Patrik Vesan David Natali

Between Knowledge and Power: Policy Advice in Labour Policies in Italy



This article examines the role of policy advice in labour reforms in Italy and tests two hypotheses: the politicisation of policy advice and the key role of external consultants. To this end, our research focuses on: the «who», i.e. the profile of the advisor; the selection of advisors (the «how»); and, finally, the content and influence of the advice (the «what») in three exemplary reform processes: the so-called «Biagi reform», the «Fornero reform» and the «Jobs Act». The dense empirical reconstruction provides evidence of the key role played by external consultants selected directly by policymakers. The activity of these advisors proves to be a loose form of politicisation, where the direct control of policymakers is limited and shaped by contingent (often accidental) factors.


  • Policy advice
  • Employment policy
  • Reforms
  • Politicisation


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