Date of Publication

5-2011

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Political Science & International Studies

First Advisor

Andrea Ciliotta-Rubery, PhD

Abstract

Since World War II the Italian political system has been volatile with numerous government turnovers. It was in 1946 the government switched to a democratic republic, and since then, the number of turnovers has exceeded 60. (Background 4) A consequence of this instability is differing coalitions continually vying for power. In order for a coalition to succeed, member parties must garner support and remain loyal to their alliances. The smallest, yet most important part of a coalition alliance is the periphery parties which share some common ideologies and compromise in order to compete with other parties for reform. A relatively new party which has come into existence in the Italian political system is Lega Nord, or more simply put, the Northern League. This party is currently the smallest and periphery party of a coalition, yet it has used its position to its advantage in order to pass numerous reforms through a series of compromises regarding issues which revolve around life and liberty of the Italian citizen. The Northern League has overcome many obstacles since its formation in the early 1990's, and thus adapted itself into a party which will continue to enjoy success in the foreseeable future. There were many times after its creation that the Northern League was left susceptible to problems which possibly could have led to, what some believed, inevitable failure. However, its strength grew from failures and these failures provided useful learning experiences which helped direct the League into a steadier foundation for its future endeavors. It is only with studying the progressive history of this party, from the creation of Lega Nord and its modest rise, to the present state. This timeline will highlight certain views the party held at different times, behaviors, and strategies so one can understand its present place, failures, and ultimate triumph as a sustainable party in the Italian political system.

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