Keywords: Public administration reform , Local public services, Implementation, Governance
The article proposes to analyze the Italian water management reform as not only aimed at service improvement and at infrastructure modernization, but also - and particularly - at reshaping the mode of governance of drinking water resources at local level. Market mechanisms - contractual arrangements and competitive tendering (with an important role for local regulation) - should be the practical tools of the desired new governance system. In this perspective, the main question can be set as: what kind of effect has the reform had on the previous set of relationships between local actors in drinking water management and how can we explain the output(s)? A theoretical framework for a comparison between local outputs will be discussed and applied, providing some explanations for the resulting different patterns in local modes of governance.