Politics of blame and implementation failures in national parliamentary debates: discussing change and continuity in the Italian parliament (2001-2014).

Autor principal:
Alba Ferreri (università degli studi di Siena)
Sesión 1
Día: lunes, 13 de julio de 2015
Hora: 15:00 a 17:30
Lugar: Aula 13

The persistence of the socioeconomic and financial crisis revealed dark-sides and disadvantages in the current form of implementation of economic policies in the EU. Paired to that, the resort to intergovernmental procedures materialized in an ‘executive-dominated federalism’, where the EU’s pressure for adaptation appears to be voiced and interpreted mainly by governmental or technocratic actors. However, national parliaments can still play a crucial debating role, punctually discussing political and policy alternatives, canalizing the externally induced, EU-prompted, change.

Following a ‘political survival model’, it is assumed that, when debating, parliamentarians will claim control over the lost resources. In doing so, they would not only thematise the policies per se, but they would also critically refer to the effects of those policies, as of policy processes and outcomes, including aspects such as analyzing the variety of relationships shaping policies and policy changes, e.g. the one with the executive.

Focusing on the Italian case, the present paper presents a study-case on the parliament and its ability to play such a claiming part. By means of a frame analysis, the debates on yearly economic planning documents will help to shed light on two main points: (1) the salience of EU-related matters, as a prerequisite for raising attention on Europe (2) the conceptualization of ‘implementation’ and the patterns of political confrontation over this key-notion.

Findings suggest the persistence of domestic configurations, even though the crisis has been a catalytic agent for issue-salience. In other terms, while the Italian parliament has been more reactive over time on the issues inspected, it has not managed to fully articulate those matters – thereby losing further control on the ongoing policy processes.

Palabras clave: Italy; EU; blame-shifting; implementation; parliament