Business and the political system
DOI link for Business and the political system
Business and the political system book
The political system exercises its own independent inﬂuence on policy, which can never be conceived as an automatic result of either the production proﬁle or international pressures.1 In Italy, this is perhaps even truer than in many other industrial democracies: the state has had a major, autonomous role in economic development, and the party system itself to a considerable degree grew downwards from the state rather than upwards from civil society. During the so-called ‘First Republic’, the dominant Christian Democratic Party enjoyed a signiﬁcant degree of autonomy from the capitalist class. Given the serious divisions in Italian business, this allowed it to throw its weight into the balance on one side or the other, often proving decisive. In the 1950s, while different factions had different orientations, the strength of Mattei within the Party meant that much of government policy was oriented towards the more dynamic, emerging industries of the automobile cycle, as opposed to the traditional electrical/chemical bloc that continued to hegemonize Conﬁndustria and business opinion.2 The traditional bloc remained close to the small Liberal Party, encouraging it to lead the opposition to the ‘opening to the left’ (the admission of the Socialists to the governing coalition) even after this strategy had been decided on by the majority of the DC.