'The book is an exploration, on both theoretical and empirical grounds, into the nature and the transformation of the state in the neoliberal era. Nowadays, a widespread crisis of legitimation affects the institutions and authority of the state; similarly, and especially after the Great Crisis of 2008 to present, the European project is increasingly questioned by populist and neo-nationalist forces, which politically advance in the state and society, and promote further coercive-oriented reconfiguration of state powers and apparatus. The ‘nationalist international’, the ‘new populists’ and/or the ‘rise of new international fascism’ are questions on the verge of international scholarship and political debate. However, many of these studies often miss the specificity and critical importance of the study of the state and of state (institutional and ideological) powers; even more importantly, the phenomenon of populism/neo-authoritarianism is interpreted by the mainstream as a clear break with traditional centrist parties, with the result of neglecting the past authoritarian tendencies that accompany the entire history of neoliberalism.
This book aspires to be a guide for political activist and policy-makers: specifically, by showing how the state is of critical importance to the making of neoliberalism in institutional and cultural terms, it also aims to rethink the state as the arena of politics and, accordingly, as the key site to promote alternatives to neoliberalism
Adriano Cozzolino is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Political Science Department "Jean Monnet", Università della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli".
List of Figures
2. The State and its Transformations: An Unfolding Debate
3. The Integral State and its Transformations in the Global Political Economy: An Alternative Approach
4. A Difficult Republic: Italy from the ‘Economic Miracle’ to the Neoliberal Order
5. The Discursive Construction of the Neoliberal State in Italy
6. The Rise of the Executive State and the Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy
7. Society, Territory, Politics: Understanding Contemporary Crises in Italy
8. Conclusions: State Transformations, Decline of Democracy and Neoliberal Organic Crisis
Cozzolino offers a compelling analysis of the transformations of the Italian state over the past decades. It is must reading for all those interested in understanding the complex relationship between political and market power.
Since the 1970s and the onset of neoliberalism, democratic states have been fundamentally transformed. In a masterful analysis of the Italian case, Adriano Cozzolino successfully unravels the internal relations between neoliberalism and state transformation and the way intensified capitalist exploitation has resulted in a fundamental crisis of liberal democracy. A must-read for everyone interested in the future of democracy as a rule by the people for the people.
State theory has become more relevant than ever - in this book Adriano Cozzolino shows us why. Neoliberal Transformations of the Italian State offers an in-depth, accessible state theoretical perspective that holds the key for making sense of the crises in and of capitalism. Clearly written, and with remarkable historical-empirical depth, Cozzolino’s book is an indispensable analysis for anyone seeking to understanding contemporary Italy.