Few West European countries have been subject to the continuous wave of reforms in industrial relations and welfare state institutions experienced by Italy in the last 15 years or so. Italy stands out not only in terms of the number and scope of reforms, but also their transformative potential. After years of institutional stasis, Italy’s policy landscape was shaken in the 1990s by a series of negotiated reforms on collective bargaining, employment regulation and the pensions system that seemed to herald a new era. Some even referred to a ‘Copernican revolution’ (Salvati 1997).