Promoted on an international scale by the Trilateral Commission during the 1970s, the debate on the health and efficiency of democratic institutions was one of the main topics on the Italian political agenda during the long period between 1975 and 1988. This article aims at retracing its most significant stages, focusing on the different proposals put forward both by important sectors of the aca-demic community and by the political parties, at that time linked by a happy relationship of contamination, to enhance the role of govern-ment. The final goal of this reconstruction, which culminates in an analysis of the politi-cal conditions that led to the enactment of the organic law on the organization of the Presi-dency of the Council of Ministers, is to offer a new key to interpreting the 1980s, dwelling on the cultural code expressed by the political leadership of the time.
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