Keywords: Liberalization; Reform; Local governance.
The debate on the state of liberalization and privatization has further flourished during the recent financial crises, when the negative performance of the Italian economy leads to reflect on the necessity of reforms in certain strategic sectors for the market. The paper addresses the issue of the Italian port reform and, through the analysis of the results produced by a research on its implementation, shows the difficulties and opportunities that arise in a specific context. The focus is on the role of the private and public actors in building a new model of territorial governance. Specifically, the attention is on a group of private actors who already have economic interests in the Neapolitan port and on the ways they attempt to counteract the aim of the reform - the liberalization - to avoid the entrance of new players in the competition for the management of public services.