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The collapse of the first republic and the grown of a populist regime: the Berlusconi''s era

Goffredo Adinolfi
Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia – CIES-IUL
Goffredo Adinolfi
Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia – CIES-IUL
Open Panel

Abstract

Between 1992 and 1994 the Italian Political System lives a period of deep transformations leading to a complete collapse of the Italian party system. The economic and financial crisis that strike Italy are at the basis of the strong reshuffle of the political elite. One of the most important changes is the birth of a new party, strongly characterized by an populist attitude, Forza Italia, with an uncontested and uncontestable leader: Silvio Berlusconi. Hence a substantial turnover in the governing elites, that represents a complete novelty in the first republic, where high levels of government instability masked a high degree of continuity in the government personnel. Silvio Berlusconi headed, from 1994, 4 cabinets, composed by 72 ministers, governing for almost 9 years. The aim of this paper is to contextualize then classify the Berlusconi’s ministerial elite inside the pattern of the Italian political elite history. By using a quantitative methodology, we would like to highlight the characteristics of the political recruitment during the Berlusconi’s era. The main answer to which we would like to respond here is: who are the ministers of the right wing cabinets and which profile are more likely to stay and to be reappointed and why. For that reason we will follow a double step structure: first, Profile of ministers during the 4 Berlusconi’s cabinet compared with the profile of ministers during the First Republic; and second, characteristics of ministerial turnover in the Berlusconi’s Cabinets compared with the ministerial turnover during the First Republic.