04871 - Italian Political System

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Political, Social and International Sciences (cod. 8853)

Learning outcomes

Students acquire a good knowldege of how the Italian political system works today, in comparison with previous phases of recent Italian history. Both the main institutions and the role of political parties are interpreted in the light of the most recent and qualified literature in the field

Course contents

The course is taught in Italian.

It consists of two main parts. The first part, 24 hours analyses the development of the political system since the foundation of Italy as a State (1861). An intermediate exam will take place during week 5.

Attending students will then be divided in two groups for 2 seminars which focused respectively on Euroscepticism and on the peculiar interaction of populism and technocracy, as detailed in the Italian version of the Course's program.


Attending students will have to read the following books for part 1 of the class (more info available during the classes)

First part of the course (module 1)

G. Baldini-A. Pritoni, Il sistema politico italiano, Mondadori Università, febbraio 2022

Seminar 1: Euroscepticism

Conti N., Marangoni F. and Verzichelli L. (2020), “Euroscepticism in Italy from the Onset of the Crisis: Tired of Europe?”, in South European Society and Politics, published online, doi:10.1080/13608746.2020.1757885

Hooghe L. and Marks G. (2009), “A Postfunctionalist Theory of European Integration: From Permissive Consensus to Constraining Dissensus”, in British Journal of Political Science, 39(1), pp. 1-23

Moschella M. (2017), “Italy and the Fiscal Compact: Why does a country commit to permanent austerity?”, in Italian Political Science Review/Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica, 47(2), pp. 205–225

Taggart P. and Szczerbiak A. (2018), “Putting Brexit into perspective: the effect of the Eurozone and migration crises and Brexit on Euroscepticism in European states", in Journal of European Public Policy, 25(8), pp. 1194-1214.

Seminar, Populism & Technocracy:

Caramani D. (2017), “Will vs. Reason: The Populist and Technocratic Forms of Political Representation and Their Critique to Party Government”, in American Political Science Review, 111(1), pp. 54-67

Emanuele, V., Improta, M., Marino, B., & Verzichelli, L. (2023). Going technocratic? Diluting governing responsibility in electorally turbulent times. West European Politics, 46(5), 995-1023

Tarchi M. (2015), “Italy: The promised land of populism?”, in Contemporary Italian Politics, 7(3), pp. 273-285

Verzichelli L. and Cotta M. (2017), “Shades of Technocracy: The Variable Use of Non-partisan Ministers in Italy”, in Costa Pinto A., Cotta M. and Tavares de Almeida P., Technocratic Ministers and Political Leadership in European Democracies, Basingstoke, Palgrave, pp. 77-110

Non-attending students will have to read an additional book (beside the Baldini-Pritoni textbook), among the following:

M. Almagisti, L. Lanzalaco, L. Verzichelli (acd), La transizione politica italiana, Roma, Carocci, 2014

S. Cassese, Governare gli italiani. Storia dello Stato, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2014

A. Chiaramonte L. De Sio (acd), Le elezioni politiche del 2022, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2024

M. Cotta, F. Marangoni, Il governo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2015

P. Isernia, S. Martini, L. Verzichelli, La classe politica italiana. Struttura, atteggiamenti, sfide, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2023

ITANES [https://www.mulino.it/author/Sitomulino:AUTOREVOLUME:1844], Svolta a destra? Cosa ci dice il voto del 2022. Bologna, Il Mulino, 2023

L. Morlino, D. Piana, F. Raniolo (acd), La qualità della democrazia in Italia, 1992-2012, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2013

F. Musella, Il governo in Italia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2019

G. Orsina, Il berlusconismo nella storia d'Italia, Venezia, Marsilio, 2013

A. Pritoni, M. Valbruzzi, R. Vignati (acd), La prova del No. Il sistema politico italiano dopo il referendum costituzionale, Soveria Mannelli, Rubbettino, 2017

F. Russo, Gli onorevoli. Cosa fanno e come ci rappresentano i nostri parlamentari, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2013

S. Vassallo (acd), Il divario incolmabile. Rappresentanza politica e rendimento istituzionale nelle regioni italiane, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2013

S. Vassallo, R. Vignati, Fratelli di Giorgia, Il Mulino 2023

Alternatively, they can pick:

- one edition of the Yearbook: POLITICA IN ITALIA (from 2013 onwards), il Mulino (published in english by Berghahn as 'Italian Politics', until 2017, then, since 2018 as the latest issue of the journal 'Contemporary Italian Politics', available online https://www.tandfonline.com/journals/rita20)

- five entries from: E. Jones, G. Pasquino (eds) Oxford Handbook of Italian Politics, Oxford 2015; https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199669745.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199669745

Teaching methods

See Italian version for specific content of classes

Assessment methods

On week 5, attending students will take an intermediate exam, mostly based on multiple choice questions (and some open-ended ones). They will then have to write and present one paper in the seminars.

Non-attending students will also have one additional oral examination on the entire program, plus the additional book of their choice

Teaching tools

Power-point slides, additional resources (including short videos)

Office hours

See the website of Gianfranco Baldini