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How Political Stability Shapes Administrative Performance: The Italian Case

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During the last decade in many European Union countries it has clearly emerged that states with weak administrative capacity at the subnational level are more likely to have serious problems with the mismanagement of Structural Funds, or even with accessing them. As a result, some member states such as Italy have embarked upon a programme of institutional and administrative reforms aimed at increasing their administrative capacity. However, retrospective data shows that even though some regions have implemented all the required reforms, their performance has remained unchanged. Along with administrative requirements, are political conditions as such to guarantee that administrative capacity can produce the desired effects? What happens if we do not have political stability that allows for continuity and coherence in administrative actions? Political stability is a controversial variable and theories within the literature present ambiguous results. Some authors strongly claim that stability hinders performance because it fosters the practice of clientelism and the entrenchment of distributional coalitions. In contrast, I aim to explore whether and why, in some cases, stability is actually a variable that accounts for better and improved administrative performance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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