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Dynamics of policy change: three Italian cases

Mele, Valentina (2014) Dynamics of policy change: three Italian cases. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The common research interest of this thesis’s chapters is the dynamics of policy change in the context of the Italian governmental system. The collection of three published papers each included as a chapter in the core of the thesis is preceded by an introduction explaining the theoretical approach and research strategy. The chapters are consistent in following a middle-range processual theory of the politics of public policy decisions in a country case, an event-centric approach to explaining policy choice and an elite-interviewing approach to data collection. The first two chapters, respectively entitled “Government Innovation Policy in Italy (1993-2002): Understanding the Invention and Persistence of a Public Management Reform” and “Dynamics of Electronic Government Policies: The case of Italy (1992-2003)”, examine the dynamics of public management policy change in Italy over the period of a decade, employing the case of the Policy for Government Innovation and the case of the Electronic-Government Policy. The analysis of these two newly reported cases of enduring public management reform is suited to question the argument set by previous literature; that the country’s legalistic administrative culture inevitably suppresses meaningful reform. In particular, the chapters set forth two significant reservations about this argument, namely that the outcomes of public management reform initiatives are more varied than the current literature shows and the theoretical approach in the established literature attributes exagerate causal influence to the governmental system’s legalistic traditions. The third chapter, entitled “Explaining the Unexpected Success of the Smoking Ban in Italy: Political Strategy and Transition to Practice”, analyzes the episode that unfolds in a domain that addresses a general interest reform, very visible to public opinion, unlike public management reform. The chapter follows the issue beyond the pre-decisional stage, uncovering the dynamics of transition to practice: a phase between the formal passage and the full application of a law. A concluding section compares the three chapters, explores the interactions between analytically significant features of the Italian context and the policy cycle, and distils analytical refinements to the notion of policy entrepreneurship.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2014 Valentina Mele
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DG Italy
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > Management

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