The book provides an in-depth insight into the contemporary social reality of Slovenes living in Italy and analyses the development of this community along historical milestones from the fall of the Berlin Wall, the establishment of the Republic of Slovenia, its democratisation and subsequent accession to the European Union. The monograph represents an international recognition of its already published Italian edition (Una comunità nel cuore dell’Europa. Gli sloveni in Italia dal crollo del Muro di Berlino alle sfide del terzo millennio, Carocci editore, 2016) and Slovene edition (Skupnost v središču Evrope. Slovenci v Italiji od padca Berlinskega zidu do izzivov tretjega tisočletja, ZTT and SLORI, 2017). Particular attention is paid to the social and economic changes that have taken place in the Slovene minority over the past twenty-five years, resulting from new political circumstances related to specific local and international events and new life challenges that the community has faced due to the particular manner of its integration into its environment.
The editorial work was conducted by researchers Norina Bogatec and Zaira Vidau with the assistance of other members of the editorial board, which consisted of experts in the field of national and linguistic communities. The chapters were written by researchers, academics and experts in various sciences, some also representatives of the communities with which Slovenes in Italy engage in intercultural and cross-border activities: representatives of the Italian majority community and Friulian speakers from FVG, as well as Slovene and Italian communities in Slovenia and Croatia. The interdisciplinary approach of the research allowed for an in-depth and systematic evidence-based analysis and rich bibliographic material.