The Italian Vote Abroad: Electing from Afar

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    With the passing of recent landmark legislation, Italy is now among the few countries in the world that allow citizens living abroad to elect their own representatives to the national Parliament. This unique situation provides an opportunity to investigate several interesting questions about political participation and representation. This work argues that, given the lack of official Italian party structure in foreign countries, a new type of informal structure has arisen. This type of party structure strikingly resembles the arcane notion of a "party of notables." Abroad, candidates for election to the Italian national parliament who can most effectively utilize a combination of political, business, and community resources are most likely to get elected. Although individual candidates calling upon all of these resources have had some degree of electoral success, it seems that those candidates who use these resources in order to participate in the local politics of the foreign country in which they reside have been most successful in their electoral bids. This lends strength to the idea that, despite the globalization of Italian politics and the emergence of previously mythological "dual candidates," at its heart, "all politics is local politics."

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)125-138
    Number of pages14
    JournalItalian Culture
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


    • Dual candidates
    • Italian candidates
    • Italian elections abroad
    • Italian political parties
    • Local politics
    • Political participation
    • Political representation


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