Xenophobia and racism, far from being extraordinary and impromptu phenomena attributable to solitary individuals, are social, structural, ordinary and systemic phenomena in which collective actors play a central role: institutions, parties and media operators, first and foremost. This contribution focuses on forms of political and institutional racism. After a brief methodological premise, the distinctive elements that have characterised the different phases of political history in recent years with reference to migration policies and the phenomenon of racism in our country are highlighted. The consolidation of the normative legitimacy of discrimination, xenophobia and racism in the two-year period 2008-2011 is followed by the parenthesis of the Monti Government’s diplomatic racism. The racism shouted by the right of opposition grew in the days of the Letta and Renzi governments. Two interior ministers of opposite political culture played a crucial role at the end of the decade: the institutional criminalisation of solidarity initiated with the Gentiloni Government became a system in the following two years, inaugurating a phase of institutional racism proclaimed in 2018-2019. The unexpected settlement of the Conte II Government seems to moderate the tone of the public debate again, but it does not subvert the security approach of migration policies that has been going on for the whole decade.
The contribution examines the stages and measures considered most significant over the last decade.