Italy: The Rise and Decline of Social Pacts

Marino Regini and Sabrina Colombo

in Social Pacts in Europe

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199590742
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728891 | DOI:
Italy: The Rise and Decline of Social Pacts

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Chapter 6 discusses the emergence and the partly failed institutionalization of social pacts in Italy since the end of the 1970s. Italian social pacts have been signed in periods characterized by quite different structural and institutional conditions, but the general features are: a sentiment of national economic emergency, with the exception of the symbolic negotiation in 1998; the weakness of governmental coalitions that look to social pacts to enhance their legitimacy; and the presence of moderately strong unions, capable of coordinating both industry-level and decentralized bargaining, and also permanently challenged by their internal divisions. If the reason for the failure of social pact institutionalization in Italy is that the goal of meeting the Maastricht convergence has been achieved, thereby removing the critical objectives requiring mutual restraint, of equal critical importance is that the power balance between actors has altered significantly since the heyday of Italian pacting in the 1990s.

Keywords: social pacts; Italy; economic emergency; bargaining coordination; unions; government legitimacy

Chapter.  12182 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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