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Berlusconi, Silvio (1936–)

Silvio Berlusconi, an Italian self-made media tycoon and the richest man in Italy, entered politics and became prime minister in 1994 and 2001. He epitomizes the modernization of Italy's politics and political communication. Following the collapse of the old political class in 1992 to 1993 that had ruled the country since the end of World War II, Berlusconi decided to enter into the political arena by creating a brand-new party, Forza Italia. This party filled the vacuum in the center-right political spectrum, and in the general elections of 1994, with a new majoritarian electoral law, won an unexpectedly large support. His victorious bid was backed by an unprecedented television campaign to launch the new party and by a well-designed marketing strategy. He relied on his ...

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