Tim Parks, a long-time British resident of Italy, says Italian identity is ultimately contrived—a fact which may preclude any unified stance on national issues from corruption to immigration. Looking as far back as the country's post-Roman Empire days of warring city-states, Parks says there is an ironic Italian spirit that champions subdivisions of society ahead of a national identity: "As a nation, Italians will strike temporary bargains among themselves, but they don't seek genuine conflict resolution. They seek to win, or at least not to lose, and so prefer to keep the conflict open, much as if they were involved in a soccer league, with matches to be won or lost each year by fair means or foul."