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An introduction to Italian politics and policy-making, considering in detail the way in which Italy's recent history has affected the course of its political and economic development. This work looks at the policy process through the 1980s, analyzing the practical results of the policy-making process in key areas, such as industry and the economy. It then discusses the party-political and governmental developments of the 1990s. The author aims to illuminate the Italian case by applying a comparative framework. Italy has often been treated as an exception to any rule of Western European politics; there are, however, many features that the country holds in common with its EC neighbours.