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date: 19 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Italy’s “Classe Dirigente,” its predominantly male and ageing ruling class, is made up of those at the apex of politics, academia, business, culture, entertainment, and law. Members of this class, defined as those 8,000 Italians who appear in the Who’s Who in Italy, are characterized by the sheer quantity of property and certified competence they possess, enabling them to have a disproportionate impact on public debate and single-handedly impact policy formulation. In the aftermath of Fascism, Italy’s ruling class was plagued by three sets of issues: the tight links between politics and business, the lack of internal cohesion, and the absence of a shared vision of Italy. These factors did not change after the Tangentopoli scandals, and to this day they undermine the ability of the “classe dirigente” to exercise hegemony and leadership.

Keywords: Classe Dirigente, Tangentopoli, Fascism, hegemony, leadership, ruling class

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