About James Walston

James Walston is associate professor of international relations at the American University of Rome. He blogs about Italian politics here and tweets @walstonjames.

Articles by James Walston

This week's editor

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Adam Ramsay is co-editor of OurKingdom.

Berlusconi's endless endgame

Following Berlusconi's recent conviction, the Italian Senate will vote this Wednesday to expel him from its ranks. But with Berlusconi's it's not over before it's over – and the Cavaliere is agitatedly fighting back.

Constitutional reform – the creeping transformation of Italy

In the summer lethargy, the Italian government is attempting to pass new constitutional amendments that would take power away from Parliament and concentrate it in the executive branch's hands. Public debate has been avoided, despite potentially dramatic consequences.

Italy: the equivocal calm between storms

After several candidates failed to be elected to the presidency, the Italian parliament gave an unprecedented second mandate to Giorgio Napolitano, the 87-year-old incumbent. Will this be enough to get Italy out of its political jam?

Tactics, polls and alliances in the Italian elections

As the Italian elections draw closer, all contestants have taken their places for the final straight. Yet, the final outcome of the race is as uncertain as ever.

Monti's move and the Italian game of politics

Two big announcements have shaken Italian politics up last week: with Monti's resignation and Berlusconi's comeback, a year of positioning on the Italian chessboard is rapidly moving towards a conclusion.

A spectacle, not an election: how Italians see the race

Italians do follow the presidential election, but they see it more as an entertaining race than as a scrutiny whose outcome might directly affect their daily lives.

All aboard the Monti bandwagon!

The Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Monti, has recently hinted that he might stay for a second term at the head of his mostly technocratic and nonpartisan government, on the condition of not having to face the voters in the upcoming election. But for how long will the consensus behind Monti hold?

Italy's other crisis

Italy's weak economy is visible to all, but there is a parallel crack in the system which is at least as dangerous to the country’s wellbeing and stability, undermining its very structures. It is a clash between the powers of the state; the law on one side and the executive and legislature (usually referred to as la politica) on the other.

Umberto Bossi resigns

Bossi, his family and close political allies had become more ‘southern’ and more ‘Roman’ than the real Romans and southerners.

Squealing parliamentarians

For years the majority of Italians tolerated the misbehaviour and legalised theft of their parliamentarians because they hoped to benefit from it as well. But no longer.

New Italians: Leadership in the immigrant communities

A recent seminar for future immigrant community leaders in Rome showed what a positive impact Italy's 'peaceful influx' might have, provided the language of the Northern League and other anti-immigrant elements can be kept at bay

Flames in Rome

Riots overshadowing the "Occupy Rome" protests last Saturday showed how utterly unprepared both organisers and the police were for a predictable hijacking of the protests, while the government continues to turn a blind eye to the root causes of the discontent.

Punching below its weight

The meeting in Rome of the Contact Group for Libya will expose the unreliability of Italy’s foreign policy

The risks of mayhem in Italy

Against background mutterings about global anarchism and agents provocateurs, Italian students protest against Italy’s university reform bill

Kosovo: the end of the beginning

After six years of stalemate, talks between Serbian and Kosovon Albanians on the future constitutional status of the disputed territory are imminent. James Walston, recently in Kosovo, assesses their likely outcome.
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