chapter  13
18 Pages

Party system and coalition governments in post-WWII Italy

WithGiuseppe Ieraci

For decades, Italian party politics has been volatile and fractured, with many parties competing across the political spectrum, from communists to neo-fascists. This chapter examines the Italian party system, focusing in particular on contemporary changes in the pattern of party competition in Italy. The political system underwent a significant realignment at the turn of the twenty-first century. Prior to this, power shifted back and forth between two main political coalitions. This contentious bipolar rivalry was gradually weakened following the 2013 elections. The emergence of new parties and the dismantling of majoritarian electoral laws have paved the way for the reestablishment of a multipolar pattern of party competition. The rise of populist and anti-establishment parties reflects growing tension in Italian society, and the parties’ rhetoric has made the country’s political system even more volatile.