Giovanni Amerigo Giuliani
Giovanni Amerigo Giuliani is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence. He is currently working on a research project titled “Welfare State Issues and Political Parties in Western Europe: New dynamic in Party System?”, under the supervision of prof. Luca Verzichelli. Giovanni hold a BA in International Relations from the University of Florence, and obtained a MA in European Studies with a thesis titled “The new trajectories of the European Employment Policy”. Within the Erasmus Placement Project, he worked for the Tuscany Region EU liaison office in Brussels and after the MA was trainee for the Florentine Chamber of Commerce.
Research interests: Comparative Politics, Political Parties, Party System Change, Welfare State, Social policy, European politics.
Supervisor: Professor Luca Verzichelli (University of Siena)
Abstract of the Research Project and provisional title: Welfare State Issues and Political Parties in Western Europe: New dynamic in Party System?
Welfare state and party system are two research topics that have always been extensively investigated by scholars. From its origin and development, the welfare state has played a crucial role in shaping party competition, as it has constituted one of the basic ideological clash points on the left-right continuum. Nevertheless, in the last few decades we have observed drastic changes in party systems as class cleavage has begun to lose its strength and new ones have emerged. The freezing hypothesis has been questioned and the end-of-ideology thesis has continued to gain ground. At the same time, the status quo of the European countries’ welfare state has been challenged by new endogenous and exogenous pressures.
My Ph.D. research project aims at probing diachronically (1990-2015 circa) to what extent the new internal and external pressures on the welfare state – conceptualized as transformations in the economic, social and labour market structure – have affected the party systems of four Western European countries – namely, France, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The study therefore focuses on assessing the polarization of the party systems, i.e. how the new pressures on the welfare state have influenced ideological profiles and ideological distances within the party systems. In other words: to what extent have the partisan differences on welfare issues that characterized the immediate post-war decades been reduced or eliminated in the light of the new endogenous and exogenous pressures on the welfare state? And, what are the consequences, if any, for the party systems of the selected countries?
The research project, on the one hand, will take into account the political supply side, i.e., the parties, on the other hand, it will aim at exploring the developments of electors’ positions on the welfare issues – the demand side – assessing the congruence or the incongruence between their positions and those of the parties.