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date: 15 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Trasformismo is a contested political concept. This chapter does not propose a single interpretation, but instead charts the concept’s historical trajectory. Initially trasformismo was characterized by the individual co-optation of single parliamentarians, accompanied by manipulation of the electoral process. However, the emergence of mass parties in the Giolittian era led to a new kind of trasformismo, characterized by the absorption of anti-systemic forces into the governing majority. After the Fascist interlude, trasformismo became once more predominant: the presence of anti-system oppositions led to a system of government based on the inclusion of the “centers” and the exclusion or transformation of the “extremes.” Trasformismo has endured the fall of the First Republic, shifting back to the sort of small group trasformismo that characterized the early Liberal period.

Keywords: trasformismo, electoral process, Giolittian era, Fascism, First Italian Republic, patronage, Liberal Italy

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