Informations and abstract
The reform of social services enacted in Italy in 2000 (Law 328) is closely linked to a model of local governance based on negotiation and participation. In this respect, the law identifies in the "Piano sociale di zona" (Area Plan) the instrument for the associated and participated planning of services and social interventions of local communities falling within the same territorial domain. In this paper we analyse in detail four cases of multi-actor governance in Area Plans, with the aim to shed light on the role played in it by participation and on the type of participation that is given in it, with respect to four main aspects: who participates to what, where and how. Our research focuses on two "Piani sociali di zona" in the Lombardy Region (North of Italy) and two "Piani sociali di zona" in the Campania Region (South of Italy), by means of institutional analysis applied to participation issues. The dynamics of local governance we observed show, at last, that limited potentials (in term of resources) for participation can be increased thanks to an administrative action, which promotes and develops interest to participate. Vice-versa, high potentials can be channelled in rigid and hardly inclusive forms, by a public regulation directed towards the market model or of an authoritative nature.