Abstract and Keywords
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.
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