Reforming the Unreformable. Labour Market Policy Changes and the New Path of the Italian Politics

Friday, July 14, 2017
WMB - Gannochy Seminar Room 3 (University of Glasgow)
Patrik Vesan , University of Aosta Valley
In order to face the consequences of the Great recession, several countries have introduced significant changes in welfare and labour market policies. These interventions have often taken the form of complex reform packages addressed to different goals and inspired by different institutional and political logics. Mapping the complexity of such policy packages appears to be a worthwhile exercise in order to understand the (multiple) directions that reforms driven by the economic crisis have assumed.
This paper aims at tracing and analyzing the direction of a complex reform package, the Matteo Renzi’s Jobs Act, which was introduced between 2014 and 2015, by empirically testing an analytical framework for the study of trajectories of welfare and labour market reform packages.
In addition, I propose an interpretative approach based on multi-causality and aimed at explaining the adoption of the Jobs Act in a context – the Italian political system - which has been usually characterized by strong vetoes and limited governmental capabilities.
In this way, the paper addressed the lack of systemic studies on the content and the main drivers of recent Italian labour market policy changes which represents, as I will argue, a clear example of «path deviation» occurred in one of the largest world economic power and in a «least likely» case for institutional change.