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About Geoff Andrews

Geoff Andrews is Senior Lecturer in Politics at The Open University. His new book, Shadow Man: James Klugmann, the Cambridge Spies and the Cold War, will be published by I.B.Tauris in 2015. 

Articles by Geoff Andrews

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Eric Hobsbawm and MI5

He was an increasingly isolated figure, regarded at the time with a contempt and hostility from some Party apparatchiks that exceeded even MI5 denunciations. 

The art of dissent: twenty years of philosophy football

For the last twenty years I have been organising Philosophy Football FC, a team which started with eleven ideologically sound players who had trouble defending inswinging corners.

Berlusconi's shadow: hope to fear

Silvio Berlusconi has survived ejection and scandal to return to the centre of Italian politics. But it is his opponents more than the man himself who carry the blame for his continuing influence, says Geoff Andrews.

Berlusconi's last stand

Italy's great survivor wants to become prime minister for the fourth time. The decision opens an intense electoral contest over the country's direction, says Geoff Andrews.

Hobsbawm’s legacy for Labour

Despite all the compliments, we are entitled to ask: what has Britain’s current Labour Party really learned from Eric Hobsbawm?

Brave New World reimagined

Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel Brave New World (1931) is acquiring fresh meanings in another era of crisis and pacifying solutions, says Geoff Andrews.

James Klugmann, a complex communist

An intellectual who spent his career inside Britain's communist party, and who was long regarded even by many of his comrades with a degree of pity, may seem an unlikely candidate for reappraisal. But the life of James Klugmann, who was born on 27 February 1912, was also intertwined with some of the 20th century's biggest themes and controversies: depression and fascism, war and communism, loyalty and betrayal, political commitment and moral courage. Geoff Andrews, who is writing Klugmann's biography, reflects on an influential yet haunted man.

Silvio Berlusconi's legacy

It is a month since Italy's long-term prime minister resigned. But his pervasive influence on Italy's public life and the infirmity of the country's political class mean that it is too early to call this the post-Berlusconi era, says Geoff Andrews.

August 1990: a very British coup

The slow implosion of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s was echoed in the internal divisions and crises that consumed its western associates. Indeed, the once influential Communist Party of Great Britain faced its own trauma exactly a year before the attempted coup against Mikhail Gorbachev. Geoff Andrews recalls the moment when new-times became end-times.  

Italy beyond Berlusconi: the "normal" solution

Italy’s opposition has wounded Silvio Berlusconi. But it is still far from removing the prime minister - and even further from healing Italian democracy. Here, the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn offers important lessons, says Geoff Andrews.

The new food movement: politics and pleasure

The emergent movements around the politics of food are a vital component of debates on the planet’s future, says Geoff Andrews.

Italy united, Italy divided: the nation at 150

Italy’s official celebration of its founding moment finds the country in a dark mood and a long way from home. Geoff Andrews marks the moment and looks for signs of hope.

Berlusconi - and Italy - on trial

The new legal case against Italy's prime minister is also a test for a divided nation at a critical stage in its history, says Geoff Andrews.

Silvio Berlusconi: endgame, prolonged

A narrow confidence vote in Italy’s chamber of deputies extends the turbulent career of Italy’s scandal-ridden prime minister. But the corrosion of Italian democracy under “Berlusconismo” goes wider than one man, says Geoff Andrews.

Silvio Berlusconi: the long goodbye

Italy's prime minister is under severe domestic pressure after a fallout with his closest political ally. But a great political survivor still has room to manage his exit strategy, says Geoff Andrews.

Silvio Berlusconi: culture bites politics

A successful, intimidating prime minister has moulded Italy’s public life in his own image. A fearful, supine opposition is paralysed by his achievement. But there is one source of hope, says Geoff Andrews.    

Beyond Berlusconi: ten questions to Italy’s opposition

Italy’s economy and polity are in perennial trouble, but its prime minister Silvio Berlusconi survives every blow. All the more reason to scrutinise Italy's opposition, says Geoff Andrews.

Bettino Craxi’s legacy, Italy's misery

The commemoration of a discredited Italian prime minister exemplifies the political decadence at the country’s heart, says Geoff Andrews.

Silvio Berlusconi: the last battle

The Italian prime minister's attacks on the constitutional court, the president, media critics and political enemies reflect the range of pressures he faces. The fate of his "postmodern populism" is in the balance, says Geoff Andrews.

(This article was first published on 13 October 2009)

Who’s afraid of Silvio Berlusconi?

The lack of a serious opposition is a political lifeline for Italy’s scandal-drenched prime minister, says Geoff Andrews. 

(This article was first published on 27 July 2009)

Italy and the G8: voices from L'Aquila

The earthquake-shattered Italian town chosen to host the G8 summit is also the site of a passionate citizens’ protest against Silvio Berlusconi and for justice, reports Geoff Andrews.

Berlusconi’s scandal, Italy’s tragedy

The Italian prime minister's corrosion of the country’s public life means that even his departure would offer Italy no clear route to renewal, says Geoff Andrews.

Silvio Berlusconi: answers, please

There is rising international concern over the conduct of Italy’s premier, says Geoff Andrews.

Silvio Berlusconi: ten more questions

The private and public behaviour of Italy’s prime minister is under intense scrutiny. A leading Italian newspaper has asked him for an explanation. Geoff Andrews adds to its list of queries with ten of his own.

Italy’s creeping fascism

The political use of a medical tragedy is the latest episode in Italy's alarming regression, says Geoff Andrews.

Roberto Saviano: an Italian dissident

The author of "Gomorrah" - a fearless anatomy of the Naples mafia - is willing to risk his own life to expose a modern criminal-business empire, says Geoff Andrews. 

Italy’s hour of darkness

The third coming of Silvio Berlusconi is bad news for Italy, for Europe and for democracy, says Geoff Andrews.

Italy: the ungovernable nation

A close election campaign in a troubled Italy highlights the country's need to break with the Silvio Berlusconi era, says Geoff Andrews.

Italy's governing disorder

The collapse of Italy's centre-left government is far more than just another political crisis, says Geoff Andrews.

Italy: another false dawn

Walter Veltroni promises a new era of political reform in Italy led by the modernising centre-left. Hmm, says Geoff Andrews.

Bologna's lesson for London

The northern Italian city of Bologna, hit by terrorists in August 1980, memorialised as well as mourned. London could take heart from its response, says Geoff Andrews.

(This article was first published on 2 August 2005)

Walter Veltroni: Italy’s man for all seasons

Italy's hopes of political reform depend on the emerging leader of the centre-left, says Geoff Andrews.

Romano Prodi's fragile centre

The crisis surrounding Italy's centre-left prime minister casts a bleak light on efforts to reform the country's weak and battered polity, says Geoff Andrews.

The strange case of Mario Scaramella

The elusive figure of Mario Scaramella is at the heart of the story of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian intelligence official murdered by radiation poisoning in London. The man and the case are mesmerising Italy, reports Geoff Andrews.
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