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The 'centre' between structure and agency: The Italian case

Donovan, Mark Philip 2008. The 'centre' between structure and agency: The Italian case. Modern Italy 13 (4) , pp. 415-428. 10.1080/13532940802367679

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It is widely accepted, among political scientists at least, that Italy's so-called ‘First Republic’ (c.1946–1994) had a tripolar party system while the ‘Second Republic’ has had, at least until 2008, a fragmented bipolar one. A superior conceptualisation of the party system of the ‘First Republic’ was provided by Paolo Farneti, and it remains relevant both for a better understanding of the current party system and for exploring party system dynamics, particularly the relationship between structure and agency in such dynamics. Farneti synthesised Sartori's 1976 analysis of tripolar mechanics with Galli's equally famous analysis of the party system (as one of ‘imperfect bipartism’) in terms of the coexistence of a subordinate bipolar dynamic and a dominant tripolar one. This article argues that the dynamics of the party system in the ‘Second Republic’, or at least the transition to it, can be conceptualised in terms of a dominant bipolar dynamic and a subordinate, tripolar one. This latter dynamic is significant, both empirically and theoretically, despite being subordinate.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DG Italy
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Party system, Dominant structure, Subordinate structure, Agency, Bipolarism, Blocs, Multipolarism
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1353-2944
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2017 02:56

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