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Finding a party and losing some friends: overcoming the weaknesses of the prime ministerial figure in Italy

O'Malley, Eoin and Cavatorta, Francesco (2004) Finding a party and losing some friends: overcoming the weaknesses of the prime ministerial figure in Italy. Contemporary Politics, 10 (3-4). pp. 271-286. ISSN 1469-3631

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Silvio Berlusconi poses a problem for the existing literature on prime ministers and their power. Though Italian prime ministers are traditionally seen as weak, Berlusconi has been able to achieve some remarkable policy gains during his current term as prime minister. This article uses veto player theory and combines it with existing institutional and political explanations for variation in prime ministerial power to look at this challenging case. By looking at the number of veto players in the Italian system, and their ability to credibly use their veto against Berlusconi, an explanation is posited which can accommodate the exceptionalism of his second term in office. Despite the emphasis on his control of the media, we conclude that Berlusconi's power stems from more traditional political factors. The authors argue that Berlusconi's coalition and party allies have no choice but to accept his will and his decisions, as any alternatives are less appealing.

Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Italy; prime ministers; Silvio Berlusconi;
Subjects:Social Sciences > Political science
DCU Faculties and Centres:Research Initiatives and Centres > Centre for International Studies (CIS)
DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Law and Government
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Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:486
Deposited On:28 May 2008 by DORAS Administrator. Last Modified 16 Feb 2009 14:25

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