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A DISREGARD for the law is one of the challenges facing Italy today. Evidence suggests that a weak civic sense is one of the causes of this phenomenon. Often, and in many differing contexts and situations, Italians seem to place their own immediate advantage above the common interest. The state is viewed as an antagonist, or even as an enemy, rather than the expression of the common good. This attitude is presumably based in part upon the conviction that the state itself is far from being a law-abiding counterpart. The fact that what belongs to the public sphere is looked upon with skepticism, if not with open contempt, can be attributed to a number of factors.

One is the existence of an incompetent or corrupted central ...

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