Moro and Berlinguer were instrumental in the rapprochement between the Communist Party and Christian Democracy (DC) in the mid-1970s. As President of the DC, Moro identified cooperation with the Communists as a way to tackle the backwardness and divisions of Italian society and the unevenness of economic development. As leader of the Italian Communist Party (PCI), Berlinguer steered the party away from the USSR and improved relations with the Catholic Church. He thought Italian democracy could be strengthened only through a convergence between the DC and the PCI. In 1976 cooperation was inaugurated: the Communists allowed the formation of a DC government by not voting against it. However, Moro recognized the impossibility of a full alliance, seeing as the Americans remained opposed. Cooperation was short-lived after Moro’s murder by the Red Brigades in 1978: Berlinguer was unable to gain legitimation for the PCI’s continuing collaboration with the DC.
The Italian state apparatus has been characterized by a mix of surprising continuity and substantial change. Adaptation was prompted not so much by attempts at reform as by pressures stemming from the changing economic and institutional context. Driven by increasing economic differentiation, the size of the administration expanded particularly in the period after World War I and in the Fascist period. The expansion intensified after World War II, partly to enhance the system of patronage that characterized the postwar political system. Economic and social changes, combined with pressures stemming from the “Europeanization” of policymaking led to a series of changes from the 1970s. In particular, agencies outside the main administrative apparatus proliferated and power was devolved toward regional and local administrations. Since 1990 a series of reforms have led to further devolution, but attempts to improve the qualification of the workforce have arguably reinforced the politicization of the bureaucracy.
This chapter examines The Power Elite, a radical work by C. Wright Mills that challenges the foundations of US liberal democracy and analyses the conditions under which democratic pluralism in the country can be reversed. Focusing on the theory of divided and united elites in relation to the system of checks and balances, Mills argues that the emergence of a power elite in the United States after 1945 necessitates a reevaluation of the foundations of democratic pluralism due to the significant changes in the competition for power and alternation in office at different levels of government. He also contends that members of only three elite groups had access to positions of national power: the “corporate rich,” the “warlords,” and the members of the “political directorate.” This chapter considers the rise and the fall of the elite model by assessing the four strands of Mills’s thought, one of which concerns the formation of state elites as the “true” power elite.
Democrazia Cristiana (DC) was the cornerstone of the First Republic. Thanks to the Communist Party’s exclusion from government, the DC was the core of government, dominating the political arena. Changes in government were often a consequence of factional struggles within the DC rather than elections. But the DC’s factionalism, fuelled by preference voting, had the effect of precluding strong individual leadership. From the 1950s, the DC effectively “occupied” the state, exerting control over its institutions and resources and directing them to fuel its own patronage networks. Yet behind the DC’s success lay the roots of its demise: its vote share declined and the corruption underpinning its patronage system proved to be its undoing with the start of the Mani Pulite investigation in 1992.
The early postwar years marked a challenging and dynamic phase for Christian Democracy (DC). In this period, the party stabilized the county and shaped its democratic institutions in a spirit of national reconciliation, while working for Italy’s modernization and its inclusion in the “West.” After the split with the Communists, the party appeared both as a bastion against communism and as promoter of modernization, combining social progress with traditional Italian values. In the 1950s, the party was torn: while many of its leaders aimed at “opening to the left” to tackle the country’s social challenges with other political forces, mounting anticommunism and Church pressures pushed it right. The “opening to the left” materialized with the formation of the first center-left government in 1962, marking the peak of Christian Democracy’s reformism. However this government was met with strong opposition, and by 1964 this most reformist phase of the DC’s rule had ended.
Mathew D. McCubbins
In all democracies, whether presidential or parliamentary, the chain of political delegation is a complex process involving a multitude of principals, many of which are frequently replaced. This presents common-agency problems for bureaucrats and politicians—that is, they must be answerable to many different principals. The fractured and temporally unstable nature of democratic leadership makes political oversight of bureaucracy a particularly problematic link in the process by which the government is controlled by citizens. Legislatures can mitigate the agency problems associated with delegation using one of four approaches: contract design, screening/selection, monitoring/reporting requirements, and institutional checks. Thischapter examines the common-agency problem and the legislative control of the bureaucracy. It begins with a review of the positive and normative literature on delegation and oversight. More specifically, it considers the normative debate on who should control the bureaucracy, as well as the positive debate on who actually controls the bureaucracy. It concludes by addressing research frontiers in the study of oversight.
