Elisabetta Gualmini, Alessio Sacchi

Contrasting Poverty: Towards Universalism in the Italian Welfare State?

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Poverty; Welfare State; Italy; Regions; Universalism.

The present paper offers an in-depth analysis of national and regional income minimum policy schemes recently introduced in Italy, arguing that these may represent a paradigm shift in the Italian model of welfare state. Italy was, together with Greece, the only country in Europe historically deprived of such a provision to fight extreme poverty. In line with the experience of other European countries, these new social policies against poverty do constitute a safety net for those who are completely outside every kind of social protection; i.e. young people and women below a certain income level, long-term unemployed, lone parents, and people in general who cannot enjoy any social security benefit kind of contribution. The paper investigates the political elements which made possible the implementation of such policy innovations. Moreover, it will try to explain whether or not it is really the end of the Italian particularistic model of welfare state, trying to answer to the question both in terms of the characteristics and impact of these brand new policies against social exclusion and in terms of the institutional governance that they imply.

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