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Sergio Fabbrini and Marc Lazar

This chapter discusses Renzi’s leadership with regard to his party and the government. The main argument is that Renzi was able to use his party to support the government through his double role of secretary (of the party) and prime minister (of the government). However, the support of the party for the government’s actions has been regularly contested by an internal left-wing faction and has been weakened by the disaggregation and political autonomy of the local and regional party organizations. The chapter describes and analyzes the divisions within the national party, the difficulty of controlling local and regional organizations and leaders, and the parliamentary achievements of the government, which came about due primarily to the popularity of the prime minister. The personal leadership of Renzi has been a resource for promoting governmental reforms, but a leadership unsupported by a party will have difficulty facing future political and policy challenges.

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Sergio Fabbrini and Vincent Della Sala

There has been a continuous discussion since the second half of the

1980s on the transformation of the most important political, institutional,

and social structures within states, especially European

states. If a polity is defined as the various spheres—political, institutional

and social—that constitute states, then it may be argued that

changes on a European and global scale, along with transformations

that affect the sub-national level of government, have given rise to a

series of structural constraints and factors that shape political and

social life well beyond the borders of the national state. It is a discussion

that has not spared Italy, especially given the scale of change

experienced in the 1990s. This is not to say that internal factors no

longer exert an element of agency. Rather, endogenous forces need to

be placed within a broader context. The links between exogenous

influences and endogenous dynamics might help explain the continuity

and change of the structures of various national polities. The

events of 2003, presented in the chapters that follow, provide ample

material in this respect.