Italian Political Science <p><strong>Italian Political Science (IPS)</strong>&nbsp;is an open-access peer-reviewed quarterly journal dedicated to deepening the understanding of political phenomena relevant for political scientists and a wider public, including journalists, policy-makers, policy analysts, political activists and all those who have an interest in politics.</p> <p>IPS publishes&nbsp;<strong>intellectually stimulating and conceptually rigorous contributions</strong>&nbsp;on all areas relevant to Political science. All articles include a focus on contemporary Italy, either considered as a case-study or in comparative or European perspective.</p> Società Italiana di Scienza Politica - Italian Association of Political Science en-US Italian Political Science 2420-8434 Celebrity politics and changing performances over time. The case of Italian populist leaders <p>Celebrity may be a successful strategy for political leaders. The article intends to detail how this happens, what specific styles are adopted, how they are differentiated and especially how they have changed over time. We will argue that, while legacy media have produced certain models of political celebrity, the opportunities offered by the communicative structures of social media have encouraged the introduction of new elements. Starting from the assumption that celebrity may help leaders to reinforce their claim of closeness to the people, the article focuses on Italian populist leaders.</p> <p>It discusses commonalities and differences with the aim of advancing the comprehension of how celebrity operates in political contexts. The choice of covering two distinct periods - from the early 1990s-to 2000s and from the 2010s to the present- allows a diachronic comparison with the aim of identifying possible trends.</p> Donatella Campus Marco Mazzoni Copyright (c) 2022 Donatella Campus, Marco Mazzoni 2022-08-05 2022-08-05 16 3 157–178 157–178 The Italian premiership after Berlusconi: A limited legacy <p>The fall of Silvio Berlusconi’s last government in 2011 and the financial crisis and drastic measures implemented by Mario Monti’s technical government anticipated a real electoral earthquake in 2013. Political parties faced a new phase of crisis and change, confirmed in the elections of 2018. This crisis weakened the political institutions, starting from the head of the executive, who found themselves in increasing difficulty in relation to their parliamentary majority. Since then, from the point of view of the role of the prime minister, the personalisation of politics has continued, while the presidentialisation process - as we knew it during the “Berlusconi Era” - seems to have changed. The power of prime ministers without a party, in a widespread climate of institutional impatience, more often finds outlets in the legislative and organisational instruments of the presidency of the Council of Ministers than in populist strategies or technocratic resources. This article analyses the seven executives that followed the crisis of Silvio Berlusconi’s last government in 2011. In particular, it focuses on the management of the presidency of the Council through the use of Prime Ministerial Decrees (DPCMs) and then cross-references this process with two important dimensions inherited from the process of the personalization and presidentialisation of politics: party leadership and populist discursive strategy. All of the prime ministers that followed Berlusconi lacked (and one of them lost) a significant feature of presidentialisation: party leadership. This article shows that some premiers have made up for this shortcoming by resorting to populist discourse or by asking the technocracy for help. But Berlusconi’s real legacy, that all of his successors have shared, is the attempt to strengthen the executive through the autonomous and personalized management of the PM’s Office. This part of the legacy is definitely important, but not sufficient for &nbsp;a successful premiership today.</p> Annarita Criscitiello Copyright (c) 2022 Annarita Criscitiello 2022-08-05 2022-08-05 16 3 179–195 179–195 Scientists versus the people: science, anti-science and counter-science in Italian populist communication before and during the pandemic <p>This paper fits into the complex debate on the relation between pandemic and populism, shedding light on one aspect that has not yet been sufficiently investigated: the renewed antagonism between common sense and scientific knowledge in populist communication. How has the way populist actors speak of expert knowledge and scientists changed since the outbreak of the Coronavirus? Has the pandemic fostered an extension of the ‘elite’ concept in populist rhetoric, allowing populist forces to identify scientists as the new central antagonist of ‘the people’? The research tries to answer these questions through a content analysis of populist tweets (N=1533). We focus on a relevant case study, Italy, which makes it possible to distinguish between different ‘types’ of populist parties, in terms of both ideology and strategical ‘constraints’. Findings show that a radical right ‘science-related populism’ has emerged as a backlash of scientists’ massive intervention in the political sphere.</p> Mirko Crulli Copyright (c) 2022 Mirko Crulli 2022-08-05 2022-08-05 16 3 196–219 196–219 Inside Technocracy: Features and Trajectories of Technocratic Ministers in Italy (1948-2021) <p>In recent times, technocratic transformations occurring in the governmental arena of European political systems have prompted growing scholarly interest. This study aims to contribute to this flourishing research agenda by examining the features of Italian technocratic ministers, the underpinnings of their government involvement, and the trajectories they have followed after ruling responsibility from 1948 to 2021. The main findings of the study show that: (a) there is a clear gendered pattern in technocratic appointments; (b) university professors are the most common professional category involved in technocratic appointments; (c) parties are gradually ceding core executive positions to technocratic ministers; (d) technocratic appointments are mainly driven by expertise-related considerations; (e) cases of technocratic ministerial reappointments are negligible; and (f) technocratic ministers take a formal political affiliation or join private and public top companies after government participation.</p> Marco Improta Copyright (c) 2022 Marco Improta 2022-11-09 2022-11-09 16 3 220–240 220–240