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The Five Faces of Silvio Berlusconi: The Knight of Anti-politics

  • Gianfranco Pasquino

Between 1994 and 2006 Berlusconi has been the dominant figure of Italian politics. Following his electoral defeat in the April 2006 elections, it is possible to begin an initial evaluation of the many roles he has played as well as to assess his overall accomplishments in politics. This article focuses on five roles—party builder, coalition maker, institution builder, Prime Minister, and opinion leader. The article briefly explores Berlusconi's achievements and inadequacies and attempts to explain the reasons for his failures. Because Berlusconi has been unable fundamentally to institutionalize his politics and to reform Italian institutions, the article comes to the conclusion that his legacy will be of limited duration. All this notwithstanding, Berlusconi's political trajectory may not yet have reached its conclusion.

Corresponding author
Correspondence to: Gianfranco Pasquino, Johns Hopkins University (Bologna Center), Via Belmeloro, 11, 40126 Bologna, Italy. Email:
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Modern Italy
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