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Title: Politics and ideology : a reassessment of the nature of the PCI's Communist identity
Author: Vatalaro, G.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis consists of the reconstruction of the history of the Italian Communist party (PCI) from the ideological standpoint, and is especially focused on the period between 1944 and 1984. For this purpose, a neutral definition of ideology, as an instrument of political analysis, has been used. The aim of this work is to show that when the PCI’s strategy and organisation, rather than assessed as ‘self-standing’ entities, are analysed in the light of the values and ultimate goals shaping the party’s Communist identity, it is possible to argue that the PCI’s leadership, at least until the late Seventies/early Eighties, was concretely committed to a struggle for hegemony aimed at a ‘transition to Socialism’ which was irreconcilable with both the Soviet and the social-democratic models. The erosion of the Communist identity of the party started only in the early Eighties and reached a point of no return in 1983. This conclusion is clearly in conflict with the dominant scholarship regarding the PCI’s history either as dominated by an indissoluble ‘iron link’ with the Soviet Union (‘Iron-Link’ theory), or as a slow but constant process of evolution towards the adherence to the liberal values of pluralism (‘Evolutionary’ theory). In reality, I argue that the vision of Socialism which the PCI was pursuing was that emerging from Gramsci’s Quaderni del Carcere, which, in the early part of the thesis, has been analysed with an emphasis on its ideological rather than strategic and organisational components. Yet, in order not to mistake the PCI’s post-war struggle for hegemony, for ‘duplicity’, ‘consociationalism’ or social-democratisation, it has been necessary to reconsider its most significant stages within the theoretical framework of the process of the capitalist ‘colonisation of the lifeworld’, according to a macro-analytical approach to history based on Gramsci’s notion of historical materialism and Habermas’ theory of communicative action.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available