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The political origins of transparency reform: insights from the Italian case

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 September 2018

Fabrizio Di Mascio
Associate Professor of Political Science, Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning, University of Turin, Torino, Italy
Alessandro Natalini
Associate Professor of Political Science, Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza, Parthenope University, Napoli, Italy
Federica Cacciatore*
Adjunct Professor of Policies of Administrative Simplification, DISTU – Dipartimento di studi linguistico-letterari, storico-filosofici e giuridici, Tuscia University, Viterbo, Italy
*Corresponding author. Email:
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This research contributes to the expanding literature on the determinants of government transparency. It uncovers the dynamics of transparency in the Italian case, which shows an interesting reform trajectory: until the late 1980s no transparency provisions existed; since then, provisions have dramatically increased under the impulse of changing patterns of political competition. The analysis of the Italian case highlights that electoral uncertainty for incumbents is a double-edged sword for institutional reform: on the one hand, it incentivizes the adoption of ever-growing transparency provisions; on the other, it jeopardizes the implementation capacity of public agencies by leading to severe administrative burdens.

Research Article
Copyright © Società Italiana di Scienza Politica 2018 

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