Informations and abstract
Keywords: Covid-19 pandemic, Italy, exogenous shocks, critical junctures, in-kind welfare policies.
The article introduces to the thematic Focus dedicated to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the Italian welfare system, and particularly on the policy fields chiefly characterized by in-kind service provision. Health, school, university, ECEC and work-life balance, LTC and social services are under scrutiny, together with the Third Sector as a crucial actor of both advocacy and service provision, and with the relations between Regions and the central State. Measures introduced in the last year and a half are analysed across policy sectors, distinguishing between short-term, emergency measures and more structural interventions. Although it is too early to assess whether the impact of such an exogenous shock has originated durable changes in the Italian welfare system, the articles explores whether the specific combination of some factors operating during the pandemic may constitute a critical juncture for reforms.