The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of swift governments’ intervention in dealing with major crises. In many countries subnational governments have been playing a central role: they saw their powers extended beyond their traditional role, and managed the crisis by delivering tailored policies across different geographical areas according to local realities. This project studies whether local politicians in Italy strategically used the received extended powers for political gain and to boost political popularity, in particular in those municipalities with scheduled upcoming elections, and how this varied across the political spectrum. Italy represents a good laboratory to study these issues for the following reasons: (i) it was one of the first and worst country hit by the pandemic, (ii) subnational governments were allowed to put in place several policies to fight the spread of the virus, (iii) for over 1000 municipalities local elections were scheduled for May 2020.
|Effective start/end date||1/10/20 → 31/12/21|