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50 Years of Party Discontent in Italy: Persistence Through Reform

Thu, August 30, 12:00 to 1:30pm, Sheraton, Beacon H


One common feature of the Italian political space over the past half century has been the presences of anti-system parties on both the left and the right. However discontent with existing elites and the political system, has more than once, been formed. Both the character of the main parties and the rules by which they are elected have been reformed at least 3 times since the 1980s. However, as the election of 2013 and the referendum of 2016 demonstrate, Italians still have a high amount of resentment towards party elites and the operation of the system. Using data from Italian National Election Studies, this paper traces the development of this resentment over-time (1968-2018) with a focus on three questions: (1) How has resentment towards elites and systemic party representiveness changed with the electoral and party reforms? (2) Who was likely to hold this resentment? (3) What was the party affiliation of those most resentful, or did they abstain?