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An Agenda for the Study of Long-Enduring Institutions of Self-Governance in the Italian South

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Sabetti, Filippo
Conference: Meeting of the American Political Science Association
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Conf. Date: September 2-5, 1999
Date: 1999
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4805
Sector: History
Social Organization
Region: Europe
Subject(s): institutions
social organization
Abstract: "This paper aims to contribute to a more reliable and more nuanced understanding of South Italian development by suggesting the need to map and survey what, if any, enduring institutions of self-governance existed in the Italian South and what difference, if any, their presence or absence made for human welfare between the Middle Ages and the nineteenth century - the so called early modern period of state formation and preparation for economic growth. The advantage of stretching the entire period before us is that it allows to spot variations, fluctuations and long-term trends better than a shorter time-span, but any analysis across such time and space carries its own constraints. There is no pretension here to do justice to a topic encompassing more than 700 years of developments since Norman times; that would be premature and beyond the confines of a single paper. Rather, the paper seeks to advance the argument in two ways: by sketching what and where to look for long-enduring institutions of self-governance and by suggesting what gains in understanding are most likely to result from such research. In brief, the paper presents an agenda for comparative research not its results."

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