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(English) Civil Society in the Italian Reformed Healthcare System: A Role or Responsibility? (Italiano) La società civile nel sistema sanitaria italiano riformato: ruolo o responsabilità?


  • Emiliana Mangone
  • ErikaMarie Pace


(English) At the turn of the new millennium the European Union (EU) catapulted into a new economic era. The golden period of the welfare state, as a solution to social inequity, started to lose ground especially in countries traditionally considered as having conservative-corporatist welfare regimes. Gradually the economic burden the welfare state had transformed itself into became too conspicuous for governments to conceal from other EU member states, the global economic scenario, the sharp eyes of the media and community at large. Due to austerity measures, the guarantee of universal access to healthcare which civil society had gained in exchange of votes started to crumble and, as public debts become more grievous, citizens have started giving up hope on politicians’ promises of finding solutions. In this article we pose the question as to whether civil society can merely be acknowledged as playing a role in healthcare, or if the reform measures adopted are demanding that civil society shoulders the responsibility which states seem unable to handle any longer. In the first part of the article the healthcare system in Italy, the third largest economy in the Euro-zone and a welfare system based on solidarity, is presented as a case study of how the principle of universal healthcare has slowly been nibbled at since the 90s. In the second part we argue that Italian civil society, despite a period characterised by a long transition of administrative and healthcare reforms, plays more than a key role in guaranteeing community wellbeing. (Italiano) Nel nuovo millennio l’Unione Europea è catapultata in una nuova era economica. Il periodo d’oro del welfare state, come soluzione alla disuguaglianza sociale, inizia a perdere terreno soprattutto in paesi considerati a regimi di welfare conservatore-corporativo. A poco a poco il peso economico dello Stato sociale diviene troppo evidente tanto che i governi tendono a nasconderlo agli altri Stati membri dell’UE, agli occhi dei media e della comunità in generale. A causa di misure di austerità, la garanzia di accesso universale all’assistenza sanitaria che la società civile aveva guadagnato in cambio di voti ha iniziato a sgretolarsi e contemporaneamente il peso del debito pubblico diventa più grave, tanto che i cittadini iniziano a rinunciare alla speranza di trovare soluzioni politiche. In questo articolo si pone la questione se la società civile possa essere riconosciuta solo per il ruolo nell’ambito della sanità, o se le misure di riforma adottate inducano la società civile ad accollarsi la responsabilità che i governi sembrano non essere in grado di supportare. Nella prima parte dell’articolo si riflette sul sistema sanitario in Italia, terza potenza economia della zona euro con un sistema di welfare solidaristico, presentato come un caso di studio per spiegare come il principio dell’assistenza sanitaria universale sia stato eroso a partire dagli anni ‘90. Nella seconda parte si sostiene che la società civile italiana, nonostante un periodo caratterizzato da una lunga transizione di riforme amministrative e sanitarie, gioca molto più che un ruolo nel garantire il benessere della comunità.

Suggested Citation

  • Emiliana Mangone & ErikaMarie Pace, 2014. "(English) Civil Society in the Italian Reformed Healthcare System: A Role or Responsibility? (Italiano) La società civile nel sistema sanitaria italiano riformato: ruolo o responsabilità?," IRPPS Working Papers 63:2014, National Research Council, Institute for Research on Population and Social Policies.
  • Handle: RePEc:cnz:wpaper:63:2014

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Erica Johnson & Aseem Prakash, 2007. "NGO research program: a collective action perspective," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 40(3), pages 221-240, September.
    2. Sen, Amartya, 1995. "Inequality Reexamined," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198289289.
    3. Lester M. Salamon, 2010. "Putting The Civil Society Sector On The Economic Map Of The World," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(2), pages 167-210, June.
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