295 research outputs found

    The "clean hands" (mani pulite) inquiry on corruption and its effects on the Italian Political System

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    O presente artigo apresenta um levantamento dos principais efeitos do inquérito judicial sobre a corrupção na Itália (especificamente a “Operação Mãos Limpas”) e os escândalos no sistema político e partidário do país. Alguns dados sobre a evolução e os alcances da Operação Mãos Limpas são brevemente expostos. Foca-se a atenção nas consequências políticas de tal escândalo em termos da deslegitimação e a consequente crise de liderança das figuras políticas, dos partidos e do sistema político como um todo. Assim, é uma exposição breve sobre as “lições” da Operação Mãos Limpas – o que não funcionou nos mecanismos políticos, institucionais e sociais que deveriam ter evitado a instauração da corrupção sistêmica. Finalmente, são analisadas, no longo prazo, as principais desvantagens desta investigação judicial como, por exemplo, a carreira política do midiático Berlusconi, ele mesmo processado por crimes de corrupção, incrementando dramaticamente o conflito institucional entre o poder político e o poder judiciário.The article offers a survey of the main effects of judicial inquiry on corruption in Italy (the “mani pulite” inquiry) and scandals on the political and party system. Some data on the evolution and achievements of the inquiry mani pulite are briefly offered, then focusing on the political consequences of the scandal in terms of delegitimization and consequent crisis of leading political figures, parties, and the political system as a whole. There is then a brief focus on the “lesson” of mani pulite – what did not work in political, institutional and societal mechanisms that should have provided a shelter against systemic corruption. Finally, the main long-term drawbacks of the judicial inquiry are analysed, e.g. the political career of the media tycoon Berlusconi, who was himself prosecuted for corruption crimes, with a dramatic increase of the institutional conflict between the political and the judicial power

    Systemic corruption and disorganized anticorruption in Italy: governance, politicization, and electoral accountability

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    This paper provides, trough different indicators, empirical evidence on the presumably high relevance of corruption in Italian politics and administration, providing an explanation of how this “obscure” side of Italian politics – a pervasive market for corrupt exchanges – has found its way to regulate its hidden activities within an informal institutional framework, i.e. systemic corruption. A general theoretical framework for the analysis of limits and “windows of opportunity” in Italian anticorruption policies will then be provided, crossing the degree of salience and politicization of corruption issue to explain how in different periods such variables shaped such policy arena. Finally, it will be shown how occasionally this dark side of Italian politics clashed with the clean side of politics, focusing on the reasons of the weak political accountability of Italian politicians involved in corruption scandals in the last decades

    Challenges in the study of corruption: approaches and policy implications / Desafios no estudo da corrupção: abordagens e implicações políticas

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    Abstract: In the last decades a chain of scandals fuelled a growing popular awareness of the relevance of corruption as an hidden factor which may negatively affect political and economic decision-making in public policies – in terms of growing ineffectiveness and inequality – not only in less developed and authoritarian regimes, but also in advanced capitalist democracies. This article offers a critical review of the three main theoretical paradigms of analysis of corruption, the economic, cultural and neo-institutional approach, focusing on the latter. A typology provides a general scheme of interpretation of the “institutional” equilibria within systemic corruption, which may provide also a guide for anticorruption policies. Reversing the neoliberal logic which recommends a reduction of the State’s role, popular mobilization from below can be considered as the potentially most effective anticorruption strategy in order to break down the robust equilibria of systemic corruption, increasing politicians’ responsiveness to the public expectation of stronger integrity in the public sphere.keywords: corruption, anticorruption policy, bottom-up mobilization, neo-institutionalism, principal-agent, neoliberal paradigmResumo: Nas últimas décadas uma série de escândalos impulsionou o crescimento popular da consciência quanto à relevância da corrupção como um fator escondido que afeta negativamente as decisões políticas e econômicas – tomadas em sede de políticas públicas – em termos de um aumento da ineficácia e desigualdade – não apenas em regimes autoritários e subdesenvolvidos, mas também em avançadas democracias capitalistas. Esse artigo oferece uma revisão crítica dos três principais paradigmas teóricos de análise da corrupção, o econômico, o cultural e a abordagem neoinstitucional, com foco no último. A tipologia fornece um esquema geral de interpretação do equilíbrio institucional dentro de uma corrupção sistêmica, que também pode prover guia para políticas anticorrupção. Revertendo a lógica neoliberal que recomenda a redução do papel do Estado, uma mobilização popular vindo de baixo pode  ser considerada como a estratégia anticorrupção potencialmente mais efetiva como meio de quebrar o robusto equilíbrio da corrupção sistêmica, aumentando a responsabilidade dos políticos perante as expectativas do público quanto a uma forte integridade na esfera pública.Palavras-chave: corrupção; políticas anticorrupção, mobilização de baixo para cima; neoinstitucionalismo; agente principal; paradigma neoliberal

    A hierarchical Bayesian model for inference of copy number variants and their association to gene expression

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    A number of statistical models have been successfully developed for the analysis of high-throughput data from a single source, but few methods are available for integrating data from different sources. Here we focus on integrating gene expression levels with comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) array measurements collected on the same subjects. We specify a measurement error model that relates the gene expression levels to latent copy number states which, in turn, are related to the observed surrogate CGH measurements via a hidden Markov model. We employ selection priors that exploit the dependencies across adjacent copy number states and investigate MCMC stochastic search techniques for posterior inference. Our approach results in a unified modeling framework for simultaneously inferring copy number variants (CNV) and identifying their significant associations with mRNA transcripts abundance. We show performance on simulated data and illustrate an application to data from a genomic study on human cancer cell lines.Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/13-AOAS705 the Annals of Applied Statistics (http://www.imstat.org/aoas/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    Una societĂ  scientifica contro le mafie

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    This contribution focuses on the role that SISMA, the learned society on mafias and anti-mafias, can play in the academic context. Three expected functions are emphasised: enhancing the interdisciplinary and potentially transdisciplinary matrix of research; deepening conceptual analysis as a prerequisite for grasping causal links with contiguous phenomena; the necessary link with anti-mafia policies, as the potential core for the creation of an epistemic community.Questo contributo si concentra sul ruolo che SISMA, la società scientifica di studi su mafie e antimafia, può svolgere nel contesto accademico. Se ne evidenziano tre possibili funzioni: valorizzare la matrice interdisciplinare e potenzialmente transdisciplinare della ricerca; approfondire l’analisi concettuale come premessa per cogliere i nessi causali con fenomeni ad essa contigui; il legame necessario con le politiche antimafia, quale potenziale nucleo costitutivo di una comunità epistemica

    Governance, politicization, and electoral accountability

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    TThis paper provides, trough different indicators, empirical evidence on the presumably high relevance of corruption in Italian politics and administration, providing an explanation of how this "obscure" side of Italian politics – a pervasive market for corrupt exchanges – has found its way to regulate its hidden activities within an informal institutional framework, i.e. systemic corruption. A general theoretical framework for the analysis of limits and "windows of opportunity" in Italian anticorruption policies will then be provided, crossing the degree of salience and politicization of corruption issue to explain how in different periods such variables shaped such policy arena. Finally, it will be shown how occasionally this dark side of Italian politics clashed with the clean side of politics, focusing on the reasons of the weak political accountability of Italian politicians involved in corruption scandals in the last decades

    Petrology and geochemistry of the back-arc lithospheric mantle beneath eastern Payunia (La Pampa, Argentina): evidence from Agua Poca peridotite xenoliths

