In spite of the fact that Katz and Mair’s cartel party article has been one of the most widely cited, read, discussed, criticized scholarly works of the past decade, Italian politics experts have been somewhat reluctant to apply the cartel party framework to analyze the Italian party system.1 This reluctance was probably motivated by an improper understanding of what the cartel party hypothesis actually entails. Italian politics scholars seemed to think that the cartel is a specific type of oligopolistic market in which the supply of goods is distorted by the collusion of the oligopolistic firms which, by colluding, form the cartel. Italian politics scholars further believed that oligopolistic markets, and cartels of oligopolistic firms, are created to resist change and to prevent other firms from entering the market and that they are able to do so successfully.
PELIZZO, Riccardo, "Cartel Parties and Cartel Party Systems: The Italian Case" (2006). Research Collection School of Social Sciences. Paper 138.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/138