- Preface and Acknowledgements
- List of Figures
- List of Maps
- List of Tables
- List of Text Boxes
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: Subnational Democracy in Europe: Changing Backgrounds and Theoretical Models
- The United Kingdom: Is there Really an Anglo Model?
- Ireland: Halting Steps Towards Local Democracy
- Belgium: A Tale of Regional Divergence?
- The Netherlands: Subnational Democracy and the Reinvention of Tradition
- Luxembourg: The Challenge of Inclusive Democracy in a ‘Local State’
- Germany: Varieties of Democracy in a Federal System
- Austria: From Consensus to Competition and Participation?
- Switzerland: Subsidiarity, Power‐Sharing, and Direct Democracy
- Denmark: Between Local Democracy and Implementing Agency of the Welfare State
- Finland: The Limits of the Unitary Decentralized Model
- Sweden: Party‐dominated Subnational Democracy Under Challenge?
- Norway: The Decline of Subnational Democracy?
- France: Between Centralization and Fragmentation
- Italy: The Subnational Dimension to Strengthening Democracy Since the 1990s
- Spain: The Consolidation of Strong Regional Governments and the Limits of Local Decentralization
- Portugal: Local Democracy in a Small Centralized Republic
- Greece: A Case of Fragmented Centralism and ‘Behind the Scenes’ Localism
- Malta: Local Government: A Slowly Maturing Process
- Cyprus: Political Modernity and the Structures of Democracy in a Divided Island
- Poland: Europeanization of Subnational Governments
- The Czech Republic: Local Government in the Years after the Reform
- Hungary: Remarkable Successes and Costly Failures: An Evaluation of Subnational Democracy
- Slovakia: Local Government: Establishing Democracy at the Grassroots
- Estonia: Challenges and Lessons of the Development of Local Autonomy
- Latvia: Experiments and Reforms in Decentralization
- Lithuania: Brave Enough to Implement Daring Democratic Reforms?
- Slovenia in Transition: Decentralization as a Goal
- Bulgaria: The Dawn of a New Era of Inclusive Subnational Democracy?
- Romania: From Historical Regions to Local Decentralization via the Unitary State
- European Subnational Democracy: Comparative Reflections and Conclusions
- Structure of Subnational Governments in Europe, 2007
- Subnational finances in Europe
- Trust, importance of local/regional government, and levels of corruption in Europe
- Subject Index
- Name Index
Abstract and Keywords
This article discusses Italy and its efforts to strengthen democracy in a nation marked with bargained pluralism. Italy was founded in 1860. From its inception, it has been informed by the Napoleonic tradition of centre-periphery relations. With the Napoleonic tradition as a framework, Italy has had a strong and technocratic central apparatus which controlled the territory through its deconcentrated offices placed at the provincial level, with self-government circumscribed to the municipal level. The municipalities were both the traditional locus of self-government and the terminals of the central government, on whose behalf they carried out a number of security and public health tasks. In the elite states of Italy, the Napoleonic tradition was adopted because it was already familiar to them. The remaining municipalities adhered to the German type because of the contention that it would aid in curbing the centripetal forces that were still at work underneath the surface of the unitary rhetoric. In the 1980s, a debate was introduced in Italy on the need for institutional reforms that would lead to the stability and effectiveness of the local governments. At the beginning of the 1990s, the Italian political class officially embraced the need to reform the subnational level of government to permit the creation of an authentic system of political preference formation. In this article, the electoral and territorial reforms, which formed part of the single reformist effort to modernize Italian democracy, are discussed. Included as well are the reforms made in centre-periphery relations to achieve long-coveted political goals.
Simona Piattoni is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Trento (Italy), where she teaches Comparative Politics, European Politics, and Local Government.
Marco Brunazzo is Assistant Professor of Political Science in the University of Trento, Italy.
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