The Italian Communist Party (PCI) has been the subject of sustained scholarly attention. The narrative of its development over the postwar period and beyond the fall of Soviet Communism is well chronicled. The structure and evolution of support for the Communist Party has received less attention. This chapter draws upon a rich vein of sociological research to show how support for the PCI moved grew beyond the boundaries of its ideological core, and how it shrank back down to that solid central component. In part, this research shows the strength of popular allegiance to the organization structure of the party; in part it shows the resilience of Italian communist “sub-culture.” The co-option of opposition both outside and within the party was also important. The PCI effectively ceased to exist in 1991 and yet its legacy extends to today’s Democratic Party.
Matthew S. Shugart and Rein Taagepera
The question of how electoral institutions affect party systems has been central to the literature on elections. For a given electoral system configuration, how many parties earn votes and win seats? How large is the largest party’s share of all votes and seats? This varies from country to country, from election to election, and, inside the country, from district to district. Yet two institutional inputs—district magnitude and assembly size—determine the worldwide averages surprisingly well, and they do so for well-defined logical reasons. These worldwide averages supply benchmarks against which to compare individual countries, elections, and districts: given their two basic institutional inputs, do they have rather many or few parties, and by how much are they off, compared to logical average expectations? History, culture, and current politics account of course for which parties form and which of them is the largest, but institutions shape their number and sizes.
Brian F. Crisp and William M. Simoneau
Constituency service, addressing the nonpolicy grievances of constituents or looking out for their nonpolicy interests, provides legislators an opportunity to enhance their personal reputations. Electoral incentives are the primary explanation suggested for the amount of constituency service carried out by representatives. Variation in electoral rules, such as ballot type and district magnitude, can increase personal vote-seeking incentives, increasing the utility of constituency service as a means of winning re-election. In our opinion, measures of constituency service remain underdeveloped, and while there is widespread agreement on electoral incentives as the key determinant of constituency service, the consequences of constituency service remain elusive.
This article discusses the emergence of parties and party systems. It summarizes the two main competing explanations of party systems, which are the neo-institutionalist research agenda and the historical-sociological literature. It then evaluates their strengths and limitations. The last two sections are focused on a new method of restructuring the way people think about how parties emerged. This method eventually integrates both approaches within a broad analytical framework.
The neo-fascist Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI) was born immediately after World War II, gathering former fascists militants. The MSI tried to present itself as a normal political party and was quite successful in the 1950s, becoming a sizeable force in southern Italy. However, in the 1960s and 1970s the party was marginalized, split by internal disagreements between those wanting to build a nationalist-conservative party and those who saw the party as a radical force. Despite internal disagreements the party slowly altered its image, although it maintained neo-fascist discourse. The collapse of the First Republic and the 1993 local elections enabled party leader Gianfranco Fini to reposition the party as a national-conservative force, allying with Silvio Berlusconi in the 1994 national elections. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Fini continued to polish the party’s moderate image, dropping neo-fascist discourse and admitting that fascism had been “an absolute evil.”
Hanna Bäck and Gissur Ó. Erlingsson
This introduction to the section on the party system in Sweden starts with the premise that political parties are essential for the upholding of legitimacy in parliamentary democracies. Four chapters make up the section. The first focuses on the changing Swedish party system, where Social Democrats historically have held an exceptionally strong position, which has weakened during recent years. The second analyzes the parties’ internal organizational structure, suggesting that although Swedish parties have become more professionalized, and the ‘mass party’ has faded away, this does not imply they have become internally less democratic. The third chapter focuses on representation, arguing that Swedish parties today face a more complex environment than before, with more diversity among representatives. The concluding chapter suggests that some features of Swedish cabinets stand out in a comparative perspective, with many single-party minority governments, where the Social Democrats have ruled with the help of ‘support party coalitions’.
Early Italian liberalism, deeply interlinked with the Risorgimento, had a particularly interventionist streak: elite and state had the duty to prepare the country for liberty. The liberal elite effectively occupied the state, profoundly marking Italy’s development. With the rise of socialism and political Catholicism and the Great War, both liberalism and the political system it underpinned were weakened. After the Fascist regime, the Liberal Party played a key role in rebuilding the country, steering its economic reconstruction. But the Party was in a difficult position: while the Christian Democracy occupied the political center, it shifted between the right and center left of the political arena. Post-war liberalism cannot be reduced to the Liberal party: Republicans and Radicals also had liberal influences. Moreover, liberalism as an intellectual force affected society beyond the political sphere. Berlusconi’s rise marks the latest instance of the enduring contraposition between the conservative and progressive variants of liberalism.
