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The political economy of neo-liberalism in Italy and France

  • Bruno Amable


    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS, CEPREMAP - Centre pour la recherche économique et ses applications - Centre pour la recherche économique et ses applications, IUF - Institut Universitaire de France - M.E.N.E.S.R. - Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche)

  • Elvire Guillaud


    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS)

  • Stefano Palombarini

    (LED - Laboratoire d'Economie Dionysien - Université Paris VIII - Vincennes Saint-Denis)

There are many apparent similarities between the current political and economic situations of France and Italy. The mainstream view is that at least part of the neo-liberal strategy could be a solution to the economic problems of both variants of the European model of capitalism. However, the difficulties met by the implementation of these strategies by Sarkozy and Berlusconi lead to believe that the success or failure of neo-liberalisation has less to do with its (lack of) macroeconomic merits than with the stability of the socio-political alliances that support it. In this respect, France and Italy are markedly different. This paper shows that even if the "hard core" of the neoliberal social bloc is roughly the same in both countries, this core constitutes a minority of the electorate ; a neoliberal strategy must therefore rely on an extended social coalition, which might not be similar between countries. The Great Recession revealed part of the structural characteristics that set both countries apart. The aim of this article is to show that the consideration of the different socio-political alliances found in each country can help to understand how Italy and France ended up on different economic trajectories.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00639450.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00639450
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  1. Annamaria Simonazzi & Paolo Villa & Federico Lucidi, 2008. "Continuity and Change in the Italian Model: Italy's Laborious Convergence towards the European Social Model," Working Papers 108, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  2. repec:pse:psecon:2006-37 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Amable, Bruno, 2008. "Structural reforms in Europe and the (in)coherence of institutions," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 0809, CEPREMAP.
  4. Elvire Guillaud & Stefano Palombarini, 2006. "Evolution des attentes sociales et comportement électoral : France, 1978-2002," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590295, HAL.
  5. Amable, Bruno, 2003. "The Diversity of Modern Capitalism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199261147.
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