Drawing on the concept of critical juncture, in this article we argue that the scale and impact of an ‘extraordinary’ event such as the Covid-19 pandemic cannot be understood in full without acknowledging the pre-existing conditions of a country and its path-dependent trajectory. Against this background, we first assess the institutional legacy of the Covid-19 crisis in Italy, analysing the evolution of political dynamics within the coalition government that led the country in 2020, as well as the governance capacity and legitimacy of the main political actors involved in the management of the pandemic. Second, to shed further light on how Covid-19 has impacted on the institutional dimension, we look at multilevel governance and the relationship between central and regional governments during the pandemic. We argue that the sudden and long-lasting ‘shock’ prompted by Covid-19 has disrupted the already fragile equilibria of the Italian system, impacting in a most profound way on its politics, institutions and society. And yet, while in the short term, the critical juncture of Covid-19 opened the way to new, unexpected changes, towards the end of the year pre-existing, systemic conditions prevailed.

The year of covid-19. Italy at a crossroads / A. Giovannini, L. Mosca. - In: CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN POLITICS. - ISSN 2324-8823. - (2021), pp. 1-19. [Epub ahead of print] [10.1080/23248823.2021.1911026]

The year of covid-19. Italy at a crossroads

L. Mosca
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Drawing on the concept of critical juncture, in this article we argue that the scale and impact of an ‘extraordinary’ event such as the Covid-19 pandemic cannot be understood in full without acknowledging the pre-existing conditions of a country and its path-dependent trajectory. Against this background, we first assess the institutional legacy of the Covid-19 crisis in Italy, analysing the evolution of political dynamics within the coalition government that led the country in 2020, as well as the governance capacity and legitimacy of the main political actors involved in the management of the pandemic. Second, to shed further light on how Covid-19 has impacted on the institutional dimension, we look at multilevel governance and the relationship between central and regional governments during the pandemic. We argue that the sudden and long-lasting ‘shock’ prompted by Covid-19 has disrupted the already fragile equilibria of the Italian system, impacting in a most profound way on its politics, institutions and society. And yet, while in the short term, the critical juncture of Covid-19 opened the way to new, unexpected changes, towards the end of the year pre-existing, systemic conditions prevailed.
Conte government; Covid-19; critical juncture; Italy; multilevel governance
Settore SPS/11 - Sociologia dei Fenomeni Politici
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
Settore SPS/08 - Sociologia dei Processi Culturali e Comunicativi
7-apr-2021
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/839426
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