South Tyrol: 50 Years of Power-Sharing and Federal-like Relations


South Tyrol’s autonomy is based on a dissociative conflict resolution model and, building on this, on a consociational democracy. Power-sharing takes place at the horizontal level between the three officially recognised language groups, Germans, Italians, and Ladins, and primarily concerns the proportional distribution of power influence and resources. The cooperation of elites corresponds to the ethnic separation of the language groups in many institutional and social areas. At the vertical level, there is formal and informal quasi-federal cooperation between Bolzano/Bozen and Rome, with Austria playing a relevant role as the protecting power for South Tyrol. Known as a success story, in recent times South Tyrol’s autonomy faces challenges that concern the overcoming of the dissociative model and the adaptation of its consociational democracy to changing demographics and to dynamics in Italian and European constitutional politics.

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Posted by Elisabeth Alber and Günther Pallaver in Case Studies, 0 comments