Monday, September 10, 2018

(Re-)Public Diplomacy: Silvio the Storyteller

  • Emidio Diodato 
  • Federico Niglia
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Berlusconi’s own narrative, which is confirmed and amplified by the sub-narrative of Forza Italia’s party members and MP, had its cornerstone in personal diplomacy. For Berlusconi the making of foreign policy meant, first and foremost, “mediatization” of international affairs. Mediatization is not just the rhetorical use of summits and international meetings to increase the domestic prestige. For Berlusconi each international problem was something that had to be presented and explained to the Italian people. The inclusion of the Italian people in the foreign policy discourse was the most ambitious and challenging part of Berlusconi’s foreign policy grand design. Center-right intellighenzia became fashioned with the myth of the strong man. Regardless of the many contradiction lying behind this attitude, many intellectuals started to express in favor of a stronger international leadership and to celebrate the ability of Berlusconi to reach solutions that slow, bureaucratic and inefficient organizations were unable to achieve.

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