The focus of this chapter will be on the Italian Partito Democratico (PD), a relatively new party struggling with its troubled past and undefined identity. It is most certainly not a social-democratic party. For some time now, most analysts have dealt with the central question concerning the ‘amount’ of ‘social-democratic’ qualities the Partito Democratico may have or may wish to have. In principle, it must be stressed that for almost all the leaders, militants, and members of the PD, social democracy has never been part of their past nor should it represent their political goal. They were not ‘born’ social democrats, but Communists and Christian Democrats. For the so-called ‘natives,’ that is those who joined the PD without any previous experience in other political parties, social democracy seems to be a 20th century ideology that gave birth to a historical experience that has been consummated. On the whole, regardless of their previous affiliation, none of the Democrats would want to, as they often say, die a ‘social-democrat.’ While most of the Democrats may recognize themselves as reformists and many would probably not object to being labeled ‘progressive,’ few identify with the European socialist/social-democratic family. And rightly so, because the Partito Democratico constitutes the product of a, probably too hasty, merger between the Left Democrats (Democratici di Sinistra) and the Daisy (Margherita). Their respective forefathers were the Communists and the Christian Democrats.


Prime Minister Communist Party Democratic Party Party Leader Social Democracy 
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© Gianfranco Pasquino 2013

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  • Gianfranco Pasquino

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