Is there any future for new political cultures in the Italian political system?
Read “The Disappearance of Political Cultures in Italy”
By Gianfranco Pasquino
Following the collapse of the Italian party system in 1994, post-war Italian political cultures have all but exhausted themselves, if not disappeared completely. First, the Ulivo (Olive Tree) in 1996–1998, then, the Partito Democratico in 2007–2008, attempted without much conviction to formulate a new political culture combining several traditions and heritages. This article will explore how and why the PD failed in its attempts. It will also look at the status of other political cultures, especially the federalist and the liberal, supposedly relaunched by Berlusconi in 1994. It will conclude with some reflections on the appearance of personalist parties and leaders’ narratives and provide an assessment of the present situation with specific reference to the attempt by the PD leader, Matteo Renzi, to give birth to a so-called ‘Partito della Nazione’. Is there any future for new political cultures in the Italian political system? Will the Italian party system ever be revived?