Policy agendas studies analyse the dynamics of attention to policy issues over time and across actors and institutions to obtain insights into the functioning of political systems. The articles in this special issue draw on this approach to investigate key aspects of the Italian political system, with a special emphasis on the period spanning from the political crisis of the early 1990s to the watershed elections of 2013. They analyse a broad range of institutional and policy venues, including public opinion, political parties, the executive, the Parliament, and the Constitutional Court. While single articles address different research questions and focus on different institutions, they all share a focus on the dynamics of issue attention over time. This introduction provides a summary overview of the theoretical and methodological tools employed in the volume, highlighting how the study of policy agendas can contribute to the understanding of political systems and their change over time. It then summarises the main findings of single articles which, taken together, shed new light on several classic questions that have been widely debated in the literature on the evolution of the Italian political system.
- political parties