Technocrats with Government Authority in Italy since the 1990s

Dr. Sarah Lias Ceide

As part of the project "Re-Constructions of the German-Italian Academic Forum for Contemporary History and Politics" (financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research [BMBF], in cooperation with Villa Vigoni – German-Italian Centre for the European Dialogue).

Over the course of the last decades, 'technocrats' have strongly impacted Italian politics, as demonstrated by the example of the governments under Ciampi, Dini and Monti (1993–1994, 1995–1996, 2011–2013). The phenomenon of technocracy has been interpreted as "background ideology" (Dirk van Laak) as well as a typology of government (among others Duncan McDonnell, Marco Valbruzzi). This project will instead focus on the 'technocrat' with government authority, a politically relevant expert with no party-political nor parliamentary background. The research intends to analyze the creation, evolution and relevance of networks that technocrats of the Italian political sphere were a part of between 1990 and 2013, both inside and outside of Italy. Particular attention will be given to the interrelations between the country's technocratic elite on the one hand, and the Italian government, as well as national or European public institutions, on the other. Furthermore, the reconstruction of Italian and international academic networks will be relevant.
The project takes into consideration the technocrats with governmental authority of the Ciampi, Dini and Monti cabinets (1990–2013) and will rely on secondary literature as well as on source material from Italian libraries and archives. The hypothesis is that these technocrats were part of a wider 'network of experts' which had previously formed around the central bank of Italy (Banca d'Italia) and the ministry of finance (Ministero del Tesoro) in the context of negotiations for the European Monetary Union (EMU) during the early 1990s. In this regard, both the shifting presence of technocratic actors between institutions (revolving-doors-effect) and the correlations between individuals will be analyzed over a long period.

Dr. Sarah Lias Ceide
Project Researcher project "Re-Konstruktionen des Deutsch-italienischen wissenschaftlichen Forums für Zeitgeschichte und Politik" (financed by the BMBF)