In an era of relevant changes in the mechanisms of regulation in many areas of policy, the article deals with the role of industrial relations actors in promoting and improving social and economic security, access to citizens’ rights, inclusion, social cohesion. Specifically, it explores strategies and initiatives of trade unions and employers’ associations at territorial level. The article focuses on territories of the South of Italy, which still features poor economic performances and welfare provisions: two provinces of the Abruzzo region and two provinces of the Calabria region. Here, we analyse social partners’ initiatives after the outbreak of the economic crisis. The analyses is based on case studies carried out under the framework of a pluri-annual national research program. The findings show a variety of initiatives (unilateral, bilateral, with other organisations); many were effective, other no; some were innovative. The article discusses the main factors that influenced their results, highlighting differences and similarities.
Keywords: Industrial relations; Social cohesion; Local development; Mezzogiorno.