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Anwen Elias and Filippo Tronconi, "From protest to power: Autonomist parties in government," Party Politics, 17 (July, 2011), 505-524. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol17/issue4/ ]

First paragraph:
In the latter half of the twentieth century, autonomist parties1 have (re-)emerged within the majority of West European states. In many places, they have also been parties of government. The Italian Lega Nord (LN) participated in Berlusconi's right-wing coalition government briefly in 1994, again from 2001 to 2006, and is currently in coalition with Berlusconi's People of Freedom party. In Catalonia and the Basque Country, autonomist parties boast a long record of government incumbency at the regional level and have periodically been key actors in securing governing majorities at the state level (Guerrero Salom, 2003). Since 2007, autonomist parties have also been in government in Scotland and Wales, either alone (the Scottish National Party (SNP)) or as part of a coalition (Plaid Cymru (PC)). As we summarize in Table 1, autonomist parties have also been in government at state and regional levels in several other places.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Autonomist parties in state and regional governments

Last Paragraph:
Finally, the article provides evidence of the role played by autonomist parties in increasing the inter-linking of state and sub-state systems of party competition (Thorlakson, 2006: 39). In many places, autonomist parties increase the number of coalition options available to state-wide political parties at both regional and state levels of government. Autonomist parties thus contribute to the emergence of new and complex governing strategies between different parties across different levels of government, as well as within state-wide parties that have to adapt to the different political dynamics at different territorial levels (Deschouwer, 2009; Stefuriuc, 2009a, b). This article thus constitutes a first effort at examining how autonomist parties impact upon, and are impacted by, the multi-level dynamics of government formation.

Last updated August 2011