9780773520240

The Search for Good Government

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780773520240

  • ISBN10:

    0773520244

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2000-06-01
  • Publisher: McGill Queens Univ Pr

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Summary

Sabetti argues that poor government performance in contemporary Italy has been an unintended consequence of attempts to craft institutions for good - or democratic - government. He shows that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, a chief problem in contemporary Italy is not the absence of the rule of law but, rather, the presence of rule by law or too many laws. A principal conclusion of his study is that postwar Italian politics can best be understood as a laboratory for revealing how and why a search for good government can generate antithetical and counter intentional results. The Italian experience has important implications for all those who aspire to be self-governing - as opposed to state-governed - for it shows what people can do to enhance human cooperation in collective-action dilemmas,and suggests the probable results if "democracy" continues to be identified with parliamentary government and representative assemblies rather than with the universality of the village or the local community. The Search for Good Government changes our understanding of postwar Italian politics and provides new ways to evaluate the impact of the political changes that have occurred since 1992, arguing for a perceptual shift in the way we think about politics and the educative role of public institutions.

Author Biography

Filippo Sabetti is professor of political science, McGill University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction
Italian Politics: School for Good Government
1(24)
PART ONE Constitutional Knowledge and Alternative Constitutional Designs in the Making of Italy
The Creation of the Italian State
25(29)
The Constitutional Design That Did Not Happen
54(27)
PART TWO How the System Worked in Republican Italy: Institutional Learning and Constraints
Expectations and Results in Public Service Delivery
81(36)
Problem Solving by Central Planning
117(12)
PART THREE The War on Crime as a Fight for Good Government
The Mafia and the Antimafia
129(32)
The Political Economy of Crime and Punishment
161(30)
PART FOUR Why People Are Not Culturally or Path Dependently Doomed to Bad Government
The Search for the Real Montegrano
191(21)
Path Dependence, Civic Culture, and Differential Government Performance
212(27)
CONCLUSION
Good Government: The Elusive Dependent Variable
239(26)
Notes 265(4)
References 269(32)
Index 301

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