Giancarlo Vecchi

Designing on the Past? Administrative Reforms in Italy During the Last Decades: From Modernization Projects to an Incrementalism without Strategies

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The objective of this article is to analyse the Italian reforms regarding the public administration in diachronic perspective, starting from the years 1992-1993 up to 2019, and reflecting upon the designs of the proposals. In so doing, we identify two different phases: the first, characterized by reform packages based on clear strategic ideas, as well as on consistent objectives and instruments; and the second, influenced by an incremental orientation, that gradually loses strategic ideas and innovation perspectives, with a scarce capacity to maintain coherence and consistence among objectives and/or instruments. In a nutshell, we found that the recent interventions show a tendency to design reforms on the past, with scarce coherence and innovation. This hypothesis is illustrated by the specific case of performance management initiatives.


  • Italian Administrative Reforms
  • Public Sector Transformations
  • Performance Management Reforms
  • Policy Design


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