Towards a new era of regionalism in Italy? A comparative perspective on autonomy referendums


Referendums on regional autonomy are rare events in European politics but are likely to produce important political and institutional effects. This article provides the first systematic account of the autonomy referendums held in October 2017 in Lombardy and Veneto (Italy), and seeks to: i) explore the origins of autonomy referendums, placing them within a wider comparative framework of similar exercises across Western European countries; ii) explain their political, economic, social and cultural roots; iii) analyze the campaigns and the results, assessing variations across and within the two regions; iv) reflect on the political and institutional implications of the referendums, and evaluate the extent to which they could lead to a new era of regionalism in Italy, characterized by further asymmetries and fragmentation both at political and institutional level. Far from being an isolated case, Italy can provide useful insights into the new politics of regionalism and federalism in Western Europe. We also suggest that a more nuanced approach to the study of regionalism should not only focus on regional-central relations but should also account for tensions existing within regions (e.g. regional vs. local levels and cities vs. provinces).

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Politics, History and International Relations
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Aston Centre for Europe
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Territory, Politics, Governance on 11 Mar 2019, available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords: autonomy,centre–periphery cleavage,devolution,institutional asymmetries,multilevel governance,referendum,regional governance,territorial mobilization,Geography, Planning and Development,Political Science and International Relations
Publication ISSN: 2162-268X
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2024 07:31
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2019 10:56
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://www.tan ... rnalCode=rtep20 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-08-07
Published Online Date: 2019-03-11
Accepted Date: 2019-02-06
Authors: Giovannini, Arianna
Vampa, Davide (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5983-5422)



Version: Accepted Version

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