Alessandro Tonarelli

Gli amministratori locali di Forza Italia

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In this article the author discusses the results of a survey carried out on a sample of Forza Italia's (FI) members elected in the municipal, provincial and regional councils in the 1995 local elections. Two issues are investigated: the recruitment pattern of FI local élite and its offer of political representation. The article shows that the new center-right party does not maintain a tight rein on the candidate selection process, allowing alternative actors such as economic interest groups, local associations, friendship and other social networks to propose candidates. Another important, though not predominant, feature of FI recruitment pattern is the enrollment of politicians who had minor roles, without executive responsibilities, in the governing parties of the First Republic. FI seems to have combined these two different strategies in a "syncretic pattern". The final result is a local élite characterized by professional politicians but also a new significant role for candidates from the private sector, particularly small employers, craftsmen, shopkeepers and professionals. Regarding the second question - the type of representation offer - the three indicators adopted in the survey - the local administrators' affiliation with interest groups, their professional background, and their ranking of preferred social groups - show that FI has adopted a clear pro-business profile both at the national and local level.

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