Government, Governance and Welfare Reform
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Government, Governance and Welfare Reform

Structural Changes and Subsidiarity in Italy and Britain

Edited by Alberto Brugnoli and Alessandro Colombo

This unique and original book focuses on institutional changes, welfare reforms and transformations in both Britain and Italy over the last three decades.
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Chapter 12: Subsidiarity and individual responsibility: quasi-markets and asset-based welfare

Julian Le Grand


The ‘subsidiarity’ model of governance that is being developed in Lombardy has several elements that correspond to recent developments in the UK. These include measures to promote the role of the state as an ‘enabler’ or ‘investor’, to increase the choices open to individuals and families, and to ensure that they have the resources that enable them to take up these choices and to handle the accompanying responsibilities. In particular there are two areas of subsidiarity on which I would like to focus. One of these is the quasi-market model for public service delivery; this is already well developed in both Lombardy and the UK. The other is what has been termed ‘asset-based welfare’; this is a current interest in the UK, and one that could be of interest to Lombardy and indeed to any government interested in subsidiarity.

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