Party Systems and Social Policy: A Historical Comparison of Italy and Germany

Georg Picot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article shows how the development of social policy in Italy and Germany was influenced by their respective party systems. Its focus is on the differences between systems of unemployment protection in the two countries after World War II. Due to many similarities between the two states, in particular the dominant presence of Christian democratic parties in both national governments at the time, this divergence cannot be adequately explained by standard theories. The article shows that it is crucial to take the widely different party systems into account: seven parties and ideological polarisation in Italy as opposed to three parties and moderate ideological differences in Germany. These generated different political dynamics and, consequently, different policy output. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-158
Number of pages20
JournalWest European Politics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


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