How Is Power Used?

  • M. Donald Hancock
  • David P. Conradt
  • B. Guy Peters
  • William Safran
  • Raphael Zariski


We have observed the sharp divisions of power that exist within the Italian decision-making system: the coalition cabinets that are split, not only by competing parties, but by competing intraparty factions as well; the parliament that is not really under the unifying tutelage of any cohesive leadership structure or ruling committee; the public corporations that enjoy a high degree of de facto autonomy. These cleavages within the decision-making apparatus make it difficult to ascertain who, if anyone, is in charge. Reflecting these internal divisions, the policymaking process is itself fragmented and incoherent. Although we have become increasingly aware of the inefficiency and lack of central direction that exist in any policymaking system—including the much-touted British and American models—Italy seems to constitute a particularly acute case of poor coordination and lack of harmony.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Stefano Bartolini, “The Politics of Institutional Reform in Italy,” West European Politics 5 (July 1982): 207–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Carlo Donolo, “Social Change and Transformation of the State in Italy,” in The State in Western Europe, ed. Richard Scase (London: Croom Helm, 1980), 195–96; and Giuseppe Di Palma, “The Available State: Problems of Reform,” in Italy in Transition: Conflict and Consensus, ed. Peter Lange and Sidney Tarrow (London: Frank Cass, 1980), 153–57.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sabino Cassese, “Is There a Government in Italy? Politics and Administration at the Top,” in Presidents and Prime Ministers, ed. Richard Rose and Ezra N. Suleiman (Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1980), 175, 201–2.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Alan R. Posner, “Italy: Dependence and Political Fragmentation,” in Between Power and Plenty: Foreign Economic Policies of Advanced Industrial States, ed. Peter J. Katzenstein (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1978), 234–35.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Donolo, “Social Change and Transformation of the State in Italy,” 172–75.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bartolini, “Politics of Institutional Reform in Italy,” 208.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Donolo, “Social Change and Transformation of the State in Italy,” 182.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Joseph La Palombara, Democracy Italian Style (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Donald Hancock
    • 1
  • David P. Conradt
    • 2
  • B. Guy Peters
    • 3
  • William Safran
    • 4
  • Raphael Zariski
    • 5
  1. 1.Vanderbilt UniversityUSA
  2. 2.East Carolina UniversityUSA
  3. 3.University of PittsburghUSA
  4. 4.University of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  5. 5.University of NebraskaLincolnUSA

Personalised recommendations