This chapter investigates the political dynamics that hinder social investment reform in Southern Europe. It does that by providing an in-depth analysis of the Italian case. Between 2013 and 2018, a window of opportunity for social investment opened up in Italy, when center-left governments sought to garner support among upper-middle classes. However, the final reform output was a mix of non–social investment strategies: market liberalism (labor market deregulation) and social protectionism (compensatory cash transfers took priority over policies to enhance human capital or work–family reconciliation). The turn away from a social investment strategy was driven by two political supply-side factors: EU pressures for internal devaluation and national party competition favoring compensatory measures for lower-middle classes in the presence of a divided center-left and rising challenger parties. After the 2018 elections, the League and the Five Star Movement formed a government that promoted full-blown social protectionism.

Reforming Without Investing: Explaining Non–Social Investment Strategies in Italy / S. Ronchi, P. Vesan - In: The World Politics of Social Investment. 2: The Politics of Varying Social Investment Strategies / [a cura di] J. Garritzmann, S. Hausermann, B. Palier. - New York : Oxford University Press, 2022. - ISBN 9780197601457. - pp. 108-134 [10.1093/oso/9780197601457.003.0005]

Reforming Without Investing: Explaining Non–Social Investment Strategies in Italy

S. Ronchi;
2022

Abstract

This chapter investigates the political dynamics that hinder social investment reform in Southern Europe. It does that by providing an in-depth analysis of the Italian case. Between 2013 and 2018, a window of opportunity for social investment opened up in Italy, when center-left governments sought to garner support among upper-middle classes. However, the final reform output was a mix of non–social investment strategies: market liberalism (labor market deregulation) and social protectionism (compensatory cash transfers took priority over policies to enhance human capital or work–family reconciliation). The turn away from a social investment strategy was driven by two political supply-side factors: EU pressures for internal devaluation and national party competition favoring compensatory measures for lower-middle classes in the presence of a divided center-left and rising challenger parties. After the 2018 elections, the League and the Five Star Movement formed a government that promoted full-blown social protectionism.
social investment; welfare reform; Southern Europe
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
Settore SPS/09 - Sociologia dei Processi economici e del Lavoro
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/936047
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