Progetti di ricerca

La rivoluzione italiana: immagini e percezione della transizione italiana (1989-1994)

The Italian revolution: images and perceptions of Italy’s transition (1989-1994)

Ambito disciplinare Macroarea 3

Area scientifica Area 16 - Scienze politiche e sociali

Tipologia finanziamento B.I.R.D. - Budget Integrato per la Ricerca dei Dipartimenti

Tipo di progetto Nazionale

Stato progetto Aperto

Responsabilità scientifica Coordinatore

Data avvio: 16 November 2020

Data termine: 15 May 2023

Durata: 30 mesi

Importo: € 15.000,00


Lorenzo Mechi

Olga Dubrovina

Emidio Diodato

Alessandro Giacone

Fabio Masini

Federico Niglia

Luca Ratti

Pablo Del Hierro

Mark Gilbert

Eirini Karamouzi

Marzia Maccaferri

Principal investigator:

Giulia Bentivoglio


The early 1990s opened a new era for Italy. The changing global scenario affected both the domestic and the international scene: with the end of the bipolar order, Italy was no longer the southern-eastern boundary of the free world. In the meantime, a revolution took place in the Italian political system: the Italian case is extreme in this sense as it is the only country in Western Europe where old parties have been completely eradicated. Thus, Italy experienced the collapse of its political system, in a way that was singularly more like the countries of the former communist bloc rather than to its partners in Western Europe. The end of the Cold War and the radical transformation of the Italian political system born in the aftermath of the Second World War cannot be considered as separate events. On the contrary, they are inextricably linked: it is difficult to understand the disappearance of the so-called “First Republic” without taking into account the massive changes that characterised the European continent between the late 1980s and early 1990s.
This research project fills this gap by studies the role that Italy played in the global scenario and how such a role was perceived by her major partners. Bringing into the picture both sides of the national and international scenes, with the availability of freshly released primary sources from the main European archives, this project aims at reconstructing Italy’s image as a global actor in the early 1990s.



The project has three main aims:

1. It investigates how Italy was perceived as an international actor in the changing post-Cold War global scenario.

2. It researches extensively and comparatively whether the Italian crisis of the early 1990s was regarded by contemporaries as a revolution and if and how it affected Italy’s international stance both at the bilateral and European/multilateral level.

3. It develops interpretative frameworks and new understanding which promise to deepen and innovate our comprehension of a pivotal moment of Italian history, in the broader context of post-Cold war global change.

Piano delle attività:

This project will create an interdisciplinary start-up team, where different expertise and methodology will combine to pursue common research interests. The research will be carried out by a group of scholars made of historians of international relations, contemporary historians, political scientists, economic historians. Moreover, the project aims to establish a network of scholars from various countries (Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands) who have never worked together in the past, which will serve as the basis for further projects at European level.
Merging different approaches, this innovative project will shed lights on Italy as an international actor in the changing post-Cold War global scenario, trying to overcome and give a new meaning to the continuous dichotomy between the actual and perceived role of Italy, between aspirations and stereotypes, between reality and image.
The project will use different levels of analysis: bilateral and multilateral relations, European integration process, the wider context of the European role in the international scenario. This project does not mean to limit its focus on diplomatic relations but will provide for an analysis of economic, political, cultural, non-governmental and security issues that contributed to shaping Italy's international role and the relationships with her major Allies in the period under consideration.
The international character of the research project and the ambition at the dissemination of the results in the international scholarly environment will be guaranteed by some aspects of the research, as well as by some of its mid-term steps. Among the concrete results in the 2-year project execution period, the organisation of regular meetings and a final conference. These events will allow the most concrete results of the research to be delivered to the scientific community; the final papers will be published in an edited book by an international publisher.