PATTERNS OF UNCERTAINTY Security practices and quality of democracy in Italy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


For decades, questions about whether Italy can be deemed a paese normale (normal country) have concerned policymakers and analysts. The issue goes beyond every nation’s inherent tendency to think of – and actively (re)produce – itself as a unicum. The yearning for a way to finally be regarded as “normal” has been kept alive by a nagging concern about being left behind on the path towards progress that fellow European and non-European countries have seemed to walk down with comparative ease (Samuels 2003). At the same time, based on their analytical perspective and the specific aspect under scrutiny, a number of observers have come to different conclusions about whether Italy should or should not be regarded as a normal country (Andrews 2005; Newell 2010; Valbruzzi 2013). Finding traits of (ab)normality does not entail that the country has always been in every respect normal or otherwise – and neither that its status cannot more or less suddenly change, as appears to be the case with Italy over the last few years. In fact, we will identify a number of distinctive historical circumstances and structural features that have made Italy a noteworthy case as far as relationships between security and democracy are concerned.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Democracy and Security
EditorsElizabeth Francis, Eliot Assoudeh Leonard Weinberg
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • democracy, security, Italy


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