Analysis Of Robert Putnam 's Making Democracy Work Essay

Analysis Of Robert Putnam 's Making Democracy Work Essay

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Between 1970 and 1989, Robert Putnam, author of the book Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, and a few of his colleagues assessed the new regional governments in Italy. Their goal was to uncover relationships and understand what creates an effective representative government by studying social, political, and cultural environments throughout Italy.
The appraisal revealed tremendous differences in the institutional performances of the regional administrations (Putnam 5), which led to Putnam’s inquiry into the conditions that create successful governments (Putnam 6). Eventually, Putnam’s analysis of these governments helped him further research the topic. This research became the Italian Regional Experiment. "The Italian regional experiment was tailor-made for a comparative study of the dynamics and ecology of institutional development” (Putnam 7). The goal of the experiment is to study the institutional performance of recently reformed regional governments within the Italian Peninsula, as well as find the roots of effective government (Putnam 14).
To conduct research that would provide data for both longitudinal and cross-sectional analysis, Putnam used several methods and procedures. The methods required to attain the goals of the experiment must be able to cover the various problems and their changes over time, and provide an in depth analysis of political issues and periods of reform in each of the regions (Putnam 13).
The investigation began with individual studies on 6 of the most diverse regional governments in Italy, but eventually all 20 regional institutions were included. Putnam obtained his data through personal interviews with regional councilors, the head of the regional government, and community l...


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...from evaluations of the opinions of councilors at the beginning of the experiment, with their opinions at the end of the experiment (Putnam 37). Putnam claims that this hypothesis, the concept of institutional socialization is the most accurate (Putnam 38).
Over the course of the 20 years of this experiment, Putnam interviewed regional and community politicians as well as their constituents in an attempt to understand the concepts that create effective governments as well as the institutional performances of the newly renovated regional governments. Putnam found that citizens have a strong impact on the productivity of the government, and that just as society evolves through generations, governments do so as well. The Italian regional experiment appears to be accurate because Putnam backs all his findings and hypotheses with strong evidence or clearly disproves them.

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