Since the advent of the Second Republic in Italy in the mid-1990s, a new generation of politicians has announced a shift in the system toward greater governmental leadership, policy innovation, government accountability and responsiveness to the citizens. Yet in recent years government has experienced frequent crises and deadlocks, policy blockades and undisciplined parliamentary majorities. Has the attempt to change the nature of the Italian government totally failed?
This book addresses this question by empirically assessing and theoretically evaluating the outcomes of the new system. It asks whether there has really been a shift toward a more majoritarian democracy and examines why alternation in power has failed to produce a more efficient and responsive government. It evaluates the connections between cabinet, parliament, parties and citizens, and in doing so, brings together diverse areas of inquiry such as government, legislative, party and public opinion studies. Drawing from comparative theory but also considering the impact of country-specific determinants, it explains the very nature of the Italian government from the point of view of its achievements and its failures.
This text will be of key interest to scholars and students of government, comparative and Italian politics, and more broadly those with an interest in government, democracy and Italy.
Introduction Nicolò Conti and Francesco Marangoni 1. The government and its hard decisions: how conflict is managed within the coalition Francesco Marangoni and Michelangelo Vercesi 2. Party priorities, government formation and the making of the executive agenda Enrico Borghetto and Marcello Carammia 3. From words to facts: the implementation of the government agreement Nicolò Conti 4. Looking beyond the aggregate figures: An investigation of the consensual approval of Italian government bills Andrea Pedrazzani 5. Governing by revising: A study on post-enactment policy change in Italy Enrico Borghetto and Francesco Visconti 6. The support and popularity of the government Vincenzo Memoli Conclusions Nicolò Conti and Francesco Marangoni