Institutional Reforms in Italy

A Long Quest in Vain: Institutional
Reforms in Italy
The perceived need for institutional and constitutional reform has figured prominently
in the Italian political debate over the past three decades, yet the outcome has been
characterised by continual failure. The most recent failure – the rejection of the centreright’s
proposed root and branch overhaul of the Constitution in a referendum held in
June 2006 – offers a valuable prism through which to analyse the main institutional
deficiencies (as apparently perceived by the political class) of the Italian political
system, and the attempt to overcome them in the past 15 years: executive–legislative
relations (and notably the powers of the Prime Minister and bicameralism), devolution,
and (formally beyond the Constitution but inseparable from its functioning) the
electoral system. The decisive rejection of the centre-right’s proposals in 2006 increases
the dilemma confronting the Italian political system in its quest to secure constitutional
reform by precluding certain types and methods of reform while failing to quash
aspirations for its achievement amongst politicians and the public.
Of all the issues that have been regarded as necessary to stabilising Italian
politics (if not bringing to a close the so-called ‘transition’), following the
dramatic upheaval of the 1990s, none has been more important than
constitutional and institutional reforms. Yet, the decisive rejection by
referendum in June 2006 of a package of proposals designed by the centreright
coalition that would have rewritten most of Part II of the Italian
Constitution symbolises the unqualified failure of the political class over a
30-year period to achieve constitutional reform (whilst not overlooking
electoral reform which is out of the Constitution). This is not to suggest that
Italian institutions remain totally unreformed or unchanged; on the
contrary, the principal institutions have all experienced change and
piecemeal reform, notably in the past 15 years (see Bull 2004: 553–60; Bull
and Newell 2005: ch. 7; Vassallo 2007). However, these changes have never
been regarded as sufficient to meet the needs of Italian democracy.
Correspondence Address: [email protected]; [email protected]
West European Politics,
Vol. 30, No. 4, 670 – 691, September 2007
ISSN 0140-2382 Print/1743-9655 Online ª 2007 Taylor & Francis
DOI: 10.1080/01402380701500223
The institutional reform debate has a long history, dating back to 1976
when Bettino Craxi, the secretary of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI)
launched the idea of a Grande Riforma (root and branch instead of gradual
reform of the Constitution). Since then, there have been no fewer than four
attempts at root and branch reform of the Constitution: the Bozzi
Commission (1983–85), the De Mita/Iotti Commission (1992–94), the
Bicameral Commission or Bicamerale (1997–98) and, finally, the House of
Freedoms’ proposed constitutional reform, passed by parliament in
November 2005 and reduced to ashes by a referendum the following year.
The last two reform attempts were influenced by the upheaval in Italian party
politics that occurred in the early 1990s. While, starting from Craxi, there has
been an apparent widespread belief that the root of Italy’s problems lie in its
institutional framework and that institutional engineering is therefore the
solution, the electoral reform of 1993 made that need more imperative. In
that year, a conspicuous majority of Italians voted to repeal large portions of
the proportional electoral law and parliament was obliged subsequently to
pass a mixed (three-quarters plurality, one-quarter proportional) electoral
law. There were high expectations that this reform, if accompanied by
significant institutional/constitutional reforms, would lay the foundations
for a better functioning political system. Indeed, as the bipolarising impact of
the new electoral law became apparent (with the emergence of two coalitions
and then candidates for the office of Prime Minister), the argument subtly
shifted to the need to update or modernise institutions in order to adapt them
to the new majoritarian form of politics and a putative new political class.
What appeared to be unchanging was the approach of that political class
(through its parties) to the question of institutional reforms: the reforms
proposed were generally dictated by the needs of the parties themselves, or at
least they were not willing to tolerate reforms which might undermine their
own power bases. The levels of disagreement this consistently produced
ensured the failure of successive attempts at reform, and led, in 2004, to the
centre-right government attempting to overhaul the Constitution on the
strength of its majority.
The consequence has been that institutions have been, and are, under
stress. The current institutional arrangements and political rules of the game
are not widely accepted; indeed, they have been under challenge on several
fronts. The widespread consensus that some measure of reform is needed,
when combined with the persistent failure to achieve this, undermines the
legitimacy of those institutional arrangements. The Italian Constitution has
become an instrument of political battle. No resolution of this dilemma
appears on the horizon because of a combination of three elements: first,
most of the old actors and their (obsolete) political and institutional beliefs
are still thriving; second, no authentic blueprint for systemic institutional
reforms has yet been formulated; and, third, no decisive electoral victory by
a coalition with such a blueprint for reform has been secured (as will be
argued below, Berlusconi’s 2001 victory was followed by a constitutional
Institutional Reforms in Italy 671
design that was confused and represented the outcome less of a shared vision
for a constitution than of cross-party deals and blackmailing).
This article analyses the key trends and developments in the institutional
reform debate of the past decade, with a particular focus on the most recent
attempt to achieve a root-and-branch overhaul of the Constitution and a new
electoral law. The first section provides a summary of the broader context of
the institutional reform debate. The next three sections analyse the three key
areas of reform or attempted reform in the past 15 years, with a focus on the
centre-right’s reforms of 2005: the electoral law, executive and legislative
power, and devolution (or federalism). There follows an analysis of the
failure of the centre-right to achieve these reforms (save the electoral reform)
through their rejection in the referendum of June 2006. The concluding
section argues that this most recent failure increases the dilemma confronting
the Italian political system in its quest to secure institutional reform.

Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Institutional Reforms in Italy
Just from $9/Page
Order Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment Help Service Works

1. Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2. Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3. Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4. Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essay GET A PERFECT SCORE!!! smile and order essay Buy Custom Essay

Place your order
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more
error: Content is protected !!
Open chat
Need assignment help? You can contact our live agent via WhatsApp using +1 718 717 2861

Feel free to ask questions, clarifications, or discounts available when placing an order.
  +1 718 717 2861           + 44 161 818 7126           [email protected]
  +1 718 717 2861         [email protected]