A Comparative Study of Good Government in EU Regions
Chapter 5: Variation in sub-national QoG in Italy and a closer look at QoG in Bolzano and Campania
According to the data we presented in the previous chapter, no other country in our sample exhibits such wide and significant regional variation as Italy. In a comparative perspective, the final EQI data reveal that the top-performing regions of Italy rank similarly to other regions such as Bavaria in Germany, Salzburg in Austria, País Vasco in Spain, or the score of the country of Ireland for example. The lower-performing regions, however, rank similarly to the majority of regions in Bulgaria or Romania – constituting an enormous gap in regional performance. We find, moreover, that the differences are systematically linked to geography – the small regions in the far north perform the best, the industrial regions in the north and center are moderate QoG performers, and the south, or ‘Mezzogiorno’ regions (particularly the larger ones), ranked lowest. This finding is perfectly in line with a wealth of literature that has investigated numerous aspects of development in Italy, mostly focusing on broad differences between north and south, or between even the ‘Tre Italie’ (‘Three Italys’, Bagnasco 1977). While it is therefore no surprise that we found significant variation in regional QoG in Italy, our research is the first to focus exclusively on QoG and we argue that this study marks a key contribution to the literature worthy of a deeper investigation.
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