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La Governance come fattore di sviluppo


  • Francesco, Mantino


  • Francesco, Mantino


Understanding how development policies for rural areas work in a multi-governance context is the main objective of this book. It is a quite difficult task ; due to the complexity of the policy process and the multi-actor dimension of the analysis. The main focus here is on the EU Rural Development Plans (RDPs) and the Cohesion programmes ; as they have been implemented in Italian regions. Italy is a very emblematic case of multi-level and multi-actor system ; not only in rural development but also in Cohesion policies. This study intends to develop an analytical framework to represent how multi-level and multi-actor governance contribute to determine the outcomes of RD policies ; from the entering into force of EU regulations to the funds’ delivery to rural beneficiaries. In this analysis we follow the assumption of the fundamental role played by institutions in influencing economic development (in this field economists as North and Acemoglu have strongly supported this idea). We particularly refer to the role of rules and governance structures created by the EU policy reform and its real implementation over time. Many authors have already stressed the role of governance ; and in this work we move further and develop the idea that rules and governance determine RD policy failure or success depending on how different governance tiers interact in policy design and implementation. More specifically ; this work is based on three basic hypotheses: a) the relations between actors and governmental level do have a fundamental role in affecting policy impacts upon farm system and territorial context ; b) some crucial stakeholders can influence how rules and governance structures are designed at the different levels ; c) this ; in turn ; also affects the opportunities for institutional innovation. This implies considering different tiers of governance (EU ; national/regional ; local) ; in which there are particular “knots” where relevant decisions are taken for the efficiency and effectiveness of rural policies. Three fundamental “knots” are the following: the EU-State ; the regional and the local one. The EU-State includes all those relations between the EU and the State tiers ; influencing the general framework of rural policies. The second chapter ; written by Elena Saraceno ; explores and discusses this topic. The regional “knot” includes all relations between State and regional tiers and between different regional policy authorities (responsible for rural development and cohesion policies) ; influencing how the general EU framework is translated into rules and governance structures at the regional level. In this study four regions have been included (Apulia ; Sardinia ; Tuscany and Liguria). The third and fourth chapters ; written by Francesco Mantino and Barbara Forcina (dealing with Apulia and Sardinia) and by Albino Caporale (discussing the cases of Tuscany and Liguria) ; specifically explore these issues. Finally ; the other chapters ; written by Gioacchino Garofoli ; Donato Romano ; Lucia Tudini ; Serena Tarangioli and Francesco Di Iacovo ; explore in particular the local knot ; which includes all relations among local stakeholders and between local actors and regional authorities ; influencing the ways regional programmes are translated into implementing rules and local projects. As for the local level ; five study areas have been included: Langhe ; in Piedmont region ; Eastern Hills and S. Daniele area ; in Friuli region ; Chianti and Garfagnana ; in Tuscany region. An interdisciplinary research team has interviewed stakeholders at different governmental levels ; including national and regional officials ; local actors ; etc. through a semi-structured questionnaire. The field work has been complemented by an analysis of the more relevant programmes addressed to rural areas of each region (RDPs ; Operational Programmes funded by Structural Funds ; other relevant schemes). Policies fail not only when they show spending inefficiencies ; but also when they do not meet the planned objectives and are unable to use the rules and governance structures which have been set up during the programming phase. Policies fail under three specific conditions: a) very inefficient governance solutions ; b) poor design of policy measures ; c) dominance of non-cooperative and conflicting coalitions at local level. Very inefficient governance solutions. These circumstances are very frequent in programmes which are prepared in multi-level context. This is the case of RDPs and also Cohesion programmes. Inefficiency is produced when the central level is unable to coordinate and animate lower levels and provide them with adequate technical and administrative support. The central level here also influences regional coordination. In few cases regions were able to set up efficient coordination mechanisms with the aim of governing the whole set of available policies. Inefficiency also comes when there is a contradictory process of devolution to local authorities (provinces ; mountain communities) from the regional level ; which does not contribute to strengthen local capacity but only give them local a marginal role. This role has been further limited in the most recent years due to the financial crisis ; as the chapters written by A. Caporale ; F. Mantino and B. Forcina have all confirmed. Finally ; inefficiency occurs when the regulative frame for local development projects (as Leader) is designed with the aim of constraining and controlling the autonomous strategy of local partnerships. Poor design of policy measures. Policy measures resulted either inefficient or ineffective in several cases because of the poor design of selection criteria ; eligibility criteria or operational procedures for accessing to funds. Policy measures are always designed by public officials under political approval of policy-makers. Both operate under heavy pressures from farmers’ organisations/associations or other rural actors. Sometimes policy decisions on targets ; potential beneficiaries ; selection and eligibility criteria generate too many constraints and procedural burdens which hamper or delay their implementation rate and effectiveness. This has proved to be more frequent for innovative and for non-agricultural oriented measures ; where either conservative pressures or simply lack of expertise are main reasons of failure. Dominance of non-cooperative and conflicting coalitions at local level. This condition could be really jeopardising the success of local integrated approaches ; as in the case of Leader projects. Here failure occurs when specific local groups dominate the allocation of funds at the area level under a logic of patronage and do not allow other groups to participate to the construction and the management of the integrated local project. Under this condition there is scarce social and economic innovation and the search for private goods prevails upon searching for local public goods. Every policy reform of rural development is in reality carried out in three different phases: 1) the preparation of the reform principles in the Regulations ; 2) the definition of the policy strategy by programmes at national and/or regional level ; 3) the definition of more operational criteria for applications’ eligibility and selection by management authorities. It is worth recalling that innovative principles ; although introduced by EU Regulations ; can be hampered by uneffective policy strategies and operational rules. This means that every reform might eventually fail when concrete rules are set up ; because relevant stakeholders oppose strong resistances to the process of reform and institutional change. This could happen at every step. Stakeholders always evaluate the impacts of policy decisions on resource allocation and on transactions costs of the policies. When policy decisions have unfavourable effects on resource allocations or cause too high transaction costs (eventually not counterbalanced by policy incentives) ; stakeholders not only raise criticism against policy decision ; but also try to make policy makers and public officials to mitigate or vanify these effects. Pressure groups are quite different and promote actions in different directions. The final decision is often a search for mediation of different interests. But what it is worth saying is that mediation could be incompatible with innovative rules introduced by the policy reform. Beyond policy strategies ; rules and governance structures prevailing after stakeholders pressures there are conservative interests that contribute to policy failures.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco, Mantino, 2014. "La Governance come fattore di sviluppo," Books, National Institute of Agricultural Economics, Italy - INEA, Rural Development Policies, number 202539 edited by Francesco, Mantino, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:inerbk:202539
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.202539

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    Cited by:

    1. Mantino, Francesco, 2014. "Localised Agri-food Systems in Italy: strategies for competitiveness and role of institutional factors," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 183537, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Mantino, Francesco, 2014. "Rethinking rural development approaches and their relations with agricultural and agro-food local systems," 2014 Third Congress, June 25-27, 2014, Alghero, Italy 179000, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).

    More about this item


    Agricultural and Food Policy; Community/Rural/Urban Development;

    JEL classification:

    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy


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