Convegno Sisp 2017

Paper Room

Section 4. Sistema politico italiano (Italian Political System)

Coordinators: Luca Verzichelli (, Francesco Zucchini (

Panel 4.1 MoVimento 5 stelle: come si sta trasformando il “partito dei cittadini”? (I)

Chairs: Roberto Biorcio, Paolo Natale

Five Stars Ruling the Italian Capital City
Roberto De Rosa (, Dario Quattromani (
Abstract The Five Stars Movement (M5S) has become one of the most prominent Italian parties in less than 8 years. At the time of the 2008 Rome local elections, the civic list "Friends of Beppe Grillo", its political antecedent, reached an unexpected and positive result thus allowing the election of 4 municipal representatives. That was the first experience of participation in the nation’s capital elections, but in recent years the Roman M5S has intensively worked and developed. The 2013 and 2016 local election did represent a turning point in its brief story. Our aim is to point out how the M5S has entered in the local institutions and how it has structured its relationship with the administrative machine, what level of knowledge did its representatives reach in the local administration: what kind of issues are they aware of? What have they learned from the situations they were involved in, or what do they think they have learned from and, finally, what did they forget to learn? The theoretical approach must consider the theory of social interaction (symbolic interactionism) by George Herbert Mead (revisited); the theory of recognition (Hegelian) by Axel Honneth (readapted). The period of analysis considers the period 2013-2017, and the methods are both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Data derive from the Comunarie 2013 and 2016, the Local Elections of 2013 and 2016, the Party Manifesto and the administrative acts between 2013 and 2017, interviews with the 2 Mayor candidates (in both the 2013 and 2016 elections) and some elected representatives in the same period.

The Five Star Movement in Turin: From the First Meet-Ups to the Election of the Mayor
Cecilia Biancalana (
Abstract Piedmont is one of the first regions where the Five Star Movement (FSM) contested elections and elected representatives (regional elections, 2010). Turin hosted the second V-Day (2008) and in the city the first groups linked to Beppe Grillo participated to elections in 2009, even before the official birth of the FSM. Since then, the FSM structured itself and continued to contest elections. In 2011, two FSM's councillors entered the Turin city council and one representative entered in each district council, creating a strong organisation and structuring activists' participation. Eventually, in June 2016 Chiara Appendino was elected as mayor, beating the incumbent mayor Piero Fassino and the centre-left coalition that ruled the city for the last 25 years (since 1993). So, we can say that the case of the FSM in Turin is an interesting one to analyse for many reasons: early presence and institutionalisation, good and continuum electoral results, developed organisation. In this paper, adapting Pedersen's lifespan model, I will follow the evolution of the FSM in Turin – from the first meet-ups to the election of a FSM's mayor – analysing in particular the changes occurred in three realms: organisation, participation and communication. My analysis will be based on in-depth interviews with both activists and privileged witnesses and on the results of a fieldwork study conducted in Turin during 2016.

Personalization and leaderization process in Five 5 Star parliamentarians group.
Rossana Sampugnaro (, Simona Gozzo (
Abstract In every stage of evolution, the young history of the M5S highlights the rejection of political personalization, even when M5S admits the role of the Movement founders: Grillo and Casaleggio. During the deployment phase of the parliamentary group, the denial of the "iron law of oligarchy" proceeds for long rituals, for the rotation of the spokesmen, for the restriction of delegation. Despite everything, the analysis of the longitudinal plane shows how the “mantra” one weights one has lost - over time - its primitive force. Some parliamentarians are known for their competence, for their communication skills or distinctive personality, assuming traits of empirically observable leadership, through an analysis of amplitude, frequency and reciprocity of relational ties. Over time, the group has lost its horizontal nature to conceive the presence of a “Direttorio” composed by few people. The study hypothesizes a progressive structuring of the group, with the emersion of “situational” leaders (Edelman, 1976) and with an internal segmentation. The goal is to reconstruct the network of intra-group relations from the analysis of the mutual accreditation process within the M5S. Employing traditional tools of Social Network Analysis, the work focuses on the identification of relational dynamics empirically observable through indexes and analysis procedures from graph theory. We will detect, specifically, structural and relational measures, related to the reticular dynamics and to each ego (ego-networks). The structural values will relate to different centrality measures (in particular, degree, betweness and closeness), highlighting the degree of leaderization and the internal breakdown of the Group. The reconstruction of the accreditation process will be through the analysis of the tweets of parliamentarians and their retweets. We will compare, in particular, the data collected in 2013 (one month) - during the settlement of the parliamentary group - and those of 2017 (one month). The analysis is based on the use of software for the study of social networks (Nodexl, UCINET).

