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Memoria e Ricerca

The «Moral question» and the end of the Italian first Republic: crisis and scandals (1992-1994)

di Jean-Louis Briquet
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 32 (2009), p. 27

According to the standard thesis, the political crisis in Italy between 1992 and 1994 and the collapse of the Christian Democrat regime are related to the revelation of corruption of the political elite by the judiciary. However, judicial revelations and corruption scandals have regularly occurred in Italy, before and after this crisis, without provoking a drastic political change and the reject of the political system by the electorate. Considering this paradox, the article suggests an alternate account of the 1992-1994 events that underline the way in which the political competition had been affected by the scandals: the moral crusades against corruption had in this period a political impact because they had been relayed and supported by emerging political actors in order to challenge the established elites and to claim a leading role in reshaping the political system.