The recent publication of the fourth edition of "Public Management Reform" by Christopher Pollitt and Geert Bouckaert deals with the impact on reform making, of the great recession that affected the advanced economies since 2008. The work of Pollitt and Bouckaert is a massive comparative study of the ongoing reforms of public administrations whose most known model is the so-called 'New Public Management' (NPM). NPM is based on a businesslike and competitive approach and is often coupled with the spread of neo-liberal ideas and the reduction of public spending. The two authors challenge the idea that NPM is a hegemonic model, by emphasising national dynamics and traditions of public administration reforms. The purpose of this article is to frame Pollitt and Bouckaert's analysis within the Italian case by using the historical approach by Sabino Cassese, which outlines the recurring trends of Italian administrative history.