Conception of an Encyclopedia
Edited By Jürgen G. Backhaus
A survival analysis of the circulation of the political elites governing Italy from 1861 to 1994 Silvia Fedeli and Francesco Forte
Abstract We study the determinants of governments’ survival in Italy from the unification to the end of the I Republic (1861-1994) – excluding the fascist period and the subsequent transitory institutional period, “Constituente” (1946-1948). We test whether institutional features such as electoral systems, form of State and extent of suffrage had any effect on the survival of governments. We control for voting power of the par- liamentary groups, number of parties represented in the parliament and size of the representative bodies. Unlike the political economy wisdom, we show that, over the whole period, governments’ surviv- als are inversely related to the plurality electoral system. The restricted suffrage and a high voting power of the leading parties reduce the risk of anticipated end of governments. Keywords: Elites; Survival analysis; Electoral systems; Voting power, Political institutions. 1. Introduction In this paper we analyze the “struggle for survival” of governments of the Ital- ian democratic parliaments, from the creation of the Italian state (1861) up to 1994, with the exclusion of the fascist period (i. e., the legislatures from 1924 to 1945 in which the democratic institutions were absent and of the subsequent transitory institutional period, known as “Constituente”, lasting until 1948). We consider whether the survival of Italian governments was related to differ- ent electoral systems, to the voting power of the various political groups, to the number of parliamentary groups and to the size of the representative bodies. We also consider whether it was relevant for the government to be in a...
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