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Silvio Berlusconi, from Anti-politics Leader to 'Mayor of Italy'. Communication and Popularity Cycles
Have Italian voters effectively realigned with the centre-right? If so, is this why the Berlusconi government is still enjoying such high popularity months after the general election? True, Italian society is showing signs of increased conservatism, and until Obama’s outstanding success in the American presidential elections the general political trend seemed bound to favour the right. According to the author, however, it is fair to ask whether Berlusconi’s lasting popularity may not have been helped by his hefty investment in communication, the strategic element in a government model built on representation that is at once material and symbolic. Roncarolo’s conclusion is that a good strategy for Berlusconi, in symbolic response to the widespread demand for reassurance in the social sphere, would be to present himself as the ‘Mayor of Italy’. Not that the real governance of problems is a challenge that can be won on television.