Italy - A contested polity (special issue)

Bull, MJ and Rhodes, M, (eds.) 2007, Italy - A contested polity (special issue) , West European Politics Special Issue, 30 (4) , Taylor & Francis.

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Despite the promise of the new "Second Republic" launched in the early 1990s, Italy remains Europe's least well-governed country. Fifteen years ago, politicians on the take and mafiosi on the make were supposedly pushed aside by a new generation of reformers and crusading magistrates. However, the contributions to this Special Issue uncover little real progress. Badly needed reforms have foundered on bickering between the political parties and their ego-centric leaders. Both left and right-wing coalitions have been guilty of impending the anti-corruption revolution. Little has been done to improve the quality of public expenditure: infrastructure and education systems remain shambolic, and decades of periodic devaluation and deficit spending have left the economy structurally weakened. Italy's politicians are not just masters of trasformismo (the blurring of the distinction between government and opposition) but of stratificazione ("layering", the introduction of new policies and institutions without replacing those that preceded them). The result is a damaging mix of obsolete and contradictory legislation, the product of bargaining over reform by chronically weak governments in a veto-ridden polity. The outcome - immobolismo - is a system in which all parties, and democratic government itself, are steadily losing legitimacy

Item Type: Book
Editors: Bull, MJ and Rhodes, M
Uncontrolled Keywords: Contemporary political change; democracy; political systems; Italy
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Democracy and Human Rights
Journal or Publication Title: West European Politics
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
Series Name: West European Politics Special Issue
ISSN: 0140-2382
Depositing User: Professor Martin J. Bull
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2011 13:18
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 17:15

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