With the reforms of the so-called ‘Jobs Act’ (JA), Italy aimed to structurally reform its labour market and income-support system, through recalibration (i.e. a mix of both expansionary and retrenching measures) for old social policy risks, and some expansionary measures to face new social risks. The JA also became the symbol of opposite views about the Italian welfare state, being itself a reason for ideolo- gical conflict and coalition reshuffling in the Italian left. Ultimately, its increasing personalization around Renzi’s divisive figure detracted from its functional and substantive matter. Hence, the JA reform provides an unparalleled vantage point to investigate the role of narrative stories in shaping policy contents and reforms. The paper aims to contribute to the literature on social policy reforms by com- bining a focus on narrative stories with the analytical perspective of the Multiple Stream Framework. Through qualitative analysis of offi- cial documents, of more than 500 newspaper articles and of selected in-depth interviews to key informants, this paper reconstructs the narratives about the JA reform, considering both the supporters and the challengers. Building on the Multiple Stream Framework, the paper focuses in particular on whether and how policy entrepreneurs took advantage of windows of opportunity by shaping the narrative stories. Results are twofold. First, the paper shows the variations of social policy reform narratives across actors. Second, it demonstrates the crucial role of policy entrepreneurs in shaping narrative stories as a strategy to couple the streams of problem, policy and politics.

When words matter: narratives and strategies in the Italian Jobs Act (2014–2016) / M. Galanti, S. Sacchi. - In: POLICY & SOCIETY. - ISSN 1449-4035. - 38:3(2019 Jul 03), pp. 485-501.

When words matter: narratives and strategies in the Italian Jobs Act (2014–2016)

M. Galanti
Primo
;
S. Sacchi
Ultimo
2019

Abstract

With the reforms of the so-called ‘Jobs Act’ (JA), Italy aimed to structurally reform its labour market and income-support system, through recalibration (i.e. a mix of both expansionary and retrenching measures) for old social policy risks, and some expansionary measures to face new social risks. The JA also became the symbol of opposite views about the Italian welfare state, being itself a reason for ideolo- gical conflict and coalition reshuffling in the Italian left. Ultimately, its increasing personalization around Renzi’s divisive figure detracted from its functional and substantive matter. Hence, the JA reform provides an unparalleled vantage point to investigate the role of narrative stories in shaping policy contents and reforms. The paper aims to contribute to the literature on social policy reforms by com- bining a focus on narrative stories with the analytical perspective of the Multiple Stream Framework. Through qualitative analysis of offi- cial documents, of more than 500 newspaper articles and of selected in-depth interviews to key informants, this paper reconstructs the narratives about the JA reform, considering both the supporters and the challengers. Building on the Multiple Stream Framework, the paper focuses in particular on whether and how policy entrepreneurs took advantage of windows of opportunity by shaping the narrative stories. Results are twofold. First, the paper shows the variations of social policy reform narratives across actors. Second, it demonstrates the crucial role of policy entrepreneurs in shaping narrative stories as a strategy to couple the streams of problem, policy and politics.
Labour market reform; policy entrepreneurs; narrative stories; Italy
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
3-lug-2019
ago-2019
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/722032
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