The role of political parties in the italian electoral reforms

Autor:Gennaro Ferraiuolo - Diego Praino
Cargo:Gennaro Ferraiuolo, Professor of Constitutional Law, Department of Jurisprudence, University of Napoli Federico II, Corso Umberto I, Naples. - Diego Praino, Associate Professor of Public Law, Oslo Business School, OsloMet ? Oslo Metropolitan University, Pilestredet 35, Oslo.

The aim of this paper is to understand the role played by political parties in the electoral reforms that have characterised the Italian experience since 1993. In order to do so, the authors: 1) describe the scholarly debate on how parties relate to electoral rules and form of government; 2) shed light on the most significant aspects of the Italian electoral reforms at local, regional and State level; and 3) analyse these reforms from the perspective of the party context. The conclusion is that parties have played only a partial role: while strong pressure to implement change has derived from external factors (referendum and judicial interventions), a widespread tendency towards concentrating power and personalising the political forces has ignored the importance of party dynamics in the way that parliamentary forms of government function. Key words: Italian electoral reforms; political parties; electoral systems; form of government; Italian transition.

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