Bridging the Gap Between Capacity and Proximity in Territorial Rescaling. Italy as a Pilot Case

Prof. Silvia Bolgherini
Dr. Mariano Marotta
Dr. Mattia Casula

In the last decades scholars focused on the possible impact of rescaling processes on local democracy, investigating if and how size of the local body, performance of the administration and of the services, and preferences of the citizens may play a role in these processes. Starting from the long-standing dilemma between capacity and proximity, this paper fits into this debate adopting a multidimensional approach to further investigate rescaling and its impact. Taking into account the Italian rescaling instruments in the last decade (Municipal Unions and amalgamations) as a case study, a set of original variables to address the trade-off between capacity and proximity will be presented. The paper aims at contributing in the theoretical debate on the capacity/proximity dilemma, at providing a set of original data collected after the last reforms, and at proposing a set variables and indicators that could be extended not only to other countries and contexts, but also to other types of territorial rescaling.