Electoral and Executive Agenda in Time of Populism: A Solemn Oath or Coalition Politics as Usual?


The translation of electoral pledges into the executive’s agenda is all but a linear process. Parties that take office have to compromise on what issues will be prioritized in the governmental agenda, which never exactly matches parties’ electoral platforms. Populists may further challenge this mechanism, as they pursue a more direct link with people and claim to be different from non-populist parties. This study, bridging the party mandate model and agenda-setting scholarship, analyses the congruence between electoral manifestos and the prime minister’s investiture speech in Italy, both at the aggregate and individual-issue levels. By comparing the behaviour of parties in government (1994–2021), the analysis reveals that populist parties do not reinforce the ‘transmission belt’ from electoral pledges to the executive agenda.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v7n2p197

Keywords: Agenda-setting; Populism; Party Manifesto; Investiture Speech; Prime Minister

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