Panel 4.1 MoVimento 5 stelle: come si sta trasformando il “partito dei cittadini”? (II)

Chairs: Roberto Biorcio, Paolo Natale

Discussants: Roberto Biorcio, Paolo Natale

Is yellow the new black?
Alberto Stefanelli (
Abstract Perceptions of candidates’ character traits and issue positions have long been viewed as a strong predictors of vote choice and candidate favourability. In spite of this, many voters have biased mental images of parties and thus they could be unable to associate traits and issues with party labels. This work aims to understand which issue positions and personal characteristics are stereotyped and associated with the Five Star Movement. First, I expect that - due to the fact that the policy positions of the FSM are extremely variegated and in a continuous evolution - (1) voters are unable to associated to the FSM issues and traits “owned” by the Movement and/or (2) there is a complete lack of association with any particular characteristics or issues. H1a. Voters fail to associate with FSM candidates those traits and issues owned by the Movement. H1b. Voters do not associate with the FSM label any particular traits or characteristics. Secondly, I am interested in how partisanship influences candidate evaluation and favourability. Partisanship can distort the images voters possess about the demographic traits of the candidates, their policy attitudes and their ideological positions. Additionally, the issues and traits valence could significantly differ between different partisan groups. For these reasons, I assume that FSM partisans behave differently compared to the voters of other parties. Specifically, I expect that FSM partisans (1) are better in associating with FSM those traits and issues owned by the Movement and (2) are more likely to support those candidates that present populist/anti-establishment personal traits. H2a. FSM partisans are more likely to “correctly” associate with FSM candidates those traits and issues owned by the FSM. H2b. FSM partisans are more supportive of those candidates that possess populist qualities and issues. In order to test these hypotheses, I will use a choice-based conjoint experiment asking respondents to choose and evaluate two hypothetical candidate profiles. Around 300 respondents will be recruited through, a human intelligence task platform that operates in Europe. The design provides unbiased and precise estimates regarding eight separate attributes of FSM candidates, a fact that allows me to study the relationship between candidates’ personal characteristics/issues position and respondents’ likelihood to support FSM candidates.

The Five-Star Movement in Parliament: a Truly New Kind of Parliamentary Opposition?
Enrico Borghetto (, Elisabetta De Giorgi (, Lorenzo Andraghetti (
Abstract The Five-Star Movement embodies many characteristics of that "new kind" of opposition which, according to authors such as Peter Mair, has been gaining ground in current parliamentary democracies in times of crisis. It is strongly anti-establishment, defies traditional cleavages and an identification with the classical left-right divide, and relies heavily on the new media to connect with its supporters on the ground. In the 2013 elections, they won representation for the first time in the Italian parliament, the heart of the institutions they criticize and aim to reform. At their first mandate and with a strong identification with the role of outsiders, the expectation is that their patterns of issue attention in parliament ought to differ substantially from that of other opposition parties. This paper tackles this question by analysing the policy content of three types of activities (bills, written and oral parliamentary questions) carried out during the first two cabinets in the XVII legislature (February 2013 - November 2016). It aims at answering two questions: did the agenda of the 5SM differ from that of other opposition groups? Is the 5SM leading the party system agenda or mainly reacting to it?

