The general elections of March 2018 opened, once again, a turbulent phase in Italian politics. After a long government-formation process characterised by many twists and turns, a new cabinet was sworn in, introducing several novel elements into the Italian political system. The so-called ‘government of change’ is formed by parties that are (the Five Star Movement) or have recently been (the League) outside the mainstream of the Italian party system. The new government is supported by a ‘populist’ majority in Parliament, as the two coalition parties took strong anti-Europe and anti-establishment stances before and after the elections. At the same time, the cabinet includes a non-partisan Prime Minister and a number of technocrats in some key portfolios. For the first time in Italian republican history, the yellow-green cabinet relies upon a formal post-electoral contract signed by the leaders of the coalition parties. What is the impact of the ‘government of change’ on the Italian political system? To what extent have the party system and party competition been reshaped after the 2018 elections? How new, really, is the parliamentary class in Legislature XVIII? Have anti-establishment parties turned themselves into the ‘casta’? Is there some balance between populists and technocrats in the cabinet? How effective is the coalition contract in containing ministers’ discretion and managing intra-cabinet conflict? Will the yellow-green majority be willing and able to implement the big policy reforms outlined by its leaders in the fields of fiscal and welfare policy? These are just a few of the many interesting questions that describe the new political phase and help us to understand if the formation of the ‘government of change’ can be a true turning point in the most recent evolution of the Italian political system.

For its second issue of 2018, Italian Political Science (IPS) hosts a special issue on the analysis of Italian politics under the ‘government of change’ edited by Andrea Pedrazzani. We invite interested contributors to submit short papers (between 4,000 and 6,000 words) covering a broad set of topics and using a wide range of approaches and methods. The following is a (non-restricted) list of topics we are interested in:

  1. The evolution of the Italian party system and the dimensions of party competition
  2. The traits of the new parliamentary class
  3. The process of government formation
  4. Portfolio allocation and the selection and characteristics of government personnel
  5. Patterns of cooperation and conflict between the two coalition partners (coalition governance)
  6. The transformation of ‘populist’ challenger parties into government parties
  7. The emergence of new policy priorities and new policy agendas

Expressions of interest can be sent to the Special Issue guest editor:

Papers can only be submitted electronically through the online submission system available on the journal website.

The deadline for the submission of papers is 30 September 2018. Selected papers will be submitted for peer review.