Federico Russo Alice Cavalieri

The Policy Content of the Italian Question Time. A New Dataset to Study Party Competition

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Analysing the policy content of party competition is fundamental to understanding contemporary politics. Parties are aware that the content of the agenda influences their electoral fortunes and fight to attract attention on the issues on which they have an advantage. Using a new dataset consisting of about 4000 Parliamentary questions asked between 1996 and 2012 in Italy, this article describes the content of the party competition during the periods between elections in the age of alternation. The findings demonstrate that the changing content of questions mirrors the transformation affecting Western politics and the changing mood of public opinion. However, there is considerable space for party differences.


  • Agenda-setting
  • Question Time
  • Issue Competition
  • Parliament
  • Italy


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