The Dynamics of (Personalized) Party Identification in the Second Italian Republic
POLITIKON: The IAPSS Journal of Political Science, Volume 15, Number 2, November 2009
26 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2017
Date Written: 2009
Previous literature (e.g., McAllister 2007) has plainly assumed that the ‘personalization of politics’ in Western democracies is in large part due to the widespread ‘partisan dealignment’ going on in these societies. This paper provides an assessment of the causal relationship between these two phenomena in the Second Italian Republic, attempting to demonstrate that partisan dealignment is caused by – and not a cause of – the personalization of politics. Alternative explanations for the rapid weakening of partisan ties in the period 1994-2008 will be evaluated; then, it will be shown the prominence of leaders’ image among the determinants of individual (de)alignment with political parties; finally, it will be revealed how a generalized decrease in the number of partisan is linked to the (equally generalized) deterioration of the overall image of political leaders.
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