Here to Stay? Reversals of Structural Reforms in Southern Europe as the Crisis Wanes

Rui Branco, Daniel Cardoso, Ana M. Guillén, Stefano Sacchi, David Luque Balbona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This article answers the fundamental question of whether structural reforms on labour market regulation and social protection in Italy, Portugal and Spain passed during the sovereign debt crisis endured or were reversed once external conditionality waned. The study defines categorises and illustrates structural policy reversals. It finds there have been significant structural policy reversals across the three cases, but the bulk of these reforms enacted under conditionality endures. It also finds that the waning of conditionality and harsh economic austerity alone is not enough to bring about full structural policy reversals. Rather, full reversals occur when this condition is combined with a change in government and its ideological orientation, or when the High Courts step in.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-232
Number of pages28
JournalSouth European Society And Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • austerity
  • Italy
  • Policy reversals
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • structural reforms


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