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This book focuses on the politics of national identity in Italy. Only a unified country for just over 150 years, Italian national identity is perhaps more contingent than longer established nations such as France or the UK. The book investigates when, how and why the discussions about national identity and about immigration became entwined in public discourse within Italy. In particular it looks at the most influential voices in the debate on immigration and identity, namely Italian intellectuals, the Catholic Church, the Northern League and the Left. The methodological approach is based on a systematic discourse analysis of official documents, interviews, statements and speeches by representatives of the political actors involved. In the process, the author demonstrates that a 'normalisation' of intolerance towards foreigners has become institutionalised at the heart of the Italian state.