ABSTRACT

The dynamic of the third sector in Italy over the course of the last few years could be described with one image – which naturally, like all images, is only approximate. This is the image of a redefinition of the borders between the State and Society. On the one hand, the State is pulling back, narrowing the arena of its own direct activity; on the other, Society is moving forward, expressing a certain “business-like” desire in the areas of health, environment, culture and politics. Naturally, the process is not a perfectly harmonious one and this retreating and advancing do not completely correspond in all areas. There may be “no man’s lands” as well as superimposition. But it is precisely in this two-fold movement that the opportunities and challenges of the Italian third sector lie.