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Nihil Novi Sub Sole? Executive Power, the Italian Parlamento and the 'War on Terror'

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This article examines whether the balance of executive and legislative power in Italy changed over the course of the so-called 'war on terror' initiated by 9/11, 7/7, and other terrorist attacks. The discussion analyses 'war on terror'-related legislative proposals introduced by the Berlusconi and Prodi governments, the nature of the proposed legislation, the parliamentary debates and votes on the proposals, and the effectiveness of the Italian Parliament's oversight. The article shows that Italy already had a legacy of counter-terrorist legislation on its statute books arising from its previous history of domestic terrorism. After 9/11, the Italian government did not use the new terrorist emergency to push a new counter-terrorism agenda and the balance of legislative and executive power remained static.

Keywords: Italy; Parlamento; Second Republic; cartel; polarisation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for Governance and Public Policy at Griffith University, Brisbane,ARC-funded Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS),

Publication date: June 1, 2009


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