last few decades anti-politics - that is, the discourse of
leaders who oppose the political establishment and accuse
it of paralysis, ineptitude, and corruption - has spread so
widely that it now seems an almost "normal" feature
of democracy. This leads one to wonder -- as Donatella Campus
does in this volume - whether anti-politics is a mere exercise
in demagogy or can become a tangible tool of government, a
means for transforming the political system. In the latter
case, fundamental qualities of an anti-political stance are
the ability to use mass media, especially television, as a
platform for fostering citizens' identification with a strong,
effective leadership. The author's analysis is based on a
comparison of three leaders - De Gaulle, Reagan, and Berlusconi
- who, initially defined as outsiders, went on to play major
roles in government and deeply affect their respective countries'
politics. The book leads the reader to a deeper understanding
of the phenomenon of anti-politics and supplies an overview
of Silvio Berlusconi's political career in order to gauge
his, actual or alleged, exceptional nature.
Donatella Campus teaches Political Science at the University
of Bologna (Forlì Campus).