Party Organizational Change: Formal Distribution of Power between National and Regional Levels in Italian Political Parties (1991-2012)


In the last 20 years an increasing number of scholars have centred their attention on the relationships between party national structures and party sub-national branches. A relevant part of the specialized literature has interpreted party change as the by-product of the denationalization of party politics. The aim of this contribution is to investigate to what extent eight relevant Italian parties have followed patterns of organizational change, after the reforms of the municipal, provincial and regional election sys-tems; and the process of devolution of administrative powers begun during the Nineties. By focusing on two analytical dimensions (the level of involvement and the level of autonomy of party regional units), we analyse diachronically continuity and change in party formal organization, through an in-depth analysis of the statutes adopted from 1992 to 2012

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20356609v8i1p167

Keywords: Denationalization; Italian political parties; Organizational change; stratarchy


Arrighetti A. and G. Seravalli (1998), “Sviluppo locale e istituzioni intermedie”, Sviluppo Locale, V(7): 5-32.

Allern E. H. and J. Saglie (2012) "Inside the Black Box: Parties as Multi-level Organisations in a Unitary State", West European Politics, 35(5): 947-970, doi: 10.1080/01402382.2012.706406

Baccetti C. (1997), Il Pds, Bologna: il Mulino.

Baccetti C. (2007), I postdemocristiani, Bologna: il Mulino.

Bardi L., P. Ignazi and O. Massari (eds, 2007), I partiti italiani. Iscritti, dirigenti, eletti, Milano: UBE.

Bardi L. and L. Morlino (1994) “Italy: tracing the roots of the great transformation”, in R. S. Katz and P. Mair (eds), How Parties Organize: Change and Adaptation in Party Organizations in Western Democracies, London: Sage.

Bartolini S. and P. Mair (1990), Identity, Competition and Electoral Availability: the Stabilization of European Electorates 1885-1985, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bertolino S. (2004), Rifondazione comunista: storia e organizzazione, Bologna: il Mulino.

Bolleyer N. (2012), “New Party Organization in Western Europe: Of Hierarchies, Stratarchies and Federations”, Party Politics, 18(3): 315-336, doi: 10.1177/1354068810382939

Bratberg Ø (2010), “Multi-level Parties in Process: Scottish and Welsh MePs and their Home Parties”, West European Politics, 33(4): 851-869, doi: 10.1080/01402381003794654

Calossi E. and E. Pizzimenti (2014), “Hierarchy, Stratarchy and Party Politics Denationalization. Procedures of Candidate Selection in the Italian Parties (1991-2012)” in Bardi L., H. Kriesi and A. H. Trechsel (eds), Elections in Europe in times of crisis: contributions from the 2013 EUDO dissemination conference, Florence: European University Institute.

Caramani D. (2004), The Nationalization of Politics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Carty R. K. (2004), "Parties as Franchise Systems The Stratarchical Organizational Imperative" Party Politics, 10(1): 5-24, doi: 10.1177/1354068804039118.

Chhibber P. and K. Kollman (2004), The Formation of National Party System, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Deschouwer K. (2003), "Political parties in multi-layered systems", European urban and regional studies, 10(3): 213-226, doi: 10.1177/09697764030103003.

Deschouwer K. (2006), “Political parties as multi-level organizations” in R. S. Katz and W. J., Crotty (eds), Handbook of Party Politics, London: Sage.

Diamanti I. (2003), Bianco, rosso, verde... e azzurro: mappe e colori dell'Italia politica, Bologna: il Mulino.

Eldersfeld. S. (1964), Political Parties: A Behavioral Analysis, Chicago: Rand McNally.

Fabre E. (2011), “Measuring party organization: The vertical dimension of the multi-level organization of state-wide parties in Spain and the UK”, Party Politics, 17(3): 343-363, doi: 10.1177/1354068810376183.

Hooghe L. and G. Marks (2001), Multi-level governance and European integration, Lenham: Rowman & Littlefield.

Hopkin J. (2003), "Political Decentralization, Electoral Change and Party Organizational Adaptation A Framework for Analysis", European Urban and Regional Studies, 10(3): 227-237, doi: 10.1177/09697764030103004.

Hopkin J. (2009), “Party Matters. Devolution and Party Politics in Britain and Spain”, Party Politics, 15(2): 179-198, doi: 10.1177/1354068808099980.

Ignazi P., L. Bardi and O. Massari (2010), “Party organisational change in Italy (1991–2006)”, Modern Italy, 15(2): 197-216, doi: 10.1080.

Ignazi P., L. Bardi and O. Massari (eds, 2013), Non solo Roma. Partiti e classi dirigenti nelle regioni italiane, Milano: UBE.

Janda K. (1980), “A Comparative Analysis of Party Organization: The United States, Europe, and the World”, in W. J. Crotty (eds), The Party Symbol: Readings on Political Parties, San Francisco, W.H.: Freeman.

Katz R. S. and P. Mair (eds, 1992), Party Organizations. A Data Handbook on Party Organizations in Western Democracies: 1960-90, London: Sage.

Katz R. S. and P. Mair (1993), "The evolution of party organizations in Europe: the three faces of party organization", American Review of Politics, 14(4): 593-617.

Katz R. S. and P. Mair (1995), "Changing Models of Party Organization and Party Democracy. The Emergence of the Cartel Party", Party politics, 1(1): 5-28, doi: 10.1177/1354068895001001001.

Keating M. (1997), "The invention of regions: political restructuring and territorial government in Western Europe", Environment and Planning, 15: 383-398, doi: 10.1068/c150383.

Lanzalaco L. (1998), “Ruolo delle istituzioni intermedie negli ordini regolativi”, in A. Arrighetti and G. Seravalli (eds), Istituzioni intermedie e sviluppo locale, Roma: Donzelli.

Maddens B. and W. Swenden (eds, 2009), Territorial Party Politics in Western Europe, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Poli E. (2001), Forza Italia. Strutture, leadership e radicamento territoriale, Bologna: Il Mulino.

Roller E. and P. Van Houten (2003), “A Regional Party in a Regional Party System: the PSC-PSOE in Catalonia”, Regional and Federal Studies, 15(1): 1-22.

Smith R. and A. Gauja (2010) “Understanding party constitutions as responses to specific challenges”, Party politics, 16(6): 755-775, doi: 10.1177/1354068809346076.

Thorlakson L. (2009), “Patterns of Party Integration, Influence and Autonomy in Seven Federations”, Party Politics, 15(2): 157-177, doi: 10.1177/1354068808099979.

Van Biezen I. and J. Hopkin (2006), Party organization in multi-level contexts, Manchester: Manchester University Press.

von dem Berge B., T. Poguntke, P. Obert and D. Tibei (2013), Measuring Intra-party Democracy, Heidelberg: Springer.

Verge T. (2013), “Party Strategies on Territorial Reform: State-wide Parties and the State of Autonomies in Spain”, West European Politics, 36(2): 317-337, doi: 10.1080/01402382.2013.749658.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.