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European Parties and the European Integration Process, 1945–1992


Edited By Lucia Bonfreschi, Giovanni Orsina and Antonio Varsori

The present volume brings together three different traditions of historical study: national politics, European integration, and political parties. Since the 1980s, there has been an enlargement of the scope of political history. This attempt to transcend national boundaries can intersect with the new strands of European integration history, paying much more attention to transnational perspectives and forces. The chapters comprised in this book attempt to forge a dialogue between these new methodologies and the study of political parties in manifold ways. Firstly, in the study of party foreign and European politics – how parties have perceived themselves as belonging not only to the national political game, but also to a wider transnational, and European one. Secondly, party history can transcend national boundaries through the study of international and European party cooperation. Thirdly, it can offer worthwhile avenues of study on how political families deal with European integration not along ideological cleavages but along national ones. This volume fills a crucial gap of European historiography by comparing parties’ discourses/platforms/policies on European integration and by developing national, comparative and transnational approaches.
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Political History of a Cultural Heritage. The Ex-“Azionisti” and the Idea of Europe in Italian Political Parties


Political History of a Cultural Heritage

The Ex-“Azionisti” and the Idea of Europe in Italian Political Parties


Leverhulme Trust visiting fellow, Kingston University, London


The history of the Partito d’Azione (Action Party) is actually limited to just a few years (1942-1947). But its impact regarding Italian politico-cultural events went well beyond its chronological boundaries, spanning a number of the decades that followed. Thanks to their strong intellectual background and their links with major periodicals, publishing houses and universities of the time, the ex-Azionisti frequently became opinion makers, spreading their influence into both institutional political life and civil society. This specific phenomenon has been labeled as “azionismo culturale” (cultural Azionismo) in order to underline the mainly intellectual dimension of a formerly political experience.1 The present contribution deals with some specific aspects of the history of the Azionismo, by following the personal trajectories of some of the major ex-Azionisti relative to their engagement with creating a European Federation. In particular, this article focuses on the interaction between the ex-Azionisti and the political parties that they were members of or collaborators with after the Action Party’s dissolution. The traditional approach to studies on the post-Azionismo – analysing the cultural influence of an unachieved militant experience – is reversed here in order to get to the institutional and political implications of an intellectual and cultural attitude whose Europeanism was a very benchmark. ← 175 | 176 →

In fact, European Federalism was one...

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