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The Reform of the Public Administration: Centralization and Reorganization

Fabrizio Di Mascio and Alessandro Natalini

The modernization of the public administration has been one of the main objectives pursued by the Renzi government. What distinguishes the reform cycle launched in 2015 is the emphasis on centralization, unification, and the reduction of institutional fragmentation in the public sector after a long period in which autonomy and the organizational pluralism of administrations and government levels were enhanced. This reform strategy is consistent with the underlying trends of transformation in the political and institutional systems, in which the power of the prime minister has gradually increased. The actual impact of these reform measures, however, depends on concrete organizational instruments of subsequent implementing legislation in a context characterized by persistent spending cuts, which are necessary to maintain financial stability.

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Renzi’s Leadership between Party and Government

Sergio Fabbrini and Marc Lazar

This chapter discusses Renzi’s leadership with regard to his party and the government. The main argument is that Renzi was able to use his party to support the government through his double role of secretary (of the party) and prime minister (of the government). However, the support of the party for the government’s actions has been regularly contested by an internal left-wing faction and has been weakened by the disaggregation and political autonomy of the local and regional party organizations. The chapter describes and analyzes the divisions within the national party, the difficulty of controlling local and regional organizations and leaders, and the parliamentary achievements of the government, which came about due primarily to the popularity of the prime minister. The personal leadership of Renzi has been a resource for promoting governmental reforms, but a leadership unsupported by a party will have difficulty facing future political and policy challenges.

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School Reform: Innovation and the Rhetoric of Change

Carlo Barone and Gianluca Argentin

In July 2015, the so-called Good School reform was approved. This measure introduces several novelties in the school sector, including an increase in resources. The reform was strongly promoted by Prime Minister Renzi, who has simplified the traditional processes of engagement with the teachers’ unions. The aim is to empower school principals and teachers in a meritocratic framework, to overcome the lack of job stability for teachers by establishing new mechanisms of recruitment, and to open schools to extracurricular activities and vocational experiences. These important innovations, which are needed to improve the existing state of affairs, sound more like announcements rather than concrete commitments. In fact, there is a gap between the communication dimension of the reform, which is very effective, and its actual design, which in many aspects is approximate. There is therefore a real risk that the future implementation of the Good School reform might be less substantive than originally perceived.

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Young Workers and the Labor Market Policies of Renzi’s Government

Patrik Vesan

This chapter analyzes some of the major labor reforms implemented by the Renzi government in 2015 in relation to youth employment, with reference to the Jobs Act. The strategy pursued by the executive has been to concentrate on combating the segmentation of the labor market by liberalizing individual and collective dismissals and by introducing a new type of contract, which offers a generous incentive for new permanent hires. The main goal of this strategy is to decrease the divisions between insiders and outsiders in the hope that this measure will encourage employers to stabilize workers, especially the younger ones, and invest in the development of human capital. Such a strategy, however, rests on weak foundations, which might call into question its effectiveness and with it the stability of Renzi’s leadership.

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Book Reviews

Johanna Gehmacher, Svetla Baloutzova, Orlin Sabev, Nezihe Bilhan, Tsvetelin Stepanov, Evgenia Kalinova, Zorana Antonijevic, Alexandra Ghit, Chiara Bonfiglioli, Ana Luleva, Barbara Klich-Kluczewska, Courtney Doucette, Katarzyna Stańczak-Wiślicz, Valentina Mitkova, Vjollca Krasniqi, Pepka Boyadjieva, Marina Hughson, and Rayna Gavrilova

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Editorial

Francisca de Haan

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News and Miscellanea

Monika Rudaś-Grodzka, Katarzyna Nadana-Sokołowska, Anna Borgos, and Dorottya Rédai

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NOT Finding Women in the Archives

The Case of Evgeniia Serebrennikova, Pioneering Woman Physician in Late Nineteenth-Century Russia

Michelle DenBeste

Abstract

This article examines the life of one early woman doctor, Evgeniia Serebrennikova (1854–1897), a graduate of the St. Petersburg women’s medical courses and an eye doctor in Perm. Serebrennikova established an eye clinic in Perm, wrote numerous articles, gave talks at medical conferences at home and abroad, and was a fixture in Perm’s philanthropic life. Despite these achievements, there are few traces of her in the archives. The article also discusses the author’s research trajectory and the difficulties involved in finding evidence about women such as Serebrennikova.

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Paternalism, Modernization, and the Gender Regime in Turkey

Pınar Melis Yelsalı Parmaksız

Abstract

Modernization in Turkey started in the late Ottoman period as a social critique and took shape when the Turkish Republic was established as a modern nation-state in 1923. Women’s emancipation, which was inherent in the ideas of modernization, was one of the most important components of the Republican reforms. Subsequently, the reforms were implemented to attain women’s emancipation in a nationalist context. This article discusses the specific characteristics of the nationalist solution to gender issues in Turkey’s modernization. My argument is that the organization of political power as well as family life in Turkey rested on paternalism, meaning the father’s symbolic and actual power over others. Paternalism in Turkish modernization on the one hand provided a basis for justification of the authoritarian rule of the state and on the other hand enabled women to become modern, though the limits of their modernity were determined by the paternal authority. I focus on paternalism in the single-party years of the Republic and also discuss the current policies of the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (Justice and Development Party, AKP) rule regarding gender and modernization, to show that the concept of paternalism remains relevant to understanding the gender regime in Turkey.

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Radio Free Europe Information Item #687/54 (29 January 1954)

“The Decline of Family Life”

Melissa Feinberg

Source citation: “The Decline of Family Life,” Item #687/54, 29 January 1954, Open Society Archive, Budapest (HU-OSA), fond 300–1-2 (Records of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty Research Institute: General Records: Information Items), microfilm reel 33. This source is also available in the Open Society Archive’s online collection. The online citation is: “The Decline of Family Life,” 29 January 1954. HU-OSA300–1-2–43100; Records of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Institute: General Records: Information Items. http://www.osaarchivum.org/greenfield/repository/osa:e831c10f-9229–4fdb-a45a-4b059f4dceeb (accessed 1.10.2015).

This translation is published with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.