A. Viterbo, in European Papers, vol. 1, no. 3, 2016, pp. 501-531 ABSTRACT The aim of this research is to clarify the legal framework under which the ECB applies its conditionality policy, by making a distinction between ‘implicit’ and ‘explicit’ conditionality. In the first years of the sovereign debt crisis, the ECB resorted to an ‘implicit’ form of conditionality, driving euro area member States towards acceptance of an economic adjustment programme or the adoption of significant economic, fiscal and structural reforms. Implicit conditionality has been applied in the context of the ECB’s collateral policy, to the provision of Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA), to the purchase of sovereign bonds under the Securities Markets Programme (SMP), as well as to the transfer of profits deriving from these purchases (the so-called ‘SMP profits’). Eventually, the ECB decided to shift to ‘explicit’ conditionality. Under the Outright Monetary Transactions programme (OMT) and the Public Sector Purchase Programme (PSPP), sovereign bonds purchases became subject to compliance with the EU/IMF strict and effective conditionality. The temporary framework for collateral eligibility was modified following the same approach. While the shift to explicit conditionality has to be welcomed, it does not lessen concerns about the ECB’s democratic accountability and its ‘interference’ in domestic reform processes. Some regards the ECB’s conditionality as a true political action departing from the standards of neutrality and independence that central banks should meet. This paper describes the set of policy instruments through which conditionality has been applied, with a view to assess the legitimacy of the ECB’s actions. This article is available at
M. Matsaganis, Current History, Vol. 115, no. 779, pp. 108-113 ABSTRACT Ordinary Greeks intuitively understood better than many outsiders that the country had little future cut off from Europe The article is available here.  
Burelli C. (2016). Verso una Concezione Realistica della Politica (Towards a Realistic Conception of Politics). In Biblioteca della Libertà, LI 216, 2016, 23-47 ABSTRACT: Il confine tra realismo politico e liberalismo non è teoricamente così chiaro come l’asprezza del dibattito sembrerebbe suggerire. Tra le due tradizioni non c’è una forte distinzione né sul piano metodologico né su quello sostanziale. Il dibattito sul metodo, che ruota attorno alle condizioni di realizzabilità dei propri ideali, non basta a qualificare una posizione come realista, perché questa preoccupazione è presente anche nella tradizione liberale della cosiddetta teoria non-ideale (Valentini 2012). Molti realisti, come Matt Sleat (Sleat 2014), Enzo Rossi (2015b) ed Edward Hall (2015), ritengono riduttivo assimilare le loro tesi a questa posizione. Nemmeno sul piano sostanziale è facile distinguere tra realismo e idealismo perché entrambi gli approcci sostengono istituzioni liberali e democratiche. I realisti in questo caso si limitano a criticare il modo in cui queste vengono giustificate dagli idealisti (Finlayson 2015). Per cercare di chiarire questo dibattito, è dunque necessario specificare che la «caratteristica che lo definisce […] è il tentativo di dare autonomia al politico» (Rossi e Sleat 2014, 2). Questo articolo mira perciò a mettere a fuoco la «concezione fondamentalmente diversa di che cos’è la politica» (Sleat 2014, 5) adottata dai realisti politici. Utilizzando questa come criterio è possibile distinguere il realismo dal liberalismo politico kantiano di ispirazione rawlsiana, variamente criticato nella letteratura come «umanesimo liberale» (Gray 2002a, xI), «moralismo politico» (Williams 2005, 1), «approccio ethic-first» (Geuss 2009, 1), e «alto liberalismo» (Galston 2010, 385). This article can be found at the following link:
F. Arcostanzo, A. Pulvirenti. When News Go Online : A Cross-Media Analysis Of Editorial Logics And Consumers’ Feedbacks In The Printed, Online and Facebook Version of the Italian Newspaper La Repubblica. In: ROMANIAN JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS. - ISSN 2344-5440. - 17:3(2015), pp. 83-105. ABSTRACT As a consequence of the advent and diffusion of new media, one of the most accredited hypotheses in the realm of mediatization theory has been that the essential prerequisites of mediatization would have slowly started to disappear. On the contrary, we hypothesize that the unprecedented knowledge about users’ preferences given to media companies would be reflected in the logics of news production, which would shift from being guided by internal logics and standards of newsworthiness to be driven by an audience-oriented commercial logic. Therefore, we expect storytelling techniques to prevail in online news production, with soft news becoming progressively prevalent moving from traditional to new media. We address our hypothesis performing a cross-media analysis of the Italian newspaper la Repubblica, investigating both the different editorial logics underlying the selection and framing of contents as well as the relationship between the general news frame and the level of readers’ engagement. In our findings, soft news prevails regardless of the platform, also following a positive trend as we move towards Facebook. Moreover, soft news seems to be able to foster a higher level of users’ engagement as expressed in terms of likes and shares, while hard news prevails in commenting activities. This article can be read at the following link:
