Resurrections and Rebirths: How the Risorgimento Shaped Modern Italian Politics

Rosario Forlenza, Bjørn Thomassen

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The Risorgimento was the process of independence and unification of the Italian nation between 1848 and 1860, and has remained a powerful symbol of Italian politics ever since. Elaborating on Jan Assmann’s concept of cultural memory, the article discusses the Risorgimento at crucial moments in twentieth-century Italian politics: the 1911 anniversary of unification, the elaboration of the Risorgimento during fascism, the re-appropriation of the Risorgimento by the left and by the Resistance during the 1930s and 1940s, the general semantic space carved by the post-war democratic forces on both right and left with reference to the Risorgimento, and the sudden return to the memory of the Risorgimento in the 1990s and afterwards. The aim of the article is to understand both continuities and changes in the reference to the Risorgimento in twentieth-century political discourse, and to put into perspective Italy’s ‘particular’ road to modernity within a comparative European frame.
TidsskriftJournal of Modern Italian Studies
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)291-313
Antal sider24
StatusUdgivet - 21 jun. 2017

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