty’. Precisely as happen in a fast-food the emphasis on ‘quantity and speed’

causes a loss of quality, so did for the process of policy making: the urgency to arrange
the deficit reduction avoided the Parliamentary process, and it has been settled by
Government’s decree. What emerged practically by this dynamic is that instead to have
been taken a though and discussed decision about in which services to cut and what
taxes increase, the public authority graved on the ones more subject to the crises, by
increasing taxes on house property, on added value, petrol and so on: in other words
where were easier to find. (3-B) Therefore this emphasis on the calculations is aimed to
make the behaviors of both, employee and customers, more predictable, and so does for
the states. But while everyone is capable to understand if he or she likes or not certain
sandwiches or certain fries, not everyone is able to understand immediately if a food it’s
healthy or not and thus if it worth or not. To avoid this drawback, the consumers’ choice
is leaded by the advertisements: spreading the ‘Mc symbols’, media supplies, again, ‘a
light in the darkness of symbolic uncertainty’. And so, in a similar way, happen for the
investments. Indeed to implement this task exist the rating agencies, which apparently
hold the authority to syndicate the countries behavior, marking them with a grade. In
case a state does not follow the script, the agencies rate it with a low score, leading the
investor behavior (4-B) interesting is, in my view, the feature of the control by
technology on human labour in mcdonaldized organizations. If we assume the term
‘technology’ as ‘scientific knowledge used in practical ways’ (Oxford Dictionary) thus
we can consider economics as the scientific knowledge which aim to allocate scanty
resources, and, as such, the technology adopt by the technocrats and which has forced
them to adopt certain policies rather then others. Economics have been used too often to
build rational mathematical models in which to fit irrational actors (human beings).
Used in this way it forces the real world to fit within the model rather then the opposite,
and literally controls them. It can be argued that an evidence of it is the financial crises
as such: the belief that the prices could rise no stop was based on a mathematical model,
and it pushed the people to behave in a non-rational way (borrow the money to buy an
house even if you can’t afford it). At the same way it could be argued that the
technology controls the European Central bank: as soon as the ‘bell’ of the 2% per year
inflation ‘ring’ its technocrats must adopt policies aimed to fit it back within its limit.
An evidence of a policy practiced in this way can be found in the ‘european style‘ of
quantitative easing adopt by ECB during the financial crises: as soon as they used to
issued long-term bonds to inject liquidity, they used to buy short-term ones, in a way to

limit the enlargement of the monetary base ( And so did
technocrats in Italy, such as in a fast-food when the french-fry machines ring and the
employee must run to pick them up, in Italy, as soon as the thermometer of the spread
sounds fever then the policy-maker must run to adopt the right policy which aim to
lower the fever. (5-B) It can be argued that all this process of policy-making
dehumanize both, the politicians, since they don’t seem anymore serve to persons,
rather they seem more a kind of ‘maintenance staff’ ready to intervene as soon as the
‘automatic machine’ of growth is broken, and its citizens, to whom the policies are
directed, whom are forced to renounce to basic social services and to pay more taxes
making decreasing their live’s quality. To support the thesis about the ‘Mc-nature’ of
the policies taken by the EU and the italian Government it can be argued that they were
aimed to safe-guard abstracts problems, e.g. spread and inflation, without caring about a
very true problems, e.g. unemployment and poverty rate. That’s the reason I wrote
‘automatic-machine of growth’: the policies discussed above serves, in the end, to
produced profits, but they cause losses of jobs, and therefore seems like the labour have
become unessential.
As a reaction to the decades of unsuitable Governments and the derived technocrats,
during the last five years has emerged an important political actor, a movement of
citizen, the 5 Star Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle), leaded by a former comedian,
Beppe Grillo, who have been criticizing the political class since he was doing standup
shows, making him raise a certain popularity among people, especially young ones (it
could be argued that a huge debt it’s a burden for the coming generations). Then during
the 2011 austerity he starts to criticize also EU, Euro, Germany, parties, technicians,
accusing them to be all part of a giant fraud burdening to the italian’s expenses.
Therefore, after Monti resigned from its role, because of the tensions emerged within
the majority that was supporting his Government, the movement’s popularity raised
through the internet and media events organized by Grillo’s blog (such as the V-day)
served to him and to its movement as a leverage to get a quarter of the Parliament’s
seats during the election which came next.
5SM it’s a movement which claim to be post-ideological, its leader and its activists
don’t recognize themselves in none of the traditional political parties, it can be argued
that their ideology, I intend ideology as a set of ideas which leads the behavior of a
social group, is to quit with the traditional mediated democracy. In this sense it could be

