Chapter

Against All Fundamentalisms: The New Mediterranean

Franco Cassano

in Southern Thought and Other Essays on the Mediterranean

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780823233649
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241750 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823233649.003.0010
Against All Fundamentalisms: The New Mediterranean

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Italy became a unified State very late, in the second half of the nineteenth century (1859–1860), and the problem of national unity monopolized its political and cultural attention for a long time. It arrives to unity after an extremely long period of divisions, without an autonomous presence on the international scene, and very late with respect to the most powerful European countries, which, with the exception of Germany, had already spanned the previous centuries with the great ships of their national states, thus becoming colonial and imperial powers. Although it is situated in the center of the Mediterranean, Italy was forced to enact a foreign policy completely subordinated to Atlantic choices. This chapter explores Italy's relationship with the Mediterranean from the Unification of 1860 to the postwar economic miracle, focusing on the different construction of the Mediterranean by the governments of the liberal state, fascism, and the Republic, first as a sea of colonial and imperial conquest, later as the “anti-modern demon” that Republican Italy must overcome to fully participate in a Westernized vision of the world.

Keywords: Italy; Mediterranean; Unification; fascism; anti-modern demon; economic miracle; Republic; liberal state

Chapter.  7499 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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