Italian "participated" social policies and active citizenship
Piga, Maria Lucia
Dipartimento di Economia, Istituzioni e Società Università di Sassari Sassari, Italia
Is a national welfare system able to produce promotional actions about citizenship? The paper presents a case-study of Italian "participated" social policies, with a specific focus on activation of citizenship through the no-profit sector (social cooperation). The aim is to explain how citizenship activation happens within the Italian welfare model.
Recent changes in Italian social policies imply the shift from a centralized programming model to a regional one. Within that framework, new forms of participation and active citizenship are possible. The regional planning of the socio-sanitary care services will be analyzed with a particular focus on the critical nodes of integration between municipalities/territorial agencies; between social and sanitary care; between public actors and the several forms of private actors.
The empowerment of social actors changes into civic consciousness and culture of services to persons, in order to promote active citizenship. This approach defines the "participated welfare" as a territorial action where active citizenship "produces" welfare, beyond the idea of passive dependence on the State which re-distributes welfare. This is a new experience for Italy, where the State has always had a main relevance for delivering services for the persons. In this way citizenship recalls the concept of social investment. Thus, the so called "welfare of the abilities" produces services that can be seen as relational assets and educational welfare. Therefore, those services can become a lever that reconnects such dimensions as confidence, credibility, empathy. In this way, the stereotype of dependency of persons from policies may be turned upside down by recognizing the potential resources of persons and giving them a role in the process of construction of the integrated and participated social policies.