Understanding How Political Parties In Europe Select Their Leaders: The Italian Case

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Political Leadership book series (PSPL)


The Italian second republic—inaugurated with the 1994 parliamentary election—has been characterised by an alternation of two separate and mixed electoral systems, personalised parties united in pre-electoral coalitions, exceptionally high electoral volatility, and government change after in all six elections held between 1994 and 2018. The party system has been beset by division and sudden changes, several party splits, the birth of new parties and new political actors entering the parliament. As so often when studying Italian politics, it could be difficult to summarise into a clear and definite framework the peculiarities of the parties and their organisations. Rather than applying fixed rules stated in party statutes and regulations, Italian parties react to contingent external challenges by adopting pragmatic strategies, resulting in complex organisational settings and intra-party power dynamics.


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© The Author(s) 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Catholique de LilleLilleFrance
  2. 2.University of TurinTurinItaly

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