Executive Power and Accountability in Italy and the Government’s Response to Covid-19


In this article, we add to the existing literature on the political consequences of Covid-19 by studying executive power in Italy during the 2020 – 22 emergency. Given the direct, inverse link between executive centrality and accountability intended as the formal and informal institutions that limit unilateral action, we examine the behavior and practices of Italian executives in the context of the government-parliament relationship, the dynamics between the central state and the regional authorities (horizontal accountability), and the media (diagonal accountability). We focus on the choices made by the government during the Covid crisis. We present descriptive evidence indicating that executive centrality and standards of accountability fluctuated with an intensity proportional to the threat levels of the various stages of the pandemic.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v9n1p43

Keywords: Covid-19; Executive power; Accountability; Policymaking; Italy


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