Arcostanzo F., Retfalvi F., When Institutions Go Online. Case Study on the European Parliament's Facebook Fan Page, in "Comunicazione politica, Quadrimestrale dell'Associazione Italiana di Comunicazione Politica" 3/2015, pp. 365-388, doi: 10.3270/81692 ABSTRACT The challenge of a limited media coverage of European politics is considered as one of the main constrains to the developement of a European public sphere. On the one hand European institutions do not have their own media and even their communication channels reach out merely to a European elite, while European newsproduction still gains marginal attention in member states' traditional media. As a result of this complex mediatic scene, the absence of direct information and reach out on European themes has contributed to an increasing general mistrust towards the European Union. In this regard, the diffusion of social media and their use by the European institutions have contributed to the appearance and prevalence of a new space where direct interaction among citizens and institutions can emerge. This facilitates the flow of information and stimulates a transnational dialogue. The potentiality of the new forms of institutional communication are explored by this study focusing on the objectives, role and functioning of the European Parliament's Facebook fan page by both investigating the opinion of its promoters and analysing the main features of the fan page (i.e. contents published, general performance and characteristics of users). This article can be read at the following link:
M. Ferrera, In Biblioteca della Libertà. 214, settembre-dicembre 2015 ABSTRACT The intra-EU mobility of workers/persons  is becoming an increasingly contentious and polarizing issue and is occupying the center stage in the so-called  Brexit debate. Challenging the principle of free movement is no trivial matter. What is actually put in question are not only the foundational pillars of  the single market, but of the EU as such, understood as a single (would-be) polity. The aim of this paper is to offer an analytical framing of this challenge. Section 1 provides a brief historical reconstruction of welfare state building at the national level, highlighting the salience of boundaries and of the “bounding-bonding” nexus. It also discusses the impact of European integration on the intra-EU boundary configuration in the sphere of solidarity. Section 2 illustrates the state of play as regards mobility, summarizing the findings of empirical research on the economic and financial implications of free movement and of the social security coordination regime. Section 3 argues that – in addition to economic efficiency – the  principle/logic that underpins free movement is that of “hospitality”, rather than the more general principle of solidarity. The section then discusses some unintended practical implications that follow from the logic of hospitality and that lie at the basis of  the increasing contentiousness around free movement.  Section 4 discusses possible institutional remedies for containing political contention. The underlying assumption is that the preservation of free movement is key for the survival of the EU qua political association/community and that such preservation must be the object of an essentially political (and not merely functional) strategy on the side of EU authorities. The conclusion wraps up. The paper is available here.
M. Ferrera, in Il Mulino, vol. 2, no. 15, 2015, pp. 383-391. ABSTRACT Peter Mair è stato uno dei più importanti politologi della mia generazione. La sua prematura scomparsa ha lasciato un grosso vuoto intellettuale fra gli studiosi di politica comparata e sistemi di partito, i campi d’indagine da lui prediletti. Nell’ultima fase della sua riflessione, Peter si era focalizzato sulla crisi della democrazia dei partiti e in particolare su una delle sue principali manifestazioni: la grande biforcazione fra responsiveness e responsibility . Col primo termine s’intende la capacità dei partiti di rispondere, reagire in modo simpatetico alle domande degli elettori, della pubblica opinione, dei gruppi di interesse. Con il secondo termine s’intende invece la capacità sia di rispettare il patto elettorale sia di risolvere i problemi collettivi (governare), tenendo conto anche delle  istanze di “collettivi”, dai mercati internazionali all’Unione europea, diversi da quello nazionale. Per Mair, nell’ultimo ventennio è diventato sempre più difficile conciliare queste due funzioni, con il risultato che alcuni partiti (cosiddetti mainstream, di centro-sinistra e di centro-destra) si sono “cartellizzati” e specializzati sul versante della responsabilità, spesso tramite governi di grande coalizione e comunque perdendo i legami con la società. Altri partiti (pensiamo ai partiti neo-populisti) si sono invece specializzati sul versante della responsiveness, intercettando e cavalcando gli orientamenti, spesso emotivi, dell’opinione pubblica e ignorando totalmente i vincoli della responsabilità.  Ciò che si perde in questa trasformazione è la presenza di un’opposizione capace di porsi come alternativa reale di governo:  elemento fondamentale per l’equilibrio e l’effettività della politica democratica. This article is available at
