Crisis, neoliberalism, welfare reform, Europeanization, advocacy coalition framework


The 2008 world economic crisis provided a plausible rationale for policy makers in Italy to push forward long needed welfare cuts, resulting in the neoliberal austerity trend fostered by the Monti government (2011-2012). This paper seeks to understand the logic behind the welfare reforms in Italy after the 2008 economic crisis by describing implemented measures and reviewing available theoretical approaches in literature that could account for the reforms’ neoliberal shift from a path-dependent theoretical approach. It is argued that external forces, that is the economic crisis and EU pressures, represented the main trigger, and that political elites marginalized the role played by civil society, with social problems, such as unemployment, worsening as a result.

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