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Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies$
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Kaare Strøm, Wolfgang C. Müller, and Torbjörn Bergman

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198297840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/019829784X.001.0001

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Italy: Delegation and Accountability in a Changing Parliamentary Democracy

Italy: Delegation and Accountability in a Changing Parliamentary Democracy

(p.445) 14 Italy: Delegation and Accountability in a Changing Parliamentary Democracy
Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies

Luca Verzichelli

Oxford University Press

The Italian political system has usually been described as a stable parliamentary democracy with proportional representation electoral rules and a fragmented party system. In the mid-1990s, this image was undermined by a deep crisis, which resulted in changes to the electoral system, the party system, and the executive-legislative relationship. In general, the whole chain of delegation has suffered as a result of the weak institutionalization of delegation mechanisms. The reasons for this weakness are to be found in the historical circumstances of Italy’s democratic experience, in particular, a highly fragmented, polarized polity, and a society with deep cleavages.

Keywords:   anonymous voting, decree laws, fragmented party system, proportional representation, referendums, regionalization vs centralization, single-member district plurality, societal cleavages

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