PArtecipazione e COnflitto * The Open Journal of Sociopolitical Studies Work licensed under a Creative Commons At-tribution-Non commercial-Share alike 3.0 Italian License RESTRUCTURING PUBLIC ACTION IN ROME Neoliberalization and the relationships between public and private actors
The paper explores the changes in public action that have occurred over the last twenty years in the city of Rome, focusing on two case studies which represent an example of policy restructuring and depict the new role attributed to private initiative and investments, to the detriment of public roles and public property. The paper debates the interpretive utility of the concept of neoliberalization for understanding these processes of change. The first case study regards the privatization of a
... ublic utility in charge with providing water and energy; the second one focuses on the valorization of a public real-estate property. Both cases highlight processes of marketization and commodification, depicting a neoliberal mode of public action, widely regarded as the obvious response to the inefficiencies of more traditional administrative action. The theoretical con-ceptualization of neoliberalization allows one to approach these changes as part of a more organized and coherent framework, and as important moments in the neoliberalization process in Rome. The contextual-ly specific and path-dependent form of this process can be better understood by looking at the strong alliance between political and private actors, in particular, those who are linked to real estate and land properties. This strategic relationship, in existence since the end of the 19th century, keeps on shaping public action and influencing political decisions.