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date: 15 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The current Italian Constitution was drafted by the Constitutional Assembly elected at the end of World War II. The constitution reflects a compromise between Christian Democrats, Communists, Socialists, and Liberals. Compromise was made possible by widespread dislike of the previous constitutional architecture, by Catholic social doctrine and by the fact that all parties wanted to keep options open in view of an uncertain future. The influence of Catholic social doctrine is most evident in those parts of the Constitution dealing with fundamental principles, rights and duties of citizens. Those sections dealing with the economy reflect compromise between different parties: there is no mention of the free market, leaving the door open to socialism. The legacy of Fascism and uncertainty over the future led parties to prefer a weak executive with a multi-layered system of governance, two characteristics which have gradually emerged as key weaknesses of the Constitution.

Keywords: Catholic socialism, Christian Democracy, Italian Communist Party, Italian Socialist Party, Fascism

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