The Notables of Republican Italy
According to the prevailing view, notables and mass parties are incompatible. Conventionally, a notable is a politician whose political capital consists of the position of social authority and prestige he occupies. Drawing on the case of Republican Italy, this paper suggests, instead, that conventional notables could easily adapt to the so called party democracy. On close examination, it seems also that national and local professional party politicians frequently accumulated a personal political capital to advance their fortunes within their own party. Finally, the paper brings to light cases of social notables who consolidated their personal political capital thanks to their long lasting political career. All these cases, drawing as they do on particular social and political contexts, are extremely different. This is not surprising if we keep in mind that the notable is just an ideal-type.