Stories of municipal innovation : implementation of EC policies in Southern Italian cities
Author(s)Magrassi, Marco, 1970-
Stories of municipal innovation : implementation of European Commission policies in Southern Italian cities
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Policies and programs funded by the European Commission (EC) provide an important development opportunity for less developed European regions. In Southern Italy however, regional and local governments face significant problems in planning and executing EC-funded development programs. Historical and current analyses show that these problems are a result of political, strategic, and technical capacity constraints. This study examines how Southern Italian municipalities are taking advantage of the first EC-funded program initiative specifically targeted for urban areas. The analysis focuses on the municipal capacity to introduce innovation to: 1) expand the scope of municipal tasks to implement economic development projects, and 2) adjust their organizational and bureaucratic practices to comply with the administrative procedures and performance standards required by the EC. The study primarily draws on one case study, a municipality that has successfully managed the program, with additional empirical evidence from three other Southern Italian municipalities. Based on my findings, I argue that the implementation of EC programs can improve municipal efficiency, partially explained by the EC's capacity building processes. What is more central, however, is that developmental outcomes and institutional learning success is a function of a municipality's ability to: a) build the EC-funded program on former municipal development initiatives; b) balance the innovation content within project schemes (e.g. in terms of targeting, integration with other program components, and participatory implementation) with the municipal capacity to implement them; c) comprehensively manage and coordinate the program, limiting sub-contracting of program activities to external consultants; and d) build the necessary political support to actively negotiate with the EC and the Italian national government.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 1999."February 1999."Includes bibliographical references (leaves 94-96).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning