Institutional alignment: The anniversary of Italy's 150 years of unity


  • I am grateful to Fulvia Serra for translation of this article from Italian.


This article introduces the concept of institutional alignment, referring to the contemporary convergence of a number of institutions (political, governmental, economical, clerical and media) working to hegemonize legitimate knowledge and privilege certain issues. In such instances institutions are called upon to align themselves in terms of narrative style, use of lexicon, symbolic array and, most importantly, the diffusion of a homogeneous and approved truth. Institutional alignment has been implemented in the last few years in Italy on a number of issues crucial to the ideological and economic preservation of the established order: the support for the wars conducted by the Italian armed forces under the guise of humanitarian intervention, especially during periods of patriotic mourning; the backing for the construction of large public infrastructural projects; the condemnation of what is labelled as ‘political violence’; the protection of policies said to generate ‘economic and financial stability’. The issue is illustrated with reference to the celebrations for the anniversary of Italy's 150 years of unity. The agencies involved in promoting a uniform representation in this context are examined. Finally, the frailty of the hegemonic grip is discussed.