The GOVERNANCE blog

Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Posts Tagged ‘Italy

Ten years later, a policy half-completed: Performance pay in Italian municipal government

Ten years after Italy’s parliament passed a law requiring pay-for-performance systems for senior officials in municipal government, almost half of municipalities have failed to implement the reform.  In the new issue of Governance (24.2, April 2011), Greta Nasi, Daniela Cristofoli, Alex Turrini and Giovanni Valotti examine the reasons why some municipalities complied, while others did not.  Economic pressures were “not important at all,’ the authors conclude.  What mattered more was the desire for improved public legitimacy, the leadership of top bureaucrats, and the the degree of consensus among key internal stakeholders.  Read the article.

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April 20, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Book reviews: China in Africa; Welfare systems in Latin America; management reform in Napoleonic countries

China in AfricaIn the current issue of Governance (January 2011), Brian Levy of the World Bank reviews The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa by Deborah Brautigam — a “superb book” about China’s distinctive approach to engagement with African governments.   Open access to the review.   Alex Segura-Ubriego‘s Political Economy of the Welfare State is “the first comprehensive and systematic effort to advance our knowledge of Latin American welfare systems,” according to Barbara Zarate of the University of Oxford.   Open access to the review.  And Riccardo Mussari of University of Siena reviews Public Management Reform and Modernization by Edoardo Ongaro.  Ongaro’s book “fills a significant gap” by assessing management reforms in the Napoleonic countries of of central and southern Europe.   Open access to the review.

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March 25, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Establishing an autonomous tax agency: Sardinia’s experience

In 2006 the regional government of Sardinia established a new autonomous tax agency.  In the current issue of Governance (24.4, October 2010), Alberto Asquer examines the critical early phase of the new agency’s development, as it sought to consolidate its position despite questions about the constitutionality of the taxes it was charged with collecting.  The new agency carefully cultivated ties with other public bodies, including the regional Treasury department, and sought to diversify its functions to assure its survival even if the constitutional challenges succeeded.  The implementation strategy succeeded in consolidating the agency’s role within regional government.  Read the article.

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December 9, 2010 at 11:09 am

Questioning assumptions about Italy’s governmental traditions

In the current issue of Governance (23.2), Valentina Mele of Bocconi University challenges the widely held view that Italy’s legalistic administrative tradition suppresses reform.  The reality, she says, is more complicated.  Mele tracks a prolonged effort to promote government innovation that actually succeeded in “normalizing” novel management policies and practices.  Policy entrepreneurs created space for reform by first ensuring that older traditions “were actively discredited.”  Mele says the case study illustrates why there is a need for closer attention to the social mechanisms that guide change even in politically unstable contexts.  Read more: Innovation Policy in Italy (1993-2002): Understanding the Invention and Persistence of a Public Management Reform.

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May 14, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Fiscal retrenchment in Italy: The collision of imperatives in budget reform

Italy was under intense pressure to consolidate its budget in the early 1990s, as it reeled from a currency crisis and struggled to meet requirements for joining the Eurozone.  Francesco Stolfi examines how budget institutions were reformed as part of the consolidation effort.  A combination of structural and ideological factors shaped the reform, Stolfi says, yielding a budget process that strengthened Treasury power while preserving significant discretion for managers in budget implementation.  Stolfi says that his study addresses “the profound epistemological divide” between structuralist and interpretative approaches to the study of policy change.  Read the article for free: Testing Structuralist and Interpretative Explanations of Policy Change: The Case of Italy’s Budget Reform.

An apology: The Editors apologize for an error in describing Dr. Stolfi’s institutional affiliation on the first page of  this article.  Dr. Stolfi now teaches at the University of Exeter.

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January 22, 2010 at 1:00 am