H. Caune, in Politique Européenne, vol. 49, no. 3, 2015, pp. 116-149 ABSTRACT Les politiques sociales nationales sont traditionnellement tenues à l’écart des processus classiques de l’intégration européenne mais la crise de l’euro et de la dette souveraine dans certains États membres impose un renouvellement de l’analyse de l’influence européenne dans la définition de ces politiques publiques. Les accords négociés entre les exécutifs nationaux et la troïka (formée par la Commission européenne, la Banque centrale européenne et le Fonds monétaire international [FMI]) constituent une nouvelle forme de contrainte, imposée par la gouvernance économique européenne, qui pèse sur l’orientation et la définition des politiques sociales. Cet article s’intéresse à la fois au contenu des politiques (policies), au contexte institutionnel dans lequel sont prises les décisions politiques (polity) et aux pratiques des acteurs et à leurs configurations (politics). À partir du cas des politiques de l’emploi et des marchés du travail au Portugal, l’article montre comment l’influence européenne a évolué en passant de la coordination des politiques de l’emploi, dans le début des années 2000, à la gouvernance économique à la fin de la décennie. Il souligne les effets de ces évolutions sur les processus politiques nationaux. L’article analyse une période de plus d’une quinzaine d’années en s’intéressant particulièrement à trois moments précis qui ont marqué les politiques portugaises de l’emploi: l’introduction du premier Code du travail en 2003 d’abord, puis ses réformes successives en 2009 et 2012. Ces réformes nationales correspondent aussi à des moments spécifiques de l’histoire des politiques européennes de l’emploi : la révision de la Stratégie européenne pour l’emploi (SEE) au moment du lancement de la Stratégie de Lisbonne sous l’impulsion de la présidence portugaise du Conseil en 2000, la définition du modèle de flexicurité dans le cadre de la révision de la stratégie de Lisbonne au milieu des années 2000, et, enfin, le développement d’une nouvelle forme de contrainte européenne sur les systèmes de protection sociale (particulièrement ceux des pays du sud) dans le cadre de la gestion européenne de la crise de la dette souveraine au début des années 2010. Cet article évalue précisément l’influence nationale de ces évolutions européennes. Pour analyser ces réformes nationales, il prend en compte le rôle des activités européennes des acteurs politiques nationaux. The article is available at  
M. Ferrera, in POLITICHE SOCIALI, vol. 3, 2014, pp. 329-352. ABSTRACT The article investigates the role played by ideational dynamics in generating the strains and tensions which have exploded during the crisis between economic integration and social protection. Drawing on the insights of Weberian theory, the article argues that a reconciliation between these two dimensions/spheres of the EU must confront two distinct intellectual challenges. First, the recognition that the EU (and EMU in particular) have irreversibly become complex adaptive systems with «emergent» properties, requiring centralized steering well beyond the current institutional status quo. Second, the search for normative principles for a correct framing of both the «democratic-ness» question and the «fairness» question in the EU. The latter is particularly important for solving the new conflict lines emerged during the crisis, i.e. between core and peripheral economies, on the one hand, and «old» vs. «new» Member States, on the other. This article is available at
M. Ferrera, in Politiche Sociali, vol. 3, no. 3, 2014, pp. 329-352. ABSTRACT The article investigates the role played by ideational dynamics in generating the strains and tensions which have exploded during the crisis between economic integration and social protection. Drawing on the insights of Weberian theory, the article argues that a reconciliation between these two dimensions/spheres of the EU must confront two distinct intellectual challenges. First, the recognition that the EU (and EMU in particular) have irreversibly become complex adaptive systems with «emergent» properties,requiring centralized steering well beyond the current institutional status quo. Second, the search for normative principles for a correct framing of both the «democratic-ness» question and the «fairness» question in the EU. The latter is particularly important for solving the new conflict lines emerged during the crisis, i.e. between core and peripheral economies, on the one hand, and «old» vs. «new» Member States, on the other. This article is availble at

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