Di Mascio F., Natalini A. and Cacciatore F. (2020). Public Administration and creeping crises: Insights from COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, The American Review of Public Administration.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that a new and unforeseen threat easily outmatched political-administrative systems currently in place. We focus on regulatory capacity that is needed to tackle the effects of COVID-19 in Italy. Under crisis conditions of radical urgency and uncertainty, the Italian regulatory policy has been based on temporary, fast-track procedures. The latter have been regularly applied when Italian governments confront with natural disasters and prompt action is ensured by a repertoire of extra-ordinary measures running in parallel to burdensome ordinary procedures.
We discuss the implications of this “two-track” approach for governance capacity and legitimacy. We also extrapolate existing trends and engage with projection of future developments.
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