University of Pittsburgh
February 28, 2013

Pitt European Union Scholar Available to Comment on Italian Election Results and Broader Impact for Europe Economically and Politically

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The outcome of the recent Italian election surprised many observers, with former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right coalition gaining a significant share of the vote and comedian and activist Beppe Grillo’s “Five Star Movement” posting an unexpectedly strong showing. Of broader significance to many analysts, however, is Italian voters’ apparent rejection of the austerity measures taken in an attempt to prevent the failure of the euro across the European Union (EU).

University of Pittsburgh political science professor Alberta Sbragia, vice provost for graduate studies and former director of Pitt’s European Union Center for Excellence and European Studies Center, is available to comment on the Italian elections, the country’s political landscape, the economic factors underpinning the election results, and the election’s broader implications for the EU both politically and economically.

“Italy often represents an exaggerated version of what is going on in other European countries,” said Sbragia. “This reaction may well prefigure similar responses in other countries, such as Greece. It certainly is a reaction to austerity, but it is also a reaction to the breakdown of the traditional political parties in Italy.”

Sbragia is an expert on Western Europe and EU politics, and she has published widely in the fields of EU policy and governance, EU monetary policy, and comparative politics. She has served as a Fulbright Scholar in Italy, held the Jean Monnet Chair ad personam in recognition of teaching and research related to the EU, and was the inaugural holder of Pitt’s Mark A. Nordenberg University Chair. The author of several books, Sbragia also edited Euro-Politics: Politics and Policymaking in the “New” European Community (1992, Brookings Institution).

Sbragia may be reached at (412) 624-2137.