Vertical Competition in Unitary States: The Case of Italy
In unitary states--states in which constitutional powers are owned by the central government--vertical competition can generate stable outcomes, that is outcomes that do not unravel through arbitrary repossessions by the center. Stability is a product of institutional commitment devices. Through these a democratic government, though it cannot bind successor governments, can effectively oblige them to respect some of the decisions it has made. A number of such commitment devices exist in Italy; they make possible stable vertical competition between central and regional governments. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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