Professor Paul Ginsborg on Italy
Presented by Margaret Throsby
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Professor Paul Ginsborg is Chair of Contemporary European History at the University of Florence. Born in Britain, he has lived in Italy since 1992 and now holds dual Italian/British citizenship.
Among his many works is a biography of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (2003), which reached the top of the Italian non-fiction bestseller charts, A history of contemporary Italy (1990), The Politics of Everyday Life (2005) and Italy and Its Discontents - Family, Civil Society, State (2006).
In recent years he has been at the forefront of Italian civil society's mobilisation in defence of democracy.
At Florence University he has gained a near-mythical status as a tireless teacher - he was also one of the two organisers of the 'rivolta dei professori' in 2001-2 in defence of the judicial system and the structures of Italian universities against the actions of the Berlusconi administration, a movement which at the time was one of the only effective counter-moves in the whole Italian political system against the activities of the government. He is a public figure in Italy as well as a definitive historical interpreter.
He is in Australia as a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights at the University of Sydney. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Sydney Democracy Initiative.