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From Mussolini to Berlusconi: Masculinity and Political Leadership in Post-war Italy

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The Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Political Culture in Europe

Abstract

Little scholarly consideration has been given to the relationship between masculinity and political leadership in twentieth-century Italy, despite many striking examples of male leadership. This article examines how masculine leadership was rendered normative in the post-war republic, despite the enfranchisement of women and the growth of mass catch-all parties. The influence of traditional and fascist emphases on virility persisted in practices which confined women to marginal political roles. Nevertheless, although certain continuities are apparent, for example, between Mussolini and Silvio Berlusconi, the post-war decades witnessed significant innovations in the political uses of the male body and the public standing of leaders. The rising influence of women and sexual minorities since the 1990s suggests that male leadership is no longer as secure as it once was.

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Correspondence to Stephen Gundle .

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Gundle, S. (2018). From Mussolini to Berlusconi: Masculinity and Political Leadership in Post-war Italy. In: Fletcher, C., Brady, S., Moss, R., Riall, L. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Political Culture in Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-58538-7_20

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-58538-7_20

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-137-58537-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-137-58538-7

  • eBook Packages: HistoryHistory (R0)

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