Declining partisan representation at the sub-national level: assessing and explaining the strengthening of local lists in Italian municipalities (1995–2014)
In Western democracies political representation at the national level is still dominated by (old and new) political parties. This article shows that, instead, the representative role of parties may have declined at the local level. In Italy, for instance, the average share of municipal seats held by non-partisan councillors has almost tripled in the last 20 years. By using an original data set, this article classifies different types of Italian local lists, assesses their relationship with traditional parties and explains territorial variation in their success. The results suggest that local lists have become substantially stronger in small municipalities, in regions characterised by weak or declining political subcultures and where regionalist parties are absent or irrelevant. Finally, contrary to the expectation that declining partisanship is linked to modernisation processes and direct civic engagement, local lists have achieved their best results in the less developed areas of the country.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
Citation : Vampa, D. (2016) Declining partisan representation at the local level: assessing and explaining the strengthening of local lists in Italian municipalities (1995-2014). Local Government Studies, 44 (2), pp. 579–597
Peer Reviewed : Yes