Foundations: capitalism with a human touch or assisted capitalism? (2002)

There is a common idea that the non-profit sector is called upon to play a substitute function for a welfare state lacking in resources. In Italy, the growth of socially helpful and non-profit organisations is evolving in parallel with the crisis of the public sector and political-administrative centralism. Foundations of banking origin are a delicate matter. It is too specialised to make it onto the economic page of the daily newspapers, except on rare occasions. Yet, it is capable of catalysing some of the major themes of Italian politics in recent years: privatisation, welfare crisis, subsidiarity, devolution, etc. On the other hand, political foundations have recently been set up in Italy on the model of the American experience, where think tanks have been operating for some time and are not simply institutes for research and reflection on public policy. In this type of foundation, the reinterpretation of the historical-political past and the analysis of current events are always aimed at the operationalisation and production of strategies for intervention in the public life of the country; they are cultural laboratories where new ideas are synthesised and introduced into the political debate.

To represent this complex reality, Eurispes has carried out a study to clarify what and how many foundations there are in Italy and what are their actual prerogatives. 


Charity or liberality?
What is a foundation?
Foundations under the test of facts
A hybrid called banking foundation
The number of banking foundations
Political re-foundations

Summary Document

Which ones, how many and how do foundations operate in Italy?

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