Killing Federalism from Above: Constitutional Culture, the Italian Founding, and the Seeds of Contemporary Instability

Nikolai G. Wenzel


With chronic governmental instability, a dangerously high debt-to-GDP ratio, Northern secessionism, and Southern under-development, Italy continues to stagger along.  This paper uses the lens of constitutional culture to examine the Italian founding in 1861. Despite arguments for imposed centralization from above, Italy would have fared better under a federal system that respected the peninsula's rich tradition of local autonomy.  Although counter-factuals are impossible to prove, a federal system would likely have led to greater stability and growth.

Enviado el (Submission Date): 3/05/2015
Aceptado el (Acceptance date): 28/05/2015

Palabras clave

Italian founding; Italian constitution; federalism; constitutional political economy; constitutional culture

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