The chapter analyses and compares the integration of employment and social policies at the local level in three major Italian cities (Naples, Rome and Milan). The chapter departs from the modes of governance of integrated activation policies to highlight the importance of departmentation and the relative organisational reforms that shape bureaucratic structures. It analyses how different institutional contexts and local specificities influence the local governance of activation and highlights good and innovative practices of organizing services for active social cohesion policy. The theoretical and methodological approach developed by the LOCALISE project is deployed to analyse the Italian cases, so to identify and compare methods and practices of integration in each case. The barriers to and enablers of integration are explored and good practices in achieving multi-level, multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder integration are presented, showing that the public administration governance model characterises all Italian cities with limited variations. The chapter underlines that in Italy the multi-dimensional divide exacerbates the multi-level divide, following similar administrative divisions. It then highlights three specific features, relates to the weak possibility of multi-dimensional integration within institutions. First, universality has been a core claim of social policies that only recently has come to be challenged as an effect of the economic crisis. Second, the principle of integration, especially with respect to the horizontal integration, is far from being fully considered in the political and administrative culture. Third, there is still a primacy of the political level over the administrative level and, even if the public bureaucracy has a key role in making and administering policies, it clearly enjoys limited discretion. In particular, the predominance of politics over administration is one of the main reasons for which, in all the three cases studies clearly surfaced a highly fragmented picture with respect to multi-dimensional integration that impact also on the multi-level coordination. Indeed, it clearly emerges that Italian local bureaucracies are working by “organ pipes” so that each department usually follows its own routines autonomously, trying not to interfere with others, in order to avoid (or deepen the already existent) political competition with other departments or levels. Furthermore, since politics often aims at building consensus, some politicians develop their objectives autonomously, rather than as the result of top-down coordination among the different public officials and bottom-up initiatives deploying the expertise of apical bureaucrats.

The local governance of social inclusion policies in Italy: working via ‘organ pipes’

BASSOLI, MATTEO
2016

Abstract

The chapter analyses and compares the integration of employment and social policies at the local level in three major Italian cities (Naples, Rome and Milan). The chapter departs from the modes of governance of integrated activation policies to highlight the importance of departmentation and the relative organisational reforms that shape bureaucratic structures. It analyses how different institutional contexts and local specificities influence the local governance of activation and highlights good and innovative practices of organizing services for active social cohesion policy. The theoretical and methodological approach developed by the LOCALISE project is deployed to analyse the Italian cases, so to identify and compare methods and practices of integration in each case. The barriers to and enablers of integration are explored and good practices in achieving multi-level, multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder integration are presented, showing that the public administration governance model characterises all Italian cities with limited variations. The chapter underlines that in Italy the multi-dimensional divide exacerbates the multi-level divide, following similar administrative divisions. It then highlights three specific features, relates to the weak possibility of multi-dimensional integration within institutions. First, universality has been a core claim of social policies that only recently has come to be challenged as an effect of the economic crisis. Second, the principle of integration, especially with respect to the horizontal integration, is far from being fully considered in the political and administrative culture. Third, there is still a primacy of the political level over the administrative level and, even if the public bureaucracy has a key role in making and administering policies, it clearly enjoys limited discretion. In particular, the predominance of politics over administration is one of the main reasons for which, in all the three cases studies clearly surfaced a highly fragmented picture with respect to multi-dimensional integration that impact also on the multi-level coordination. Indeed, it clearly emerges that Italian local bureaucracies are working by “organ pipes” so that each department usually follows its own routines autonomously, trying not to interfere with others, in order to avoid (or deepen the already existent) political competition with other departments or levels. Furthermore, since politics often aims at building consensus, some politicians develop their objectives autonomously, rather than as the result of top-down coordination among the different public officials and bottom-up initiatives deploying the expertise of apical bureaucrats.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11389/18110
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