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The Italian legislative process in bicameral perspective

Damiani, Roberta; (2020) The Italian legislative process in bicameral perspective. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores the functioning of the Italian legislative process at the bicameral level over the years 1996-2018, and it investigates how legislative dynamics changed following an electoral reform in 2005. The Italian bicameral system has long been considered highly “redundant” because of how similar the two chambers of parliament are. Nevertheless, the 2005 electoral reform brought about an important and yet under-investigated change by making their partisan composition considerably more incongruent than it previously was. Given the repeated failed attempts to reform the Italian bicameral system, most recently in 2016, and the lack of detailed studies looking at how it works in practice, evidence filling this gap is an important contribution both to the academic literature and to debates about institutional reform in Italy. The overarching research question informing this project is: “How do legislative dynamics in the Italian Parliament work at the bicameral level, and how, if at all, does variation in the level of bicameral incongruence affect them?”. The methodology used is a mixed-methods approach. A quantitative component uses two original datasets of government bills and amendments to carry out a set of exploratory regression analyses. This is a first step to reconstruct legislative trends and whether incongruence affects them. Secondly, a qualitative part relies on a total of four case study bills, using pairwise comparison and process tracing to reconstruct the effects of incongruence by comparing the parliamentary passage of two pairs of education bills during times of low and high incongruence. The results shed light on the performance of Italian bicameralism and inform policy recommendations for parliamentary and second chamber reform. By conceptualising the causal effects of bicameral incongruence, this study has implications for the wider comparative literature on bicameralism, coalition government and executive-legislative relations.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The Italian legislative process in bicameral perspective
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108705
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