Exploring Five Stars’ Local Administrations. Words from Some Mayors of the M5S
Dario Quattromani (, Francesco Capria (
Abstract In 2009 an Italian political movement was created from the digital world, with a top-down method (even though its roots must be found in the previous years): the Five Stars Movement (M5S). Nowadays, the M5S has become one of the main objects of study in the field of Italian politics, with particular attention paid to its uncommon structure and rules, not to mention its post-ideological position in the national political spectrum. Before 2009, this political formation existed with a different composition, based on a former comedian’s blog (, and organized through the online platform since July 2005: its initial political activity evolved through validation of civic lists competing for local elections (“Friends of Beppe Grillo”), all of them composed by territorially active citizens. Since its foundation (October 4th, 2009), 41 mayors have been elected all around Italy , equally shared between northern and southern regions: some of them have been either expelled after their election, or have voluntarily left the M5S.Nonetheless, most of the existing studies on this movement have still not investigated the effective activity of the growing number of administrations ruled by the M5S, with an explorative approach. Therefore, this semi-structured interview-based study wants to answer a main research question: how does the M5S govern? Only some of these Mayors will be part of the sample, those elected in the period 2012-2014: they answer questions related to the principles of local government they do refer to, the models of organization/the solutions they do experiment in their cities, the evolution of a city-level ruling class.

Panel 4.2 La cultura politica degli italiani tra linee di continuità e discontinuità vere o apparenti (I)

Chairs: Carlo Baccetti, Paola Bordandini

Discussants: Roberto Cartocci

Culture politiche e matrici storiche. Un approccio rokkanian-putnamiano
Marco Almagisti (, Paolo Graziano (
Abstract Il nostro contributo affronterà la questione relativa agli elementi di mutamento e continuità nelle culture politiche in Italia con particolare riferimento alla dimensione territoriale. In questa ottica, proporremo un approccio di analisi storica comparata rokkanian-putnamiano. Sulle tracce delle ricerche di Putnam ricostruiremo le matrici storiche di lungo periodo della costruzione del capitale sociale e delle culture politiche in Italia. Riprendendo la lezione di Rokkan ci soffermeremo in particolare su particolari giunture critiche in grado di produrre linee di frattura tanto significative da alimentare la costruzione di identità collettive contrapposte e durevoli nel tempo. Sino a delineare le possibili linee di frattura significative nell'Italia del tempo presente.

L'impatto della crisi economica sulla cultura politica degli italiani
Pasquale Colloca (
Abstract Dopo alcuni anni dal suo arrivo, le statistiche ufficiali hanno mostrato con chiarezza che la crisi economica ha avuto (e sta ancora avendo) dei significativi effetti strutturali sull’Italia, con la crescita di fenomeni sociali come la disoccupazione, la povertà e la disuguaglianza. Tuttavia, un periodo di recessione intenso e prolungato - come quello vissuto dall’Italia - può avere delle conseguenze durature anche sugli orientamenti politici di una popolazione. In effetti, molti studi mostrano che, al di là delle difficoltà di natura economica, in tempi di crisi si potrebbe verificare anche un deterioramento della cultura politica di un paese, con i cittadini che potrebbero “girare le spalle” alla democrazia (Bermeo 2003). Lo stesso assunto in base al quale un repentino peggioramento economico può rappresentare uno dei rischi più comuni per la stabilità democratica di una nazione non è nuovo, e le considerazioni che ne derivano hanno una significativa base nella teoria sociologica e politologica. Partendo da queste considerazioni, tramite l’utilizzo di dati di survey, questo lavoro cercherà di fornire prova empirica sull’argomento rispondendo a due principali interrogativi. In primo luogo, si valuterà se la crisi economica ha favorito in Italia un deterioramento della cultura politica, analizzando il suo impatto su differenti atteggiamenti e orientamenti di valore (la visione antidemocratica della società, il livello di autoritarismo, la concezione stessa della democrazia, il livello di civismo, ecc..). In secondo luogo, si valuterà la diffusione sociale di questo impatto, analizzando se alcune variabili socio-demografiche e di status tradizionalmente legate alla cultura politica (in primis, il territorio) sono ancora rilevanti e in grado di influenzare gli effetti civici della crisi economica.

