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Presidenzialismo e rappresentanza

Numero 8

Estate/Autunno 1996 - Anno III

enlightened Il sistema politico USA: presidenzialismo e rappresentanza

enlightened Umanisti in rete: intervista con J. Hillis Miller 

enlightened Saggi su: Ashbery, Poe


Presidenzialismo e rappresentanza

Il presidenzialismo statunitense: un bilancio storico ed istituzionale – pag. 4

Sergio Fabbrini

American presidentialism is the historical outcome of an institutional transformation of a government system based on a separation of powers. An American presidential system as such does not exist. The American government is organized around a shifting power relationship between the president and Congress. For about one century and a half (from the founding of the federal republic to the 1930s), that power relationship was in favour of the Congress (hence the definition of the American government as a “congressional government”),and after that period the same power relationship shifted in favor of the president (hence the definition of the American government as a “presidential government”). Although at this point the pre-eminence of the president seems irreversible, the constraints of the separation of powers are still effective. These constraints, combined with a government quasi-permanently divided along party lines made it very difficult for the president to play his preeminence vis à vis the Congress. In sum, for those who look for effective government, in the United States presidentialism is the problem, not the solution.

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La presidenza moderna e i partiti politici all'elezione del 1936 – pag. 20

Maurizio Vaudagna

This essay contests the interpretation that after the 1936 election the New Deal concentrated on institutional reforms rather than on social reforms. The strong presidency built after the 1936 landslide victory was not simply a neutral nonpartisan institution; rather, Roosevelt remained the leader of a partisan government. Parties became increasingly national organizations for partisan politics between 1932-1948. The model of a neutral central administration of the 1950s was not inherited from the New Deal.

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Una repubblica di proprietari? Sistemi elettorali e partecipazione al voto negli Stati Uniti nell'età del suffragio universale maschile (1820-1930) – pag. 30

Arnaldo Testi

The conventional history of the franchise in the United States in its first century of democratic life is a narrative of inclusion and progress. The extension of voting rights, however, is only part of the story. Voting rights are important to define the legal preconditions to electoral participation, but they tell nothing about the social, cultural, political, and institutional processes by which eligible voters became actual voters, processes that were neither automatic nor irreversible. American democracy in the twentieth century stands witness to such reversibility. In the 1920s, exactly when eligibility qualifications had reached maximum expansion by the inclusion of women, electoral participation plummeted, producing the contemporary demobilized, class-skewed electorate. “Progressive” celebrations of suffrage enlargement conceal the fact that restrictive forces have always been active in American politics. Historically, the politics of exclusion have interacted with the politics of inclusion, with important effects on the shape of the electorate well before the turnout crisis of the 1920s. By then exclusion was so massive, and so socially stratified, that the United States was again a “republic of property owners”, like at the historical and mythical beginning of its national history.

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Dinamiche elettorali e crisi di rappresentatività dell'odierno sistema politico statunitense – pag. 43

Stefano Luconi

Following a steady decline in turnout and partisanship, a dealignment thesis has replaced the realignment theory in the analysis of contemporary U.S. politics. The pursuit of white middle-class voters by both major parties has made them subdue policy differences, has insulated minorities from the decision-making process, and has encouraged the volatility of the partisan alignment in referendum-like elections by which a shrinking cohort of the eligible voters, unrepresentative of the broader society, confines itself to supporting or rejecting the record of the incumbent candidates.

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Simulacri, ometti, supermen e computer: come la fantascienza racconta i presidenti americani – pag. 51

Daniele Barbieri
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Presidenti di celluloide (1962-1996) – pag. 59

Luisa Martinelli
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Umanisti in rete. Intervista con J. Hillis Miller – pag. 65

Daniele Fiorentino, Anna Scannavini

J. Hillis Miller converses about the tasks that confront scholars in the current reshaping of the humanities in the US. The problems of having to shift from English to American literature as the center of national liberal education; the emergence of American studies and of the consciousness of difference; the current surge of cultural studies; are considered in the light of their meaning both in terms of teaching responsibility, and in terms of research instrumentalities and methodology. The new textual technologies brought about by CD-roms and audiovisual computer aids, or by computer archives, or by internet, are reflected upon in their connection with what seems to be an irreversible process of “peripheralization” of the humanities and of their canon in the American universities.

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Testo a fronte

Due poesie di John Ashbery – pag. 70

Barbara Gastaldello, Edward Lynch
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Le trasformazioni (traduzioni, tradizioni e tradimenti) di Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson (e altri) in John Ashbery – pag. 74

Edward Lynch

This paper discusses two poems by John Ashbery, “Paradoxes and Oxymorons” and “Light Turnouts”, and the problems faced when translating them. After pointing out the differences in the three published versions of “Paradoxes and Oxymorons”, its close resemblance to the last section of Whitman’s “Song of Myself” is examined. Ashbery’s poem’s emphasis on the “you” (both subject and object) is discussed in comparison with Whitman’s focus on the “I”. “Light Turnouts” is examined in connection with Emily Dickinson’s poem 670 (“One need not be a house...”).

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"Imitative propensities": mimesi e schiavitù negli scritti di Poe – pag. 81

Tommaso Giartosio

Indirect representation of slavery in the works of Edgar Allan Poe is not limited to some obvious stagings of racial strife, such as that in Pym. Poe connects the question of the political acceptability of slavery with the Romantic rejection of traditional notions of literary mimesis. In texts dealing with the theme of failed imitation, the imitative gesture is an act of obedience at once required (from the slave) and blamable (in the artist). The slave’s ability to repeat the master’s gestures is either confirmed and indicted, or denied and punished. Special attention is given to The Murders in the Rue Morgue, Marginalia, Maelzel’s Chess-Player, A Descent into the Maelstrom, The Raven, and William Wilson, each positing a different solution to the dilemmas of slavery.

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