Giulio Itzcovich

Mythologies of governability. History and critique of a concept

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Firstly, the essay tracks a genealogy of the Italian discourse on «governability». It is maintained that the origins of that discourse are to be traced back to a stream of late nineteenth century anti-parliamentary literature and to the criticisms of proportional representation and of «particracy», which sprung up during the interwar years and after WWII. Secondly, the essay highlights both the differences and the similarities between the current governability discourse and its antecedents. Based on a reading of Mortati's writings, the essay offers a critique of today's governability and suggests that the recent fortune of the concept depends on the crisis of the directive powers of the state and on the failures of the government's accountability mechanisms.


  • Governability
  • Constitutional Reforms
  • Electoral Law
  • Parliamentarism
  • Accountability


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