Politics and Administration: «The Italian Style»

By Lorenzo Casini

This article focuses on a crucial issue for understanding the vices and virtues of the Italian public sector: the relationship between politics and the public administration, especially in the case of the administration of the central State. The author analyses the reasons for and effects of two significant phenomena that illustrate how in Italy, politics and the public administration are not separate: the legislative «overflow» by the Parliament and the Government, which affects and limits the power of administration, and the evolution of the public management. The article also provides an account of two instances of administrative reform of the public management, one suc- cessful and one unsuccessful. Last, the author presents the main problematic issues relating to the relationship between politics and the administration, as well as possible remedies for the short and the long term.