Abstract and Keywords
The political revolution that took place in Italy at the start of the 1990s unfolded in five phases. It started with a corruption scandal centred on Milan; it then spread to the national level where it intertwined with Bettino Craxi’s Socialist Party. Efforts to expose the link between corruption and party financing brought down not just the Socialists but others as well. Soon the whole political elite was in jeopardy: prominent politicians began committing suicide and voters shunted their support to alternative political groupings. The result was to create an opportunity for Silvio Berlusconi, who sought not only to achieve political prominence but also to shut down investigations into his own family’s finances. Ultimately, the Milan magistrates became entangled in the resulting politics both as active participants and as targets of scandal. The lasting impact has been to underscore the institutional embeddedness of political corruption in Italy.
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