Public-private partnership: the mechanism of reflexivity as the base of social and partecipatory action
In: Working Paper
Today, the focus of social policies becomes building up partnership networks among public and private actors in which a plurality of stakeholders act according to different forms of reflexivity. After the presentation of three mechanisms (contracts, costs of consultation and organizational identity), the paper proposes the reflexivity as a key for the real functioning of social partnerships. This hypothesis is discussed through the study of a family policies good practice.
One of the most promising examples of family policies in Italy seem to be the creation of social districts in which public, private and third sector actors can cooperate together in order to create innovative forms of personal social services addressed to families. The empirical part of this dissertation focuses on the attempt made by the Province of Trento to produce new family policies according to these new orientations. Through the analysis of the “Trentino – Territorio Amico della Famiglia” and its vertical integration, the Family District, this study shows how a public-private partnership can create innovative tools of social governance that lead to a morphogenetic development of family policies. Four different partnership are analized: the general partnership between Province of Trento and a family association, the Val di Fiemme, Val di Non and Val Rendena Family Districts. The conclusions present the differentiation of this four social partnerships according to certain variables (number of players, number of resources, shared project, social capital, decision making, mutual action, the logic of relational work, subsidiarity). A qualitative empirical research was conducted with 27 depth interviews to the organization leaders. The different ways of managing these partnerships (enabling, professional and generative) represent the synthesis brought about by the cultural, structural and personal contributions involved in building each one of them. Only those partnerships that interpret their regulatory and promotional potential through relational reflexivity tend to lead to generative and partecipatory actions.
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