Few democracies in the world have experienced so many transformations in the electoral and party systems as has Italy since the early 1990s. Therefore the study of the Italian case is an excellent opportunity to investigate if and how these changes impact on the government’s role in the decision-making process, on government formation and termination, and on the governance stage. Although the formal rules concerning executive–legislative relations have remained almost unaltered, since the 1990s Italian governments have increased de facto their agenda-setting power. Since 1994, the party competition dynamics and the electoral rules induced the political parties to build electoral alliances and pre-electoral coalitions. However, the persisting high level of internal fragmentation made Italian governments also very unstable compared to the governments in many other European democracies. The instruments of intra-coalitional conflict resolution used in Italy have been for long time quite informal and mostly based upon decision-making bodies partially external to the executive. The above cited changes at the beginning of the 1990s, by increasing the overlapping between government leadership and party leadership, made these mechanisms more internal to the government arena. Recent political and institutional developments—especially after the 2013 and 2018 general elections and the new electoral rules—leave very open and uncertain the prospects of consolidation of all these changes.

Italy: Continuous Change and Continuity in Change / F. Zucchini, A. Pedrazzani - In: Coalition Governance in Western Europe / [a cura di] T. Bergman, H. Bäck, J. Hellström. - Prima edizione. - [s.l] : Oxford University Press, 2021. - ISBN 9780198868484. - pp. 396-447 [10.1093/oso/9780198868484.003.0012]

Italy: Continuous Change and Continuity in Change

F. Zucchini;A. Pedrazzani
2021

Abstract

Few democracies in the world have experienced so many transformations in the electoral and party systems as has Italy since the early 1990s. Therefore the study of the Italian case is an excellent opportunity to investigate if and how these changes impact on the government’s role in the decision-making process, on government formation and termination, and on the governance stage. Although the formal rules concerning executive–legislative relations have remained almost unaltered, since the 1990s Italian governments have increased de facto their agenda-setting power. Since 1994, the party competition dynamics and the electoral rules induced the political parties to build electoral alliances and pre-electoral coalitions. However, the persisting high level of internal fragmentation made Italian governments also very unstable compared to the governments in many other European democracies. The instruments of intra-coalitional conflict resolution used in Italy have been for long time quite informal and mostly based upon decision-making bodies partially external to the executive. The above cited changes at the beginning of the 1990s, by increasing the overlapping between government leadership and party leadership, made these mechanisms more internal to the government arena. Recent political and institutional developments—especially after the 2013 and 2018 general elections and the new electoral rules—leave very open and uncertain the prospects of consolidation of all these changes.
coalition governance; government formation; government termination; party system; electoral system; political institutions; Italy
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
Settore SPS/11 - Sociologia dei Fenomeni Politici
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/869968
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