Participation and Protection: Security Council Dynamics, Bureaucratic Politics, and the Evolution of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda
Anne Marie Goetz and Rob Jenkins
This chapter focuses on the political and institutional factors behind the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325. It illuminates two elements of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Agenda: participation and protection. It argues that despite the WPS Agenda’s efforts, women continue to remain underrepresented in peace negotiations and post-conflict political settlements. Further, by concentrating solely on protecting women from sexual violence, and neglecting an analysis of gender inequality and its contribution to conflict-propensity, the WPS Agenda perpetuates a protectionist narrative. This is due to opposition to the participation agenda from developing country member-states, a lack of accountability systems, and a lack of a powerful advocate within the UN bureaucratic system. The chapter concludes with suggestions for a recently formed working group under resolution 2242 to utilize, in order to better enable women’s participation in peace and security processes.
Hanna Bäck and Torbjörn Bergman
This chapter focuses on the role of political parties in the government formation process. Swedish governments have had a clear-cut bloc political character, with the “socialist” parties in one camp and the “nonsocialist” parties in the other. Other features of the historical record also stand out. One example is that many postwar governments have been minority cabinets, often single-party governments. These have often been Social Democratic. The Social Democrats have ruled with the support of the Left Party and, more recently, the Greens. In the period 1998–2006, there were even written policy agreements (contracts) between the governing Social Democrats and the two “support” parties. When coalitions form, the parties divide the ministerial portfolios in a way that is proportional to the size of each party, and during the last decades a gender balance in the cabinet has become an explicit ambition.
The acceptance of political parties as a normal, or even as a necessary, component of modern representative democracy has not been easy in Italy. The concern is that political divisions are not compatible with the common good. Hence, for long periods and from many different points of view political parties have been weak and unable to implement a true party government. The evolution of party rule in Italy began with weak collection of “notables” that was interrupted by single-party authoritarianism before passing to a “golden age” of mass political parties and then degenerating into leader-dominated populist parties in the late postwar period. It is still too early to say how stable and lasting this new phase will be. The weakening of political parties may undermine the foundations of parliamentary government and so pave the way for a more presidential or semi-president form of constitutional organization.
Gissur Ó. Erlingsson, Ann-Kristin Kölln, and Patrik Öhberg
This chapter offers a general description of party organizational development in Sweden. We assess to what extent Swedish party organizations have followed the (alleged) transformations from mass parties to “electoral-professional” and/or “cartel” parties. Additionally, we inquire if such transformations may have affected the quality of intra-party democracy. It is demonstrated that mass parties, in principle, have been eradicated. Parties have become increasingly professionalized and less connected with their members. Also, tendencies towards a cartelization of the Swedish party system can be observed, particularly when the generous system of party subsidies is taken into account. However, no conclusive evidence supports the assertion that Swedish party organizations have become less internally democratic.
A party system refers to the political parties that operate in a given polity and to their patterns of interaction. The Swedish system was long associated with several features: it had five parties; they were aligned in two informal blocs; and one party, the Social Democrats, has provided much the biggest, dominating governments. These patterns, summarized as “moderate pluralism,” were also stable. Since the 1980s, much has changed. There are now more parties in Parliament. By 2010 the bloc structure looked remarkably institutionalized. But a more “polarized pluralism,” seen briefly in the 1970s and 1990s, might now be in prospect.
This article examines the correlation between economic development and the party system. More specifically, it considers the extent to which certain features of the party system should be included on the right-hand side of development regression equations, or whether the party system should be taken into account when selecting cases for a qualitative study of development. The chapter first outlines some necessary conditions for economic development, with particular emphasis on those conditions with roots in policy-making and actor agency. It then discusses three dimensions of the party system—the number of political parties, nationalization, and institutionalization—and whether they help shape the incentives and capabilities of policy-makers to adopt policies that promote development.
Post-war Italian elections have established two party systems, and the 2013 election may have introduced a third. Between 1946 and the early 1990s, fragmentation and Christian Democratic dominance characterized the party system. After the early 1990s, fragmentation persisted and two blocs came to structure party competition. Societal factors, institutional conditions, and party strategies have driven party system change. The 2013 election saw the emergence of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and unprecedented fragmentation. Yet parties are creatures not only of the electoral arena but also of legislators’ decisions made outside that arena. Changes in the membership of legislative parties have clear importance, as attested by the termination of two governments in 1998 and 2011.