PARTIES and PARTY SYSTEMS

PARTIES AND PARTY SYSTEMS
Crisis and perspectives after the latest electoral cycle

Wed November 8th – Department of Political Sciences – Sapienza University | Roma
here the full programme

partiesParties and party system alike are facing many deep changes in different countries, both in Europe and in the rest of the world. The stability of the party systems, both in their bipolar or multipolar assets, has been challenged since the Seventies at the least.
Moreover, in the last decade this process of increasing fragmentation has been accentuated by the rising of new populist and radical, anti-system political parties. Therefore, the so called “established” democracies are facing harsh time in terms of political stability, institutional performances, and citizens/voters mistrust.
The workshop represents an attempt to outline the main trend in a bunch of countries, among the most representative democracies. The presence of experts, from both Italian and non-Italian universities offer a unique opportunity for a scientific study of a very crucial topic in Political Science.

The Impact of Economic Crisis on Turnout in Italy

CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN POLITICS N. 2/2014 (link)

This article deals with voter turnout and the economic crisis, and focuses on the results of the 2013 parliamentary elections in Italy. A consolidated tradition of studies has attested to the impact of a negative economic cycle, unemployment and various issues related to the economy, on the decision whether or not to vote, although the results remain controversial. Some scholars have asserted that, during a period of crisis, voters react positively, using their collective voice to demand more attention to their interests. Others argue that negative circumstances distance citizens from the electoral arena bringing a higher rate of abstention as a consequence. The peculiarity of the political situation in the period leading up to the 2013 election in Italy (the unexpected end of Berlusconi’s government in 2011, the period of transition under Monti’s technocratic government and the rise of the Five Star Movement [MoVimento Cinque Stelle, M5S] as a new competitor) strongly influenced voters’ evaluations of how political parties were going to compete and whether, or for whom, they would vote. Survey results show that discontented voters largely used abstention as a strategy to express their resentment, but that the most politically engaged preferred to choose a radical party (M5S), rather than refusing to vote.