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Breaking the inertia: government formation under the shadow of a core party. The Italian case throughout the First Republic

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Authors: Luigi Curini and Luca Pinto

Published: Party Politics, 19(3): 502-522(2013)

Despite its theoretical relevance, the role played by the existence of a core party in explaining the partisan composition of governments represents an understudied area in the empirical researches on coalition formations. This article aims to cover this lack in the literature by focusing on the Italian case between 1946–1993. The core party not only finds a strong empirical corroboration in the data, but it also clarifies the role played by political inertia. In this sense, the nature of the cabinet-bargaining process appears to be qualitatively different when a core party is present. Beyond better accounting for the patterns of government formation, our results help to identify the necessary (spatial) conditions under which the cycle of a government formula can be expected to be broken.