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Experts and Expertise in Science and Technology in Europe since the 1960s

Organized civil Society, Democracy and Political Decision-making

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Edited By Christine Bouneau and David Burigana

Do the politicians actually take decisions, or rather the experts do it in their place? In other words, it is a matter of understanding whether the political stakeholders/representatives simply approve the final stage of a decision procedure led by the experts they have delegated, since they lack cognitive skills or because the experts do not try enough to explicit potentials and risks involved. Here lays the possible loss of democratic legitimacy in the decision-making process. This brings into question the responsibility of a ruling class to which the political representatives and secondarily the experts belong.

This book analyses the interplay of these different actors in the political relations among States since the 1960s: this interaction capability becomes a key factor for the international accountability of a country, and above all for the democratic reliability of its decision-making process. Then we have to consider the role of the organized civil society.

In that way, expertise provides the basis for the mediation among the States, and then expertise goes for the legitimacy of power practices in all parties engaged, and in the decision-making process inside the democratic arenas.

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The Central Bank and the Governments in the Shaping of Italy’s International Financial Policies from the End of Bretton Woods Through the Start of the 1980s (Simone Selva)

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The Central Bank and the Governments in the Shaping of Italy’s International Financial Policies from the End of Bretton Woods Through the Start of the 1980s

Simone Selva1

Università di Napoli “L’Orientale”

This contribution aims to pinpoint the relationships between the Italian political system and the Italian monetary authorities within the framework of the country’s recurrent external disequilibria from the early 1970s through to the start of the 1980s. The focal point are major exchange rate and balance of payments adjustment programs promoted in the country. The case of Italy in the system of international financial and monetary relations from the mid-1960s through to full implementation of monetary tightening at international level at decade-end is noteworthy in two respects. Compared to the post world war II era, when the US balance of payments surplus was essential in helping dollar-scarce economies like the Italian one to resurrect the balance of payments, since the plummeting of the US international payments position at the end of the 1950s, the balance of power between the two countries changed. From the early 1960s onward Italy, insofar as it was a capital surplus country, exerted a leverage power in its bilateral economic relations with the US. From this perspective, apparently the role of Italian experts in shaping Italy’s international economic relations was subordinate to the political elites. This was mostly the case of the second half of the 1960s, when Washington called on its Western European surplus allies, notably Germany...

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