argued that globalization of culture is impacting on the italian politics. Analyzing the
feature highlighted by Robertson (1993) and Ritzer (2003) we can say that (1-A) we live
in a time, nowadays, in which identities have became so flexible that are neither given
as they were in traditional societies, nor less strict but still fixed as they were in modern
societies. Despite this, in post-modern, second-modern or late-modern societies, the
identities, even if far more subjected to the individual will than ever, are still social
constructions, it is the social context to be changed. Since one person can pretending to
be anyone on the internet by creating a fake identity, another one can transform himself
or herself identity in the real world radically, physically, even changing sex. According
with many scholars the formation of the identity is a product of the interaction with the
others: a person considers himself or herself in someway, then he or she compare this
individual identification of the self with the one that other people seem to have about
him or her, and then their feedback is involved back in the formation of his or her own
conception of the self. Therefore, in a liquid society in which a person is able either to
talk with persons all around the globe in the time of an instant thanks to the digital
formation of social groups through the internet, in which is possible to have a trip
around the world likely within a day, through the powerful means of communication
which link the countries and the increasing regional cooperation among them, he or she
is thus able to express himself or herself in a way that it’s practically impossible not to
find a confirm of own identity in someone else. It makes possible for a person to birth,
for instance, in the middle-east as a male, muslim, conservative and to die in London as
a socialist, atheist female. (2-A) Thus the individuals feel like they can, and they have
to, manage the public affairs on their own. Traditional parties and practices to do it are
not fluid as identities are, and thus the people feel like their interests are not anymore
represented by the established public authorities. Thanks to the bright possibilities
offered by the cyber-space, instead, they feel like they can participate to the processes of
problem-definition/problem-solution straightaway, avoiding any mediation of the
institutional tools offered by the traditional representative democracy, and they are thus
rediscovering the ancient principle of the agora. (3-A) But social processes are rational
and contingent and thus the italian case stems from its political background. For
instance, in this country has born a citizen’s movements which aim, literally and openly,
to destroy the traditional system of parties. As their leader stated once << we’ll enter in
the Parliament and we’ll open it as a tuna can >> ( Indeed it aim to

change globalization, taking as a given that regionalization is an aspect of the process of
globalization (Best; Christiansen), and the EU is the kind of institution that can be
defined as a regional cooperation, the 5SM’s leader stated in his final speech on
December 31st 2013 “we’re going to Europe and we’re going to change the Europe”.
Most of the movement’s success can be find in Grillo’s steady appeal to the dichotomy
people/enemies of the people, a strong charismatic leadership, a direct communicative
style, oversimplification of complex issues and a widespread use of mass media for
appeal. It could be argued that this feature are typical of populism, indeed in its end-ofthe-year speech the leader of the movement stated “we have broken their
toy[...]everyone is against us[...]the ECB, Angela Merkel, Germany, the parties, the
Judiciary, the journals, televisions[...]We are going to go to Europe, and we’ll win[...]we
are going to change the Euro[...]we’ll make a two-speed-Euro, I don’t know if it’s
possible to do but we’ll do something[...]if they [the EU] don’t let us doing it we’ll exit
from the Euro[...]it is possible to do, and it’s not a crazy, populist comedian who’s
praising for violence to say that, it’s Paul Krugman![...]” (Grillo 2013) while Krugman
in his book said exactly the contrary, that is to say that even an eurosceptic, as he is, is
now fully convinced that leave the Euro would be a too expensive choice (Krugman
2012). (4-A) The remaining part of its success, instead, stems from the use of the web,
the leader and the activists of the movement often appeal to the direct democracy and to
an horizontal organization of the public affairs, achievable, in their view, through the
use of the internet. The web platforms have been used also to manage primaries
election: everyone had the possibility to upload his or her video on Grillo’s blog and the
members could vote them. The result has been, according with some observer, far away
to be more legitimizing than traditional democracy: about 30000 people voted for about
1400 candidates with a ratio of 24 vote per deputy (Il Fatto Quotidiano 12/07/2012).
The platform is also used to stream online the works within the Parliamentary
Commission, a negative power made of control that is possible to exercise also through
the review of official documents. Moreover two regional counselor have been expelled
by Grillo from the movement because they appeared on mainstream television, against
the leader will, and they make non grate critiques about the internal democracy of the
movement (Il Fatto Quotidiano 12/12/2012). Starting from the fact that the blog, base of
the movement, is a private property, and the movement’s symbol can be withdrawn as a
franchising brand as soon as one of his members violate the leader’s rule, it can be

