Barbara Giullari, Eleonora Melchiorre

Social Policies and Local Democracy: Actors and Decision-making Practices in Municipal Welfare System

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: municipal welfare system, implementation, governance, participatory tools, institution-building.

This article focuses on recent developments of innovation in decision- making processes of public policies, in order to promote a considerable exercise of democracy. The reforming process of Italian welfare system has introduced governance principles and post-bureaucratic organizational models, in order to tackle implementation issues, to improve coordination and integration among a wide set of actors (public, for profit, no profit) and sectorial policies. According to sociological approach to public instruments, authors analyse the introduction of participatory tools in a local decision-making experience, in the field of policies for educational and training integration of disable students. The considerations will take account of the role played by institutional background, coordination devices, representative structures, inclusiveness degree of the actors, features of the decisional arena, the relationship between political leadership and technical-administrative skills. Moreover, this analysis tries to highlight the capacity of innovation, but also the risks and the ambiguities of participatory tools, exploring their process character and then their cognitive and symbolic dimension. The article concludes with some remarks about the emergence of institution-building and innovation dynamics in decision-making process of public administration for promoting a substantial exercise of democracy through empowerment of citizens.

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