I mutamenti nella cultura politica della società italiana: definizioni e modelli interpretativi
Antonio Floridia (
Abstract Il concetto di "cultura politica" (e quello correlato di "cultura politica territoriale") ha sempre costituito una chiave interpretativa del sistema politico italiano e delle sue trasformazioni. La definizione teorica di questo concetto, tuttavia, e conseguentemente la piena valorizzazione delle sue potenzialità euristiche, non sono scontati e meritano una riflessione critica. "Cultura politica" designa l'insieme degli schemi cognitivi e valutativi con cui individui e gruppi sociali concepiscono il proprio ruolo come attori politici e il proprio rapporto con la sfera della politica e delle istituzioni. "Cultura politica" definisce il sistema di idee e di valori attraverso cui i soggetti sociali, politici e istituzionali auto-interpretano le proprie pratiche. Se accogliamo, e sviluppiamo questa definizione, una qualche forma, o più forme, di cultura politica accompagnano sempre e contribuiscono a produrre i mutamenti sociali e politici di una comunità. Nrl caso italiano, la fine o l'esaurimento delle "culture politiche" che hanno caratterizzato la storia repubblicana impongono perciò, non l'abbandono di questo concetto e di questa ottica interpretativa, ma un'indagine che metta a fuoco le nuove "figure", i nuovi sistemi concettuali e ideologici, che hanno caratterizzato e caratterizzano l'evoluzione della società italiana e del suo sistema politico. Questo approccio impone il superamento di ogni visione determinista e storicista delle culture politiche, e una peculiare attenzione rivolta alle scelte strategiche dei vari attori, sottolineando come la persistenza, le trasformazioni, o anche l'esaurimento di una cultura politica sia anche il portato di queste scelte e di queste azioni. Il paper si propone di offrire alcuni spunti di analisi, e alcune riflessioni teoriche e metodologiche, per cominciare a definire una nuova "mappa" delle culture politiche presenti oggi nel nostro paese, e dell'"egemonia" che alcune di esse hanno acquisito.

Panel 4.2 La cultura politica degli italiani tra linee di continuità e discontinuità vere o apparenti (II)

Chairs: Carlo Baccetti, Paola Bordandini

Discussants: Roberto Cartocci

"Com'era rossa la mia valle"
Mario Caciagli (
Abstract L’intervento propone una riflessione sulle origini, l’apogeo e il declino della cultura politica rossa in una zona della Toscana centrale, il Medio Valdarno Inferiore. Delle due grandi subcultura politiche territoriali del sistema politico italiano, la “bianca” scomparve con la DC, mentre la “rossa” ha avuto una lunga agonia. L’intervento riassume il risultato di ricerche pluriennali condotte in questa che è stata una delle zone più rosse della Toscana rossa. Facendo ricorso a una molteplicità di strumenti di indagine, in particolare a quattro serie di interviste in profondità condotte fra il 1984 e il 2006, vengono ricostruite le origini della subcultura alla fine dell’Ottocento, le sue componenti distintive (struttura, luoghi della memoria, miti, riti, valori) fino agli anni Ottanta del Novecento e, infine, la sua crisi e la sua dissoluzione nel nuovo secolo. L’intervento presenta, in estrema sintesi, i risultati del volume «Addio alla provincia rossa», pubblicato nel mese di marzo 2017.

