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.
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