Trovarsi fra l’incudine e il martello? Platform Infrastructures and the Work of Place-based Policy Entrepreneurs: A Multiple Stream Approach (MSA) Analysis of the Regional Labor Market Planning Processes in Lombardy, Italy

Giampaolo Montaletti, Mike Martin, Rob Wilson, David Jamieson

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Policy entrepreneurs often experience thorny dilemmas, finding themselves between the “rock and a hard place” or, as the Italian equivalent idiom would have it, between the “hammer and the anvil.” Crisis and the associated problems that arise often bring changes in politics and policy in its wake, and this begs the question of what are the resources and assets required to operate successfully as a place-based public policy entrepreneur. The role of policy entrepreneurs has been studied over many years with one of the most influential theories being the multiple streams approach (MSA) originally devised in the 1980s which sought to counter perceptions of the random or “garbage can” nature of policymaking and implementation. MSA describes a more rational process where policy entrepreneurs shape “windows” of opportunity where streams of problem, policy, and politics are brought together to create innovative responses to situations in society. The authors explore these ideas through the lens of a longitudinal case study of Labor Market policy interventions (including the role of a personal budget system for education and training called “Dote”) in the Lombardy Region, Italy, using MSA as an analytical framework. This case suggests that the pressing need to move away from short-term structural responses to complex social issues is potentially addressed by an emerging approach for the parallel deployment of sociotechnical platform infrastructure resources and superstructure. Adoption of the approaches outlined here afford streaming opportunities on which policy entrepreneurs can dynamically bring the multiple streams of problem–policy–politics together across political cycles in a more persistent and sustainable way.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEntrepreneurial Place Leadership
Subtitle of host publicationNegotiating the Entrepreneurial Landscape
EditorsRobert Newbery, Yevhen Baranchenko, Colin Bell
Place of PublicationBingley, UK
ISBN (Electronic)9781800710283
ISBN (Print)9781800710290
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2022

Publication series

NameContemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research

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