Informations and abstract
Keywords: government declarations, law-making, coalition governance
The way in which the executive is able to define its policy priorities has an impact on the very process of law-making. This article is structured around this basic idea, which is by now common in the literature. In particular, it follows Lieven De Winter in drawing from agenda-setting theories and principal/agent models, in order to develop a number of hypotheses regarding the impact of government (programmatic) declarations on the legislative process, and, specifically, on the voting behaviour of members of parliament. The article takes into consideration the legislative outputs of four Italian executives over the last fifteen years. The empirical evidence shows that Italian governments tend gradually, but increasingly, to link their legislative activity to their programmatic and electoral pledges, and this is shown to have an impact on the process of law making. The article, in particular, discusses, coherently with the main hypotheses, how bills related to the fulfilment of governmental programmes are those characterized by more typically adversarial patterns of behaviour in parliament.