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    This paper presents the results of new petrochemical studies carried out on mantle xenoliths hosted in Pleistocene basaltic rocks from the Agua Poca volcano in central-western Argentina. Mantle xenoliths studied are shown to be mainly anhydrous spinel lherzolites with minor amounts of harzburgite and banded pyroxenite, showing highly variable equilibrium temperatures ranging from 820°C to 1030°C at 1.0 to 2.0 GPa. This constitutes evidence that the mantle xenoliths are representative of a large portion of the lithospheric mantle column and that the geothermal gradient is not very elevated as reported in some other Patagonian provinces. Geochemical characteristics of clinopyroxene in the mantle xenoliths allow classification into two groups; Groups 1 and 2. Group 1 contains most of the lherzolites and has light-REE depletion, with slightly positive anomalies of Eu in some samples and extreme Nb and Ta depletion. Group 2 consists of two harzburgitic samples, has flat REE patterns with lower Sm to Lu concentrations, with enriched Sr and negative HFSE anomalies. Based on mineral and residua compositions estimated assuming equilibrium with clinopyroxenes, Group 1 can be considered to be refractory residua after up to 7%, non-modal, near-fractional melting of a spinel-facies Primitive Mantle. Group 2 can be considered to be after ca. 13% of partial melting. It is inferred that partial melting events in the lithospheric mantle beneath the Agua Poca occurred in different ages since the Proterozoic, but compared with Group 1, the metasomatic overprint is dominant in Group 2 mantle xenoliths. The calculated melt compositions from Group 2 are interpreted to be transient liquid compositions developed during melt-peridotite interaction, and are different from the host alkaline basalts. The HFSE-depleted composition estimated for the rising melt suggests the presence of a slab-derived component, although the possibility cannot be disregarded (on the basis of present data) that such a geochemical feature is due to segregation of HFSE-bearing minerals during the interaction with the peridotite. Thus, we attribute the metasomatic agent to a basaltic melt and to a minor amount of slab-derived fluids.Fil: Bertotto, Gustavo Walter. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra y Ambientales de La Pampa. Universidad Nacional de La Pampa. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra y Ambientales de La Pampa; ArgentinaFil: Mazzucchelli, Maurizio. Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia. Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche e Geologiche; ItaliaFil: Zanetti, Alberto. Università di Pavia. Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse; Italia. Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche; ItaliaFil: Vannucci, Riccardo. Università di Pavia. Dipartamento di Scienze della Terra; Itali

    The Secret Nexus. A case study of deviant masons, mafia, and corruption in Italy

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    This paper wishes to explore some characteristics of the relevant interconnections between mafias/mafiosi and masonic lodges/masons in the Italian context. The paper sets out to study these interconnections from a social science perspective rooted in sociological and neo-institutional studies of organised crime and mafias, but also in criminological approaches to social constructionism, in the form of symbols and narratives. We will present a case study to reflect on the roles that (deviant) masons can assume in contexts where both mafias’ and personal, political, or economic interests are at play. The case study shows how masonic alliances can augment networking and enforcing capabilities: we call this process masonic deviance amplification. Additionally, the case study confirms the constitutive power that narratives around the masonic world hold today in the Italian context

    Protection and Obedience Deviant Masonry, Corruption, and Mafia in Italy

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    The historical connection between Italian masonry and opaque interests of white-collar and institutional actors populates common representations of power in Italy. The P2 case contributed to shape an Italian collective representation of the role of the masonry as a locus where almost everything can be informally or illegally obtained by affiliates through the right connections, bribery, and blackmailing. Using a variety of resources, including case law, public inquiries, interviews, and media analysis, this paper will investigate the pathological dimension of potential interplays among deviant masons and political-institutional actors in a variety of cases from the P2 onwards. Marginally mafia organizations have also emerged in this interplay. We outline the actors, their resources, activities, and opportunities. We conclude by discussing how and why the willingness and the need of several powerful actors (including mafiosi) to find a “protected space” of extra-legal exchange, led them to create, seek, or enter masonic or para-masonic structures, able to provide governance of reciprocal needs and expectations

    Zeolite-based ceramic components through hydrothermal dry synthesis

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    Zeolites are three-dimensional, microporous, crystalline solids with well-defined structures that contain aluminum, silicon and oxygen in their regular framework. Zeolites are generally formed in strong alkali solution (Na, K) and in hydrothermal conditions. In this work, inorganic compacts were produced using an innovative approach, where kaolinite was directly converted into a zeolite structure through a hydrothermal synthesis without the addition of any water, and therefore in dry conditions. Zeolite-based components reinforced with fillers were also produced. XRD analyses were conducted to confirm the formation of the desired phase. Strength and microstructure were evaluated to optimize the composition of the composites. The zeolite-based components could replace fiber reinforced plastic in terms of thermal resistance. Moreover, this class of ceramic composites can be process with the same technology of thermosetting based composites. References: Davidovits J, Legrand J (1977). Process for agglomerating compressible mineral substances under the form of powder, particles or fibres. US4028454
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