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date: 20 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The legacy of Fascism lies at the root of the Constituent Assembly’s adoption of a limited role for the executive. The evolution of Italy’s government can be divided in three phases. The first, lasting from 1946 to 1976, was characterized by cabinets short in duration but also by a high degree of continuity and institutionalization of the government elite. The late 1970s and 1980s saw a strengthening of the executive, with the expansion of cabinet legislation and the increase of vertical control over policymaking. However, these trends were not consolidated in the 1990s: a new electoral law failed to produce a bipolar political system, while neither Berlusconi nor the Left truly wanted further strengthening of the executive. The average duration of cabinets has significantly increased, but without leading to a more stable system: the “stable instability” of the First Republic was replaced by the “unstable stability” of the Second.

Keywords: Fascism, Constituent Assembly, Silvio Berlusconi, First Republic, Second Republic

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