The creation of Independent Authorities in Italy
Over the last decade in Italy several Independent Authorities (IAs) were created. The relevance of the delegated functions and the variety of sectors involved led lawyers to refer to a “structural redistribution of power within the Italian political-institutional system”. As a parliamentary democracy, the issue at stake is the delegation of power to IAs independent from the executive branch and referring only to Parliament. Therefore, IAs are to be viewed as an alternative to the executive branch and to the bureaucracy within it. In terms of the division of powers, IAs can be considered as a kind of fourth branch, though outside any constitutional provision. The paper analyses the Italian IAs from a political economy perspective, aiming at proposing some tentative answers and at providing insights to settle a possible agenda for future research on this subject. A specific case study, the Public Works Authority (PWA), will be analyzed to offer some tentative remarks on the determinants of political decision-making about IAs. Key words: Independent Authorities, delegation, Public Work Authority, political economy.
KeywordsJudicial Review Executive Branch Opportunistic Politician Constitutional Provision General Contractor
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