La fiducia nel sistema giudiziario in Italia dalla seconda alla terza repubblica
Michele Sapignoli (
Abstract Il sistema politico italiano, a partire dagli anni ’90, è stato fortemente condizionato dall’operato della magistratura che, in alcuni momenti, è arrivata a “condizionare in modo determinante la vita degli stessi governi (Guarnieri 2003, 9). Con l’avvio delle indagini della Procura della Repubblica di Milano, note all’opinione pubblica come “Mani pulite”, molti commentatori, politici e intellettuali, hanno salutato con favore queste forme di intervento giudiziario, anche se negli anni successivi “gli animi si sono raffreddati” (ibidem). Il calo della fiducia verso la magistratura italiana che si poteva osservare nei commenti degli attori politici si è registrato anche da parte dei cittadini; verso la fine degli anni ’90 la quota di cittadini italiani che dichiarava di nutrire fiducia verso il sistema giudiziario era, secondo i dati Eurobarometro, fra il 30 ed il 40%; circa la metà dell’analoga percentuale fatta registrare fra il 1992 e il 1994. La letteratura su questo tema sottolinea che la fiducia dei cittadini nel sistema giudiziario è molto importante per il corretto funzionamento della funzione di risoluzione delle controversie; inoltre il ruolo giocato dalle istituzioni giudiziarie è di estremo rilievo per la stabilità dei sistemi democratici (Easton 1975; Shapiro 1981; Guarnieri 1981; Guarnieri e Perderzoli 2002; Gibson 2008; Guarnieri e Pederzoli 2017). Questo paper intende studiare la fiducia dei cittadini italiani nel sistema giudiziario del nostro Paese attraverso l’analisi dei dati raccolti nell’ambito delle rilevazioni Eurobarometro. In primo luogo si intende descrivere l’andamento dei livelli di fiducia nella giustizia italiana dalla seconda metà degli anni ’90 ad oggi confrontandoli con quelli registrati negli altri paesi dell’Unione Europea. Successivamente saranno studiate le relazioni fra la fiducia nel sistema giudiziario italiano e le principali caratteristiche socio-grafiche degli intervistati, nonché alcune variabili relative al comportamento politico. Tali relazioni potranno essere studiate in diversi punti nel tempo: ad es. alla fine degli anni ’90, a metà del decennio successivo, negli anni più recenti. In questo modo sarà possibile chiarire meglio i mutamenti avvenuti su queste tematiche nell’arco degli ultimi 20 anni.

Fra struttura e congiuntura: la geografia della cultura civica in Italia negli ultimi 30 anni
Paola Bordandini (, Roberto Cartocci (
Abstract Il contributo ha una duplice natura: metodologica e descrittiva. Sul piano del metodo: viene svolto un confronto tra indicatori territoriali e indicatori individuali di cultura civica. L’interrogativo riguarda il grado di congruenza tra indicatori “oggettivi” e “soggettivi”. Oltre ai consueti indicatori territoriali rilasciati da fonti istituzionali e statistiche, si sono utilizzati i dati raccolti dalle indagini Istat “Multiscopo sulle famiglie”, che mettono a disposizione campioni regionali sufficientemente robusti per rilevare a livello individuale i livelli di cultura civica mediante opinioni e atteggiamenti. Sul piano descrittivo si è disegnata la mappa della cultura civica per gli anni 2007-2014, in modo da accertare se e quanto le differenze interregionali individuata da Putnam nei primi anni ottanta siano ancora oggi attive.

Panel 4.4 Le riforme elettorali in Italia: ieri, oggi, domani

Chairs: Alessandro Chiaramonte, Salvatore Vassallo

Discussants: Alessandro Chiaramonte, Salvatore Vassallo

L’Italicum: il doppio turno negato
Roberto D'Alimonte (
Abstract Per la prima volta nella storia recente del nostro paese si è assistito al fenomeno di una riforma elettorale approvata dal Parlamento e mai applicata. L’Italicum è stato prima azzoppato dal voto referendario del 4 dicembre e poi definitivamente cancellato dalla sentenza della Consulta che ne ha eliminato l’elemento centrale: il ballottaggio. Questo contributo mira a ricostruire il percorso della riforma elettorale dall’Italicum originale del Febbraio 2014 alla versione finale approvata nel Maggio 2015. In particolare, ripercorreremo le coalizioni che nei diversi momenti hanno sostenuto il percorso di riforma, sottolineando gli incentivi strategici che hanno alimentato i vari attori in campo ed evidenziando come le diverse redazioni del testo riflettano i compromessi raggiunti. Ma lo scopo principale di questo contributo sarà quello di analizzare le ragioni politiche e le considerazioni giuridiche che hanno portato alla cancellazione della riforma mettendo soprattutto in evidenza la fallacia delle argomentazioni della Consulta in una prospettiva politologica.

Women representation without gender quotas. Thirty years of Italian elections
Marta Regalia (
Abstract In 1993 gender quota laws were adopted. Two years later, the Italian Constitutional Court declared these laws to be unconstitutional. The Constitution was subsequently reformed to enhance women's political representation. However, quota measures were adopted only for local, (some) regional, and European elections. The literature on gender representation deals mainly with three aspects: electoral quotas, party quotas and reserved seats. No one of these measures was ever systematically and uniformly adopted for Italian general elections. Only the Democratic Party and the Five Stars Movement decided to adopt gender double preference voting in their primaries for 2013 general elections. This paper deals with gender representation under four electoral systems. I will first show the consequences of the June 1991 referendum on gender representation. I will then analyse how the uninominal districts impacted on women presence in parliament confronting it with: a) the results of the proportional system of the so called First Republic, b) the proportional quota of the Mattarellum itself and c) the proportional system with closed lists of the Porcellum. I will finally hypothesize some possible effects of both the Italicum and the new electoral law under discussion.

Le riforme elettorali come policy-issue: illusioni e fallimenti dell\\\'ingegneria elettorale in Italia
Antonio Floridia (
Abstract Com'è noto, nessuna democrazia consolidata ha visto, come in Italia, la costante presenza delle riforme elettorali nell'agenda politica: questo dato può essere letto come un segno inequivocabile della progressiva destrutturazione del sistema politico e del fallimento dei ripetuti tentativi di agire, attraverso i sistemi elettorali, per cercare di costruire e modellare un nuovo assetto politico e istituzionale. Uno degli esempi più evidenti è quello della ricorrente "ideologia" che attribuiva virtù risolutive al "maggioritario", con la finalità di consolidare un assetto "bipolare" del sistema politico: la realtà odierna ci mostra quanto illusorio sia stato perseguire questo obiettivo. Le illusioni e i fallimenti di questo approccio dovrebbero essere oramai evidenti, ma non sono stati sufficientemente indagate le ragioni di tale esito: in particolare, occorre interrogarsi sulle premesse teoriche e normative che hanno ispirato le strategie di riforma elettorale che si sono susseguite e lo stesso dibattito politico e culurale che le ha accompagnate. Il paper si propone di offire alcuni elementi di riflessione teorica su questi argomenti, sottolineando i limiti di un'impostazione che, nel progettare o proporre possibili riforme elettorali, trascura essenziali elementi di natura normativa: in primo luogo, una concezione della "governabilità" affidata ai meccanismi di forzatura e distorsione delle scelte elettorale dei cittadini e la crisi di legittimità democratica che ne deriva. In definitiva, per comprendere lo scacco dell'"ingegneria" elettorale (che, in verità, in molti casi, andrebbe meglio definita come mero "bricolage"), occorre tornare a riflettere sulla natura stessa del nesso tra elezioni e democrazia.

Salvatore Vassallo (
Abstract According to one of the best-established propositions in the realm of comparative poli-tics, electoral systems do matter. They affect the structure of party systems both build-ing thresholds and manufacturing majorities. By doing so, they can restrain (or not) par-ty fragmentation and promote (or not) a nation-wide decisive competition among the parties for achieving the control over government. They also influence the internal co-hesion of political parties strengthening or weakening the leaders’ position vis a vis the rank-and-file members of parliament. This is supposed to happen to the extent the electoral system is more stable than the changing preferences of voters and political ac-tors. The paper will describe and theoretically frame the Italian case from the early 90’s to the present, in which the electoral and party system change appears as a circular never-ending process. The aim is twofold: to analyses the evolution of the Italian party system and propose a theoretically driven explanation for this peculiar syndrome.

Panel 4.5 Simmetria e incongruenza: prospettive di ricerca sul bicameralismo italiano

