Economic inequalities and «social malaise» in Italy
Italy is widely perceived as a country that is going through a phase of «malaise», mainly for economic reasons. Yet this «malaise» does not seem to emerge from the indicators that should pick it up. Income inequality and poverty have been pretty well stable for several years. After reviewing the development of inequality in the last two decades, these notes try to illustrate some phenomena that can explain the widespread perception of «social malaise» and that slip through the net of the traditional indicators.
Resources for education. Investment and expenditure
This work presents some reflections on expenditure on the various levels of education compared both with other countries and with the different areas of Italy. In the latter case the paper presents the main evidence that has emerged from the reconstruction of public expenditure in education considering the contributions from all the different bodies concerned (central government, Regions, local councils). It also analyses the territorial gap as it emerges from various samples carried out at various ages and suggests that the difference in resources available might help explain this gap.
The difficult transition from employment regulation to welfare policies
This article considers recent trends in labour market reforms in Italy. We critically review the reform approach adopted in recent years, mainly centred on marginal legislative reforms in employment contracts. The diffusion of flexible labour contracts, especially among the younger generations and women, together with a welfare system still based on employment seniority and job characteristics, have reinforced the segmentation of the Italian labour market and social inequalities. The absence of a negotiating strategy in introducing reforms has also increased social conflict.
Gender and generations: social change, inertia and potential
The article describes some of the results of recent detailed research on critical features in the ongoing modernisation process in Italy as regards the redefinition of male and female roles and the social division of labour. Although the remixing of gender roles in the family is extremely asymmetric, there are also new trends and important signs of change. All the same the potential for spreading better balanced models for the division of labour between men and women is now being hindered by a deficit of conciliatory policies and quality of female employment.
Social shock absorbers. Increasing conditionality and «pulverisation» of governance in the Italian system
When the mechanisms of workfare enter the academic and political debate about the oft-announced reform of the social shock absorbers, they are often seen as a panacea that can solve the most serious defects of unfairness in the present system. The article that follows seeks to show how, the current legal position is already to a large extent in line with this aim, at least formally. Therefore, any reform clearly needs to fill the gap between the abstract provisions of the regulations and how they are actually applied, but also to intervene to strengthen the governance of the system.
Regionalism Italian style? Reflections on the financial dimension of regional social policy
This essay uses the financial dimension to analyse the present state of social regionalism in Italy following the profound changes that have affected the territorial organisation of responsibilities and functions. The picture that emerges is characterised by the persistence of various historical features of but also by some signs of change indicative of a desire by the regions to play a leading role. The combination of these two elements offers the prospect of opportunities, but also risks that could be related to the present territorial imbalance of social policy on a regional dimension.
Italy. National and regional health services: deficits and fairness
Tax federalism in Italy is around the corner, while the gap between North and South increases. In the health and welfare system the gap concerns both essential service levels and the economic-financial situation. Analysing the running costs in the last few years and some indicators of the state of organisation of the regional health services, we can see how the deficit in many Regions is not due to under-financing so much as to different planning and organisational choices. In the less virtuous Regions there is an extremely close connection between deficits and distortions in the supply of ser
Regionalisation and social assistance policies in Italy
The article examines the emergence of new «spaces of social citizenship» at sub-national level in Italy with reference to welfare policies. In this sector, intermediate levels have traditionally had a major role since the Regions were first set up, and this has gradually extended to the attribution of exclusive responsibility in the matter, thanks to the recent reform of section V of the Constitution. After tracing the historical development of welfare policies in Italy, the article analyses the differences that exist at regional level in terms both of expenditure and of services offered.
The evolution of models for leaving the family of origin in five Italian urban areas
The article presents some research results on models for leaving the family of origin in the more general framework of the process of transition to adult life. As the specialised literature has shown, the Italian situation is striking in the European context for the persistence of traditional models of transition to the adult condition and for the lateness with which the young leave the parental home. Using original data on five Italian urban areas, the article tries to establish if there are differences at local level in the consistency and extension of these specific features.
Poverty and social demand for a home: the new housing question and policy categories
The return of the housing question to the political agenda in Italy has a number of uncertainties: the conceptual and operational patterns for innovation risk blocking the necessary change of direction for dealing with the full gravity of the new forms of housing poverty and homelessness. To a large extent the problems derive from underestimating the weight of the processes of growth of social vulnerability. The article develops the idea that the combination of these processes and the dynamics of housing poverty must be the basis for policy innovation.
Waiting for the next amnesty? The unsolved problems of Italian migration policies
Italian migration policies are a highly conflictual policy area, where apparently opposed and polarised reform proposals are frequently presented. As a result there is a widespread impression that this field is notable for strong, opposed discontinuities over the last few decades. The paper documents how the choices in Italian migration policy have been notable for strong long-term continuities. If the reforms of migration legislation have gradually increased technical effectiveness of repressive regulations this effort has not had the result of greater capacity in dealing with the phenomenon.