Keywords: Multilevel governance, Integrated River Basin Management, Po river basin, Policy mix
Like virtually every other policy area, water policy in Italy has undergone many transformations with regard to its strategy and instruments in the last twenty years. After decades of neglect, since 1989 water policy has been restructured through a series of legislative reforms. The resultant framework is characterized by several levels of government and the fragmentation of power and responsibilities. The aim of the article is to analyze the integrated river basin management strategy, with reference to the case of the Po basin, as a form of multilevel governance. It will be shown that the strategy is articulated in a somewhat incoherent mix of policy instruments reflecting different policy paradigms, and that old instruments have been modified and readjusted in the absence of any comprehensive design.