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p. 1Introductionlocked

  • Anna Cento Bull

Abstract

The ‘Introduction’ outlines the aims of this volume. It explores the country’s difficulties in developing and disseminating strong and credible national visions for a domestic and international audience, but also its extraordinary ability to seduce the world thanks to the ‘soft’ power of its culture and the ‘Made in Italy’ brand. It argues that its political class—with the exception of the fascist period—has tended to overcome internal divisions through ruling by consensus and relying on economic growth and prosperity to bind Italians together, explaining its current predicament. Finally, it probes the extent to which modernity still represents a shared vision among Italian intellectuals, political leaders and ordinary people.

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