Governing Italy: The Politics of Bargained Pluralism
The Italian political system is widely agreed to be in urgent need of reform. Power is highly dispersed and effective political leadership is almost impossible to exercise. The need for reform increases as Italy becomes more integrated into the European Community and is exposed as one of the states least able to meet EC requirements on the removal of public subsidies to industry, the implementation of internal-market measures, and, most importantly, the budgetary and inflation targets for monetary union. This book outlines the complex, bargained pluralism of contemporary political life, showing how the dispersal of power across a wide range of political actors makes co-ordinated decision-making and policy implementation extremely difficult. It traces the origins of this system to the polarized party structure that emerged from Fascism, the Resistance, and the Cold War, and to the 1948 Constitution, where the foundations of a proportionalist, power-sharing mentality, underpinned by liberal constitutional guarantees, were laid. Today this system has become institutionalized, yet it is increasingly irrelevant to the needs of a modern society and economy. David Hine explores the hitherto largely unsuccessful efforts at reform, emphasizing how the deep differences that exist over the nature and purpose of reform itself and the lack of a clear lead from the parties are making this task extremely difficult.
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