Chairs: Andrea Pedrazzani, Luca Pinto

Discussants: Nicola Martocchia Diodati

‘I missed a penalty’: the constitutional referendum and Matteo Renzi’s mistakes
Davide Gianluca Bianchi (
Abstract In an interview published in the Corriere della Sera on 3 February 2017, Matteo Renzi compared the constitutional referendum to a terrible missed penalty. It is hard to disagree with this assessment: a survey carried out by Ilvo Diamanti’s LaPolis-Demos polling company revealed that the majority of Italians were in favour of the motions proposed by the government in the referendum of 4 December 2016: reducing the number of parliamentarians (92%) and replacing the perfectly bicameral system (61%). Nevertheless, 59.1% (19,419,507) voted No, versus 40.9% (13,432,208) who voted Yes. Why? The simplest questions are often the most difficult to answer. One senses that Renzi is a political leader who excels at individual competitions, but is not well-versed in team sports. Whenever he has had to affirm his leadership in direct elections, whether institutional (provincial and municipal elections) or party political (primaries), Renzi has had no problem emerging victorious. But when he has had to act as a mediator and employ the art of weaving and constructing complex relationships, he has been defeated. In short, he is not a sufficiently adaptive political animal. This paper therefore offers an empirical analysis of the history of constitutional referendum, the results of the vote on 4 December, and their potential implications. We will begin with a brief look back at previous attempts to overhaul the Italian constitution, to account for the difficulties and failures of the past. We will then move on to a brief review of the contents of Renzi’s reform and the various political factions that supported and opposed it. Before analysing the results, we will look fleetingly at the referendum campaign itself. The conclusion will seek to evaluate the impact of the referendum result on the Italian political system, as far as this is possible so soon after the event. At various points throughout we will highlight the mistakes (strategic and/or tactical) that Renzi made that stopped the Italians voting for a reform that they fundamentally agreed with. Using as a point of departure the polls carried out prior to and following the referendum, the essay focuses on the mistakes made by Matteo Renzi that discouraged Italians from voting Yes. These touch on all aspects of the referendum: 1) the parliamentary process, 2) its combination with electoral law, 3) institutional communication, and 4) his political analysis and strategic approach.

Useless Approvals. The Italian Bicameralism and Its Decisional Capacity
Andrea Pedrazzani (, Francesco Zucchini (
Abstract The literature on bicameralism has mainly taken into account the relative powers of the two legislative branches. Less attention has been paid to the congruence of their political preferences. Ceteris paribus, the impact of bicameralism on the policymaking process will be greater the more the political preferences of the second chamber differ from those of the first chamber. However, on one side, the political preferences represented in each chamber stem from various sources and it is not clear which one from time to time prevails; on the other side, the impact on policymaking is a multifaceted phenomenon, very hard to capture. Moreover, in many national contexts it is difficult to discern between the explanatory contribution of the discrepancy in the political preferences and the weight of different prerogatives in the lawmaking process. In this perspective, Italy offers an ideal (and almost unique) setting to assess the role of the political preferences in the two houses. The two houses of the Italian parliament hold exactly the same prerogatives with respect to lawmaking and their relation with the government. In this paper, we try to address the consequences of their dissimilarity in terms of political preferences on the decision capacity of the Italian parliament for a relatively long period (1983-2013). Our dependent variable is the fate of a bill already approved in a chamber. When such a bill is not definitively approved as law, this can be considered as a failure in the decision capacity of the parliament. The discrepancy between the two chambers is calculated by considering a set of alternative measures: the position of the median party in the Chamber and the Senate along the main policy dimensions, the percentage of seats of all parliamentary parties in each chamber, the percentage of support enjoyed by the cabinet at the time of the investiture vote in each house, the percentage of seats controlled by government parties in each chamber, the weight of personal vote according to the different electoral systems and the difference in terms of professional backgrounds between deputies and senators. The analysis is conducted also by controlling for different policy areas. Preliminary results show that decision capacity has been slowly decreased for the last 20 years and that political discrepancy measured with governmental-level (versus parliamentary-level) variables has acquired stronger explanatory power during the most recent legislatures.

Bicameral incongruence and the duration of the government formation process in European democracies
Luca Pinto (, Daniela Giannetti (, Andrea Pedrazzani (
Abstract The effects of bicameral legislatures on government formation have attracted scholarly attention since Lijphart’s (1984) seminal contri- bution. Previous research has found support for the ‘veto control hypothesis’, showing that bicameralism affects coalition governments composition and duration. However, the implications of bicameralism on the duration of the bargaining process over government formation have yet to be explored. In this paper, we contribute to this field of research by focusing on the impact of bicameralism on bargaining delays. We show that the duration of the bargaining process over government formation decreases at increasing levels of partisan incon- gruence, especially in those legislatures in which the upper chamber plays a relevant role in the policy-making process. This result sharply contrasts with the conventional wisdom according to which bicameral- ism introduces an additional element of complexity in the bargaining environment. We test our hypothesis by using new data about the partisan composition of upper and lower chambers in 12 Western and Eastern European democracies over the post war period.