Do Populists Govern Differently? The Management of the Italian M5S-League Coalition in Comparative Perspective

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.21814/perspectivas.2557

Keywords:

Coalition governance, Populism, Italian Government, Five Star Movement, League

Abstract

In West European context, the first fully-fledged populist government that entered office in Italy in 2018 (Conte I) has been presented as a peculiar case. After discussing party dilemmas within coalitions, the article analyses – in comparative perspective – how the two partners M5S and League managed inter-party relations despite their divergent policy preferences. The work focuses on both structural and dynamic mechanisms of coalition governance. Particular attention is paid to the coalition agreement, which is compared to the benchmark case of the German Merkel IV cabinet. Findings show that the Conte I cabinet diverged from the Italian tradition, but approached other European models, despite its rhetoric of exceptionality. Yet, poor definition of policy goals and ambiguous governance mechanisms are observed.

Resumo

No contexto da Europa Ocidental, o primeiro governo populista de pleno direito que entrou em funções na Itália em 2018 (Conte I) foi apresentado como um caso peculiar. Após discutir os dilemas partidários dentro das coligações, o artigo analisa - em perspectiva comparativa - como os dois parceiros M5S e Liga geriram as relações interpartidárias apesar das suas preferências políticas divergentes. O trabalho centra-se tanto nos mecanismos estruturais como dinâmicos de governação da coligação. É dada especial atenção ao acordo da coligação, que é comparado com o caso de referência do gabinete alemão Merkel IV. Os resultados mostram que o gabinete Conte I divergiu da tradição italiana, mas abordou outros modelos europeus, apesar da sua retórica de excepcionalidade. No entanto, observa-se uma má definição dos objetivos políticos e mecanismos ambíguos de governança.

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Author Biography

Michelangelo Vercesi, Leuphana University Lüneburg

Michelangelo Vercesi is a Research Associate in Comparative Politics at Leuphana University in Lüneburg and elected member of the Executive Board of the International Committee on Political Sociology (CPS). He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pavia (Italy). Outside Germany, Michelangelo Vercesi has taught and held visiting positions at the University of Vienna (Austria), University of Milan (Italy), and Keele University (United Kingdom). His research focuses on comparative government, political elites and leadership, and political parties. On these topics, he has published several book chapters with Oxford, SAGE, and Routledge as well as articles in peer-reviewed journals, such as Government and Opposition; Parliamentary Affairs; Representation; European Politics and Society; Rgional and Federal Studies; and others.

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Published

2019-12-20

How to Cite

Vercesi, M. (2019). Do Populists Govern Differently? The Management of the Italian M5S-League Coalition in Comparative Perspective. Perspectivas - Journal of Political Science, 21, 9-24. https://doi.org/10.21814/perspectivas.2557

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Articles