THE DYNAMICS OF DEVOLUTION PROCESSES IN LEGALISTIC COUNTRIES: ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE IN THE ITALIAN PUBLIC SECTOR
Article first published online: 15 AUG 2006
Volume 84, Issue 3, pages 737–770, August 2006
How to Cite
ONGARO, E. (2006), THE DYNAMICS OF DEVOLUTION PROCESSES IN LEGALISTIC COUNTRIES: ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE IN THE ITALIAN PUBLIC SECTOR. Public Administration, 84: 737–770. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9299.2006.00610.x
- Issue published online: 15 AUG 2006
- Article first published online: 15 AUG 2006
- Date received 19 May 2005. Date accepted 13 February 2006.
The devolution of authority from central to regional and local governments is a widespread trend in many countries. Differences in the outcomes of devolution reforms are often significant, between countries as well as within a country. The work reported in this paper assumes that the dynamics of the implementation process and the way it is affected by the national tradition of governance and by the features of the politico-administrative system is important in explaining such differentiation. The paper investigates devolution in Italy and proposes explanations for the substantial differentiation of outcomes that can be observed. The case of devolution in agriculture in Lombardy, investigated in depth in the article, is striking for the magnitude and rapidity of change as well as for the way the reallocation of the workforce to the lower levels of government has occurred. This case study provides the basis for some theorizations about the dynamics of devolution processes in countries that have a legalistic administrative tradition, especially those nations which have a ‘Napoleonic’ administrative tradition.