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Title: Government law-making in Italy. The important role of the recently created coalition agreements
Authors: Moury, Catherine
Marangoni, Francesco
Keywords: Cabinet
Party government
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: CIES - ISCTE
Series/Report no.: CIES e-Working Paper
Nº 52/2008
Abstract: The drafting of a coalition agreement does represent a crucial arena for partners in parliamentary governments: it allows them to reach, even before the executive is in place, the necessary compromise (and eventually “package deals”) over a set of policies to implement, and on the content of the main laws to promote. The coalition agreement could also be more than a programmatic platform: defining, for instance, special rules to solve future intra-coalitional conflicts. A coalition agreement, thus, could play an extremely important role in limiting the transaction costs intrinsically related to the formation and implementation of important government (legislative) decisions. Being of exploratory nature, this paper wants to analyze the role of coalition agreements recently implemented by the Italian governments. In the first part, the literature about coalition agreements as a decision-making arena is presented. In the second part, the characteristics of the coalition agreements drafted by the Prodi I government (in 1996) and by the Berlusconi II government (in 2001) are then analyzed. In a final part, we present some empirical evidences on to what extent the coalition agreements drafted by these two governments have functioned as point of reference for the process of government decision making: to what extent the bills the Council of Ministers has approved and presented to the parliament are linked to the goals of the coalition agreement? And conversely: to what extent the pledges included in coalition agreements have been transferred into governmental decisions. And again, incidentally: does the drafting of a coalition agreement facilitate the adoption of significant legislation by the executive? And is this legislation also relatively more conflictual in parliament?
Peer reviewed: Sim
ISSN: 1647-0893
Appears in Collections:CIES-WP - Working papers

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