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History and Democracy #4 - The law that closed the asylums. Italy. 1978



History and Democracy #4 - The law that closed the asylums. Italy. 1978

Fourth event in our series History and Democracy - The law that closed the asylums. Italy. 1978 - A talk by John Foot

This interdisciplinary series of seminars, hosted by the Italian Cultural Institute in London, and ideated curated by Royal Holloway, University of London’s historian Andrea Mammone, challenges the many superficial and demagogic readings of our complex contemporary era. It offers, instead, some more rounded interpretations of recent events, placing them in a global and long-term perspective. Following the very successful History Talks in 2017, this year’s topics include Euroscepticism, the health (and welfare) system, education, the role of religion, radicalisation, capitalism and neo-liberalism, the future of social democracy, corruption, and the media, among others.

In 1978 Italy was the first country to legislate to close down its psychiatric hospital system, with the famous ‘180 Law’. This closure – which took twenty years or so to enact – was the result of a movement for psychiatric reform led by the psychiatrist Franco Basaglia. This talk by Professor John Foot (Bristol University) discusses the genesis, meaning and history of this famous, controversial and pioneering law and its connection with the creation of Italy national health service. Basaglia claimed that the movement for change in the mental health care system was not just linked to mental illness, but part of a long struggle for democracy and the application of the constitution in Italy


John Foot is Professor of Modern Italian History in the Department of Italian, University of Bristol. His most recent publications include Modern Italy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and The Man who Closed the Asylums. Franco Basaglia and the Revolution in Mental Health Care (Verso, 2015) which came out in 2014 as La Repubblica dei Matti. Franco Basaglia e la psichiatria radicale in Italia, 1961-1978 (Feltrinelli).


Date: Thursday, February 22, 2018

Time: From 7:00 pm To 8:30 pm

Organized by : ICI London

Entrance : Free


ICI London