argued that, despite the steady appeal to be an horizontal organization, in fact it is highly
According with Ritzer (2003) , the power of mcdonaldization to homogenize is limited,
that is to say that the reactions to it do create always contingence that force it to
adaptation. Following he’s argument I foresee a third emerging phenomenon that can be
see as an hybridization of the twos: both, left-wing and right-wing, of the major italian
parties are apparently breaking with the past, namely the different currents of though
within them have broken with the mainstream one. On the right hand, for instance,
Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia has broken with the Government’s majority and is now
at the opposition, following Grillo appeals (Il Fatto Quotidiano 15/11/2013), while the
so-called ‘new-right’ is made up by younger levers. On the left hand, the Democratic
Party’s congress has just elected its new General Secretary (Il Fatto Quotidiano
09/12/2013), Matteo Renzi, a person who has previously been the President of
Tuscany’s region and now is the Major of Florence, but who has never covered a role
within the Parliament. Angelino Alfano, leader of ‘new-right’ stated: << The choice we
taken it is a choice for the italian future[...]we choose to say no to [Forza Italia because
of] too many extremism and extremist[...]” >> (Il Fatto Quotidiano 07/12/2013), or in
what Matteo Renzi claims, among others, that is to << [...]don’t speak anymore about
Berlusconi, let’s speak about future[...]not anymore tricks done behind italians’
shoulders >> (Il Fatto Quotidiano 27/10/2013), and he has openly challenged Beppe
Grillo, because he does not want to << let the 5SM change politics on its own >> (Il
Fatto Quotidiano 02/01/2014).
By these statement can be deduced that the party’s tendency today is to take the
distances by the old-fashioned shady style to manage the public thing together with
keeping the distances to Beppe Grillo and his threatening populism. It could be argued
that they are therefore aiming to quickly implement those (in)famous structural reforms
discussed above (Il Fatto Quotidiano 07/01/2014), to support this thesis is the Job Act
proposed by Matteo Renzi and inspired to the danish model, to achieve though political
channels. Also they are considering the relationship within EU and the obliges it
requires. Moreover Renzi claimed for the use of the internet either as a tools to ensure
transparency either a tool to reduce inequalities (e.g. the use of database to fight tax


I have discussed the historical events which leaded the younger cohorts of the italian
people to dissociate themselves from the traditional ‘way of doing’ politics, as the Gini
Growing inequalities 2013’s report shows these cohorts are the less active in the
political participation, it can be argued it is due the framework of malfeasance which
have surrounded the italian political realm since they have born. Furthermore I have
discussed how such unsuitability of the political elite as politicians has brought to the
formation of a non elected technocratic Government, nominated by the Head of the
State, during the debt crises which has followed the financial crises. As a non-political
actor such Government did behave in a dehumanizing manner of both, the political role
and the role of the citizens, which has leaded, in turn, to the emergence of a new
political actor which openly aim to destroy both, the technocratic tendency and the
political actors who allowed its formation.
Is thus emerging a situation who call forth dangerous perspective: on the one hand is
emerging the technocratic tendency to manage public affairs, pushed by the pursuit of
international cooperation within regions that leads to the convergence of organizational
culture, endeavoring to maximize efficiency, calculability, predictability and control of
the states. On the other, leaded by the cultural flows across the globe, is emerging the
tendency to the self-manage the public thing through the internet avoiding the
traditional mediated democracy. Both of these tendencies are threatening the very
concept of democracy, the former, by making unnecessary the process of democratic
election, since the interests pursued by a technocratic Government seem addressed to
the interest of the capital as such: neither capitalist nor laborers apparently are
conceived in its process of policy-making. The latter, in this specific italian case and due
the existence of a powerful leader, the ownership of the movement, the widespread
diffusion of (dis)information through such a powerful mean as the internet, is leading to
the growth of a plebiscitarian populism rather than a direct or participatory democracy
exercised through the ancient principle of the agora.
But it seems that these two process are hybridizing each other, and from the political
realm is emerging a reaction of the traditional political actors, the parties. On the one
hand, they are taking the distance from both, corruption and populism, on the other are
aiming to put in place those structural reforms who leaded the country in the actual


situation through political channels conceiving plural interest, yet endeavoring to
maintain the international cooperation within Europe.



Course Literature
- George Ritzer and Todd Stillman (2003) - “Assessing McDonaldization,
Americanization and Globalization” in Ulrich Beck, Natan Sznaider and Rainer
Winter’s Global America? The cultural consequences of globalization.
- Paul Hopper (2007) - “Globalization and Global Culture” in Understanding
Globalization, Polity.
- George Ritzer (2010) - “Structuring global economy”; “Global economic flows”;
Global political structure and processes” “Global culture and cultural flows”; in
Globalization, the essentials, Wiley-Blackwell.
- Edward Best and Thomas Christiansen - “Regionalization in international affairs.” in
John Baykis, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens’ The Globalization of World Politics,
Oxford University Press .
- Ngaire Woods (2011) International Political Economy in an Age of Globalization in
John Baylis &, Steve Smith (eds.) The Globalization of World Politics, Oxford
University Press.

External Literature and official statistics.
- Wendy Griswold (2005) - Sociologia della cultura (Culture and societies in a changing
world), Il Mulino.
- Paul Krugman (2012) - End This Depression Now!, W. W. Norton & Company.
- Gini-Growing inequalities’ impact 2013, Italy. (

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