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The Pentapartito

Bull, MJ 2015, 'The Pentapartito' , in: The Oxford Handbook of Italian Politics , Oxford University Press, Oxford.

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Abstract

The pentapartito was the five-party governing coalition which, aside from two brief interruptions, held governmental office in Italy between June 1981 and April 1991. The parties making up the coalition were: Christian Democracy (DC), the Italian Socialist Party (PSI), the Italian Republican Party (PRI), the Italian Social Democratic Party (PSDI), and the Italian Liberal Party (PLI). There were seven pentapartito governments in total during this decade, spanning three legislatures (the eighth, ninth, and tenth), interspersed by two non-pentapartito governments in the period, both headed by Fanfani. At the time, the pentapartito was seen as combining two contrasting images: on the one hand, instability, party and faction fighting; and, on the other hand, craxismo, the rise of the PSI and greater stability. Yet, seen in a historical perspective, and especially since the implosion of the party system between 1992 and 1994, the pentapartito has taken on a very different image: that of laying the foundations for the collapse of the “First Republic” through the excess of its politicians and parties, who took the malfunctioning of the political system to heights not seen before. In this image, the pentapartito marked the high point of the first republican “empire,” and therefore the beginning of its decline and fall. This chapter, having outlined the broader political and economic context to the pentapartito, analyses the changing nature of the relations between the parties at the heart of the pentapartito formula before then examining the rise and fall of the experiment.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Jones, E and Pasquino, G
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pentapartito; five-party coalition government; Italian politics; 1980s
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Refereed: Yes
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Professor Martin J. Bull
Date Deposited: 15 May 2015 17:09
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2